Braga host Shakhtar Donetsk at Estadio Municipal on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League quarter finals hoping for a home to give them advantage prior to the return leg in Ukraine.
Braga knocked Fenerbahce out of the previous round on a 4-2 goal aggregate, thanks to their big 4-1 home win. And they will be hoping to replicate a similar kind of performance against a strong side on Thursday evening.
Shakhtar beat Anderlecht home and away in the knockout round of 16 and they are confident of doing the same in this stage of the competition.
- Braga are in a bad shape compared to Shakhtar, they have won only 2 of their last 5 matches.
- You can’t deny Braga their good home form as they are unbeaten in 11 of their last 12 home games in all competition, they have won 8, lost 1 and drew 3.
- Shakhtar have won 5 of their last 6 matches which include an 8-1 mowing of Metalist Kharhiv.
- Shakhtar are equally good away from home as they have won 8 and lost 4 of their last 12 away games in all competitions.
- Shakhtar are on a 3 game winning streak in the Europa League.
Braga vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Head-To-Head
The teams’ only previous meeting was during 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage; Shakhtar winning both ties 3-0 away and 2-0 at home.
Braga’s overall record against Ukrain based clubs is poor as they have lost 2 and draws 2 in 4 outings.
Shakthar’s record against Portuguese sides reads 4 wins, 4 draws, 6 losses and their away record reads 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses.
Braga: Predicted Line up (4-4-2)
Matheus – Andre Pinto, Baiano, Marcelo Goiano, Ricardo Ferreira – Luiz Carlos, Mauro, Pedro Santos, Rafa – Ahmed Hassan, Wilson Eduardo.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Predicted Line Up (4-3-3)
Andriy Pyatov – Darijo Srna, Facundo Ferreyra,Ismaily, Ivan Ordets – Maksim Malyshev, Marlos, Sergey Krivstov – Taison, Stephanenko, Kovalenko
Braga vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Prediction
Shakhtar are the favourites in this fixture, even though they are playing away fro home. the statistics favoured them and having won their last 3 games in Europa league I think they will stretch their winning streak to 4.
Picking an outright winner for this match involves high risk, a double chance is more sensible, but it doesn’t offer good value for money. I will definitely take a look at the line-ups before the start of the match and go for over 2.5 goals.