Sporting Braga VS Maritimo, hosts to win

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Match Time:1/8/2021 05:00 Friday  (GMT+8)

Portugal Primera Liga --  Sporting Braga   VS   Maritimo

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Braga head into Thursday's encounter with Maritimo looking to bounce back from their defeat to Primeira Liga leaders Sporting Lisbon at the weekend.

As for the visitors, a three-match unbeaten streak has moved them into seventh position, still 10 points adrift of their fourth-placed hosts.

 

Match preview

While Braga are generally regarded as the best of the rest outside of the top three, Carlos Carvalhal's side had the opportunity to move themselves into title contention when making the trip to Sporting.

The visitors held their own during the opening 45 minutes, but two second-half goals condemned Braga to a fourth defeat in 12 games.

Losing a third of their fixtures will prevent Os Arcebispos from making any bid for the Champions League places, and it leaves Carvalhal to contemplate tinkering with his squad during January.

With the next fixture against top-three opposition not coming until February 7, the Portuguese will be focused on avoiding any more slip-ups over the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, that may be easier said than done for Braga as they prepare for a meeting with opponents who have recorded seven points from three matches.

Maritimo have spent much of the campaign towards the bottom end of the table, but they now sit five points adrift of the top six.

Despite being held to a goalless draw by Boavista last time out, the victories over Belenenses and Rio Ave have given Milton Mendes every chance of landing the role as first-team manager on a permanent basis.

Defeat to Braga ahead of a cup match against Sporting has the potential to derail Maritimo's recent progress, but they will hold no fear ahead of their next two outings.

Since Mendes's promotion from the Under-23s, each of Maritimo's seven goals in all competitions has come after the 50th minute, an indication that the squad's fitness levels have improved in recent weeks.

 

Braga Primeira Liga form: WWLWWL

Braga form (all competitions): WWWWWL

Maritimo Primeira Liga form: LLLWWD

Maritimo form (all competitions): LLWWWD

 

Team News

Despite the disappointment of the Braga setback, Carvalhal may opt against making any alterations to his team.

Iuri Medeiros will be in contention for a recall if Carvalhal opts to add a creative player to his starting lineup.

Like his opposite number, Maritimo boss Mendes could be prepared to keep faith with the side which featured in their last match.

Having scored 11 times between them this season, Rodrigo Pinho and Joel are expected to keep their roles in attack.

 

Braga possible starting lineup:

Matheus; Rolando, Silva, Sequeira; Esgaio, Musrati, Novais, Galeno; R.Horta, Fransergio; Paulinho

Maritimo possible starting lineup:

Abedzadeh; Rene, Junior, Andrade; Winck, Bambock, Jean, Hermes; Guitane; Pinho, Joel

 

Braga 2-1 Maritimo

 

Sporting Braga VS Maritimo, hosts to win

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