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Primeira Liga | Gameweek 23
Feb 26, 2024 at 8.15pm UK
Estadio do Bessa Seculo XXI

0 - 4

Perez (20')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Banza (42', 62'), Ruiz (44'), Zalazar (72')
Moutinho (18'), Fernandes (36'), Saatci (40')

Preview: Boavista vs. Braga - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Primeira Liga clash between Boavista and Braga, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Monday night's Primeira Liga action will come from Estadio do Bessa Seculo XXI, where Boavista will be playing host to Sporting Braga.

The hosts are currently sat in mid-table with 24 points after 22 matches, while the visitors are still in contention for European qualification with 43 points over the same period.

Match preview

Boavista's Sebastian Perez, Salvador Agra and Rodrigo Abascal on January 19, 2024© Reuters

Boavista made a promising start to the 2023-24 Primeira Liga campaign and were well inside the top half of the standings after the first five games when they were still unbeaten with four wins and a draw.

However, a 4-1 defeat to their opponents here in the reverse fixture back in September marked the start of a 10-match winless run to the end of last year (W0 D3 L7), leading to now-former manager Petit leaving the club in mid-December.

Ricardo Paiva was brought in to steady the ship just before the New Year, but the 43-year-old has experienced a turbulent start to his tenure, winning just two of his first eight matches in charge while drawing two and losing four.

The most recent defeat for the Panthers came last weekend when they were beaten by relegation candidates Chaves, who claimed the points despite playing with 10 men for a large part of the game following Carraca's sending-off before the hour mark.

Undoubtedly, pressure will be mounting on the new boss to deliver results, but all indicators suggest that may be difficult here as his side have only managed to win one of their last eight home league games and two in their last 10.

Braga's Abel Ruiz celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 23, 2024© Reuters

In addition, that 4-1 defeat at Estadio Municipal de Braga earlier this season marked Braga's seventh consecutive match without defeat against this opponent, including four wins and three draws.

However, the Arsenalists will be heading into this encounter following a heartbreaking midweek Europa League match which they won 3-2 in extra time, but that was not enough to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg and resulted in them being knocked out of the competition 6-5 on aggregate by Qarabag.

Nevertheless, with European commitments now out the window, Artur Jorge will be able to focus all of his side's attention on their remaining league fixtures, with qualification for next year's continental competitions still hanging in the balance.

Braga's last league match ended in a 2-1 win over newly promoted Farense, which took them two points clear of fifth-placed Vitoria de Guimaraes, who dropped points away to Portimonense a day earlier.

Three points feel like a must for the visitors here as it will not only keep them in the top four but will also go a long way to helping them build momentum heading into a favourable run of fixtures with two of the bottom four sides to come in the next couple of weeks.

Boavista Primeira Liga form:

Braga Primeira Liga form:

Team News

Braga coach Artur Jorge reacts on February 22, 2024© Reuters

Boavista remain without the services of their first-choice goalkeeper Cesar, who is likely out for the season with an ACL injury, which should see Joao Goncalves continue between the sticks for the foreseeable future.

Midfielder Pedro Malheiro will be forced to sit this match out due to suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, and he will be joined on the sidelines by Augusto Dabo and Filipe Ferreira, who are recovering from injuries.

For the visitors, attacking midfielder Ricardo Horta picked up a knock in the side's big defeat away to Sporting Lisbon earlier in the month and has been ruled out until the middle of March.

Adrian Marin has not featured at all this season due to a knee injury and is still some way from a full return, while Serdar Saatci is walking a tightrope, currently on four yellow cards, one away from a one-match ban.

Boavista possible starting lineup:
Goncalves; Agra, Abascal, Sasso, Ferriera; Makouta; Tavares, Reisinho, Perez, Lourenco; Bozenik

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Mendes, Fonte, Niakate, Borja; Pizzi, Moutinho; Fernandes, Zalazar, Ruiz; Banza

SM words green background

We say: Boavista 1-1 Braga

Boavista have already taken points off the likes of Porto and Vitoria Guimaraes at home this season and have held this opponent to consecutive draws at this venue in their last two encounters.

This will not be an easy trip for Braga following an energy-sapping 120 minutes against Qarabag in midweek, and we feel they may have to settle for a share of the spoils in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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SC Farense's Falcao celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on December 8, 2023
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Sporting Lisbon28242283275674
5Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes28175644281656
9Casa Pia2887132739-1231
10SC FarenseFarense2886143740-330
12Estoril PraiaEstoril2885154349-629
13Rio AveRio Ave2851492935-629
14Gil Vicente2977153648-1228
15Estrela Amadora2869132943-1427

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