Braga vs Feirense by Jimeno
Braga managed to walk away with a positive result last time out in Europa League, since the team comes undefeated against Gent away from home following 2:2 draw. Thanks to this result, they remained on the second position with a point more than Gent and need a victory at home in sixth round against uninterested Shakhtar in order to process further while maybe even a draw might be an positive outcome.
Portuguese side was taking the lead twice in that match, firstly via Stojiljkovic, but the hosts responded via Coulibaly, then Hassan brought them into the lead in 36th minute, but the side from Belgium replied four minutes later thanks to a goal from Milicevic. Overall, hosts held the ball more and were having more chances, but Braga showed that not everything is about possession, but efficiency. Their last league game was back on 6th November when the team suffered 1:0 defeat away to Maritimo and currently stands only at fifth position, simply having to improve and in case of a victory, they would reach the third position, being just a point away from second placed Sporting.
Braga is set to play in 4-4-2 formation with Eduardo and Fonte as forwards. Mauro and Xeka should return to the starting lineup here, Andre Pinto as well. Doubtful remains central defender Ricardo Ferreira, but without performing till now anyway. Defender Valezquez (2/0) shouldn't be playing, as well as central striker Pedro Santos (10/5) who was a top scorer till now.
Feirense, on the other side, got excluded in Portuguese Cup in the last match they played previous weekend, when the team hosted second league side Avademica and couldn't reach the victory in ninety minutes, remaining goalless in the extra-time as well and finally losing the clash via penalties. It was a bit unexpected defeat, but nobody anyway expected from them to do something more meaningful in the Cup competition.
Anyway, defeat to second league side must be worrying, especially since the team has no victory in previous three matches as well. Moreover, they are without a victory in Primeira League in last five matches, counting two draws and three defeats, scoring only two goals in the process. Thanks to their better start, the team is above the relegation zone, having eleven points earned so far, which is three less than relegating placed Moreirense and Nacional.
Players from Feirense will be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Karamanos as central striker, plus Aurelio, Silva and Etebo as offensive midfielders. Their manager has no worry in front of this match.
- Braga have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches against Feirense.
Even without their top scorer, I'm sure Braga can get the easy victory here and continue their winning streak in home matches which is now five matches in all competitions. Feirense maybe even over achieved in some matches at the start of the season, but now seems to be in not that good shape and shouldn't stay competitive here for way too long.