MX23RW : Monday, May 10 03:42:20| >> :600:107874:107874:
Apr 11, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Estadio Municipal
BragaBraga
1-1
BelenensesBelenenses
Gaitan (36')
Silva (17'), Esgaio (42'), Sporar (53'), Elmusrati (68')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Cassierra (59')
Sousa (30'), Sithole (44'), Silva (83')

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

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

Braga will look to boost their chances of breaking into the top three of the Primeira Liga table on Sunday, when they welcome Belenenses to the Braga Municipal Stadium.

The hosts made an important return to winning ways against Farense last time out, while Belenenses suffered a disappointing defeat to strugglers Boavista.


Match preview

Braga head coach Carlos Carvalhal pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Braga travelled to strugglers Farense last time out, with the objective of returning to winning ways, and that task looked tough as the sides went into added time at 1-1, after Ali Musrati's opener for Braga was cancelled out by a Pedro Henrique goal.

However, Os Arcebispos managed to find a winner in the dying minutes through Andraz Sporar to break a two-game winless run and seal a huge three points.

Before that, Carlos Carvalhal's men suffered a disappointing defeat in the battle to finish in the top three, as Rafa Silva and Haris Seferovic fired Benfica to a 2-0 win at the Braga Municipal Stadium to see the visitors leapfrog the Archbishops.

Os Arcebispos now sit in fourth spot, although they remain just one point behind Benfica and four points behind second-placed Porto.

As a result, Carvalhal will feel that everything is still to play for, and his side still stand a realistic chance of securing Champions League qualification for next season.

To do that, they will need to build a strong winning run, with the chance to make it back-to-back victories on Sunday.

However, they take on a Belenenses side who are also battling hard for every point, as they fight to avoid relegation to the second tier.

Belenenses head coach Petit pictured in July 2020© Reuters

The visitors suffered a disappointing defeat last Sunday, when they hosted Boavista in a crucial game at the bottom of the Primeira Liga.

Goals from Angel Gomes and Alberth Elis put the visitors two goals ahead, and Petit's side failed to take advantage of the red card shown to Gomes on the hour mark, falling to a 2-0 defeat.

That meant O Belem have now netted just one goal in their last four league outings, while their 14 goals from 25 games this season in fewer than any other side in the top flight.

As a result, Petit's men have dropped worryingly close to the relegation places, with just a four-point gap between themselves and Farense in the relegation playoff place, while they sit just five points ahead of the bottom two.

They will be desperate for a win which would see them extend that gap and move into a more comfortable position in the table, similar to where they sat in the first half of the season, although they could not face many tougher tasks than a trip to Braga in their hunt for a win.

Braga Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Braga form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L



Team News

Braga's Francisco Moura celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in November 2020© Reuters

Braga will remain without David Carmo, Francisco Moura and Iuri Medeiros, with all three continuing lengthy spells on the sidelines through injury.

Meanwhile, Rui Fonte, Nuno Sequeira and Andre Castro could all remain out of contention with fitness worries.

However, Os Arcebispos will be boosted by the return of centre-midfielder Fransergio, who served a suspension last time out for a red card shown in the defeat to Benfica.

Andraz Sporar will push for a return to the starting team for this game, after he netted the late winner last time out.

However, he faces tough competition from the likes of Abel Ruiz, Lucas Piazon and Ricardo Horta, who has registered eight goals and three assists in Primeira Liga action this season.

Belenenses will be hugely boosted by the return of goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk, who served a suspension last time out for a red card shown against Rio Ave.

However, they will be without midfielder Afonso Taira, who will serve a one-game suspension after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

Miguel Cardoso is expected to lead the line once again, despite netting just four goals in 22 league appearances this season.

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Tormena, Silva, Borja; Esgaio, Elmusrati, Fransergio, Galeno; Piazon, Sporar, Horta

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Kritsyuk; Silva, Henrique, Ribeiro; Esgaio, Sithole, Teixeira, Lima; Varela, Cardoso, Sousa


SM words green background

We say: Braga 2-0 Belenenses

The hosts should simply have too much for Belenenses on Sunday, even considering the visitors' strong defensive record this season.

The weak attacking line of Petit's side will mean that Braga will dominate the ball in the Belenenses half for the majority of the game, and we expect them to find a way to break down the resilient back line of O Belem and pick up three crucial points.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Braga vs Belenenses

Braga
88.9%
Draw
11.1%
Belenenses
0.0%
9
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Benfica coach Jorge Jesus in the Europa League on February 18, 2021
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Sunday's Primeira Liga predictions including Braga vs. Benfica
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sporting Lisbon31247056154179
2Porto31218262283471
3Benfica31207459223767
4Braga32186851321960
5Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira32148103737050
6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes31126133539-442
7MoreirenseMoreirense31813103140-937
8Santa ClaraSanta Clara31107143736137
9BelenensesBelenenses31813102228-637
10TondelaTondela31106153350-1736
11Gil Vicente32106163040-1036
12PortimonensePortimonense3197153338-534
13FamalicaoFamalicao31810133544-934
14Maritimo32104182642-1634
15Rio AveRio Ave31613122335-1231
16BoavistaBoavista31612133647-1130
17SC FarenseFarense31610152939-1028
18Nacional3167182851-2325

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