MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 14:42:46| >> :600:422777:422777:
Feb 10, 2021 at 8.15pm UK at Estadio Municipal
Fransergio (90+12')
Sequeira (46'), Carmo (62'), Elmusrati (79'), Horta (90+10'), Esgaio (90+10')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Taremi (10')
Sarr (25'), Costa (90+7'), Evanilson (90+11')
Diaz (70'), Uribe (90+7')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Taca de Portugal clash between Braga and Porto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Braga host Porto in the Taca de Portugal semi-final first leg on Wednesday evening as the visitors aim to retain their crown for the second consecutive season.

The two teams faced off as recently as Monday when they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw thanks to a late comeback from Carlos Carvalhal's men.

Match preview

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

Braga have bounced back from their crushing defeat in the Taca da Liga final at the hands of league leaders Sporting Lisbon in impressive style.

Os Arcebispos have gone five games unbeaten since that 1-0 loss, winning four and drawing just once to move up to third place in the Primeira Liga standings.

That stalemate was with their upcoming opponents in their last outing when a Nicolas Gaitan strike deep into injury time rescued a point for Carvalhal's charges.

Braga won this trophy as recently as 2016 when they defeated Porto on penalties after playing out a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes of football.

Portugal's fourth force will be big underdogs going into this tie, but following their recent form, they will be confident and full of belief that they can upset the odds.

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Porto are the reigning champions in this competition after seeing off fierce rivals Benfica 2-1 in last season's showpiece event.

The Estadio do Dragao outfit won the domestic double in 2019-20 but are in danger of seeing their domestic domination come crashing down this time around.

Sergio Conceicao's side have been struggling for consistency in recent weeks. Three draws in their last five league outings has seen them fall five points behind Sporting, despite having played a game more than the table toppers.

After securing the Supertaca trophy earlier in the campaign, the Dragons will be desperate to get their hands on some silverware for the second time this season and will view this as a perfect opportunity to do so.

A positive result in midweek could be pivotal for Porto's prospects for the rest of the season and shape the future success of Conceicao's charges.

Braga Taca de Portugal form: WWWW
Braga form (all competitions): LWWWWD

Porto Taca de Portugal form: WWWW
Porto form (all competitions): LWWWDD

Team News

Porto's Antonio Martinez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in January 2021© Reuters

Carvalhal will be without long-term absentees Rui Fonte and Francisco Moura once again as the pair continue to recover from their respective cruciate ligament injuries.

They are joined on the treatment table by right-winger Iuri Medeiros, who sustained a knee injury at the end of January.

Porto will be unable to call upon the services of experienced centre-back Ivan Marcano, as the 33-year-old ruptured his cruciate ligament back in May and is still unable to return to first-team action.

Winger Joao Mario has returned a positive coronavirus test and is having to self-isolate while attacking midfielder Otavio has picked up a muscle injury, and full-back Nanu is ruled out with concussion.

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Tormena, Carmo, Silva; Esgaio, Elmusrati, Novais, Galeno; Horta, Fransergio; Ruiz

Porto possible starting lineup:
Costa; Sanusi, Pepe, Mbemba, Manafa; Uribe, Grujic, Oliveira; Diaz, Taremi, Corona

SM words green background

We say: Braga 1-1 Porto

This should be a tight game given what is at stake for both teams and the fact there is a second leg to come. We fancy a low-scoring draw after a contest with few chances for either side, leaving the tie open for the trip to the Estadio do Dragao on March 3.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Porto's Antonio Martinez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in January 2021
Read Next:
Thursday's Primeira Liga predictions including Belenenses vs. Porto

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