MX23RW : Friday, June 18 11:58:12| >> :600:2343791:2343791:
May 23, 2021 at 8.30pm UK at Estadio Municipal
Piazon (45+3'), Horta (85')
Esgaio (35'), Elmusrati (67'), Novais (82')
Piazon (90+4')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Silva (85'), Tavares (88'), Otamendi (89'), Grimaldo (90+4')
Leite (17'), Taarabt (90+3')

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

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

Braga and Benfica prepare to go head-to-head in this season's Taca de Portugal final at the Estadio Cidade de Coimbra on Sunday.

Benfica will be looking to go one better this time following their defeat to Porto in last season's final, while Braga are appearing in the final for the first time in five years.

Match preview

Braga head coach Carlos Carvalhal pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Braga were held to a goalless draw by Portimonense at the Estadio Municipal de Portimao on Wednesday in their final Primeira Liga game of the season.

Carlos Carvalhal's men dominated possession, unsurprisingly, but they failed to convert that dominance into anything significant.

Os Arcebispos ended the just-concluded campaign in fourth place, four points better off last season's tally, albeit one spot lower.

Having already suffered defeat in the final of the Taca de Liga to Sporting Lisbon in January, Braga will be keen to avoid lightning from striking twice.

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Benfica claimed a 3-1 victory against Vitoria de Guimaraes on Wednesday to round up their Primeira Liga season with three wins on the bounce.

Haris Seferovic's second-half double put Jorge Jesus's men in the box seat for all three points, before Everton came off the bench the score the clincher in added time after Jorge Fernandes had pulled one back for his side.

As Aguias head into Sunday's clash on a run of six wins in their last seven games, with a 1-1 draw against Porto the only exception.

If previous meetings are anything to go by, then Benfica have the upper hand as they have lost just three of the last 18 fixtures between the sides, winning 14 of them and drawing one.

However, two of those three defeats have come this season, including a 2-1 loss which knocked them out in the semi-final of the Taca de Liga.

Braga Taca de Portugal form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

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

Benfica Taca de Portugal form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Sporting's Matheus celebrates scoring their second goal against Braga on January 2, 2021© Reuters

Jorge Jesus will be expected to name his strongest starting XI for this one after fielding a relatively weak team last time out.

The likes of Alejandro Grimaldo, Jan Vertonghen, Everton and Pizzi had to make do with substitute appearances, but they are all in line to feature right from the off this time around.

Haris Seferovic was one of the few regulars who started the last game, and he heads into Sunday's game in fine form with four goals in his last two matches.

Braga are set to be without the services of Iuri Medeiros and David Carmo through knee and ankle injuries respectively.

Francisco Moura is also a major doubt for the clash as he is yet to make his comeback from a long-term muscle problem.

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Sequeira, Rodrigues, Tormena, Esgaio; Galeno, Fransergio, Al Musrati, Piazon; Sporar, Horta

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Vertonghen, Otamendi, Verissimo; Grimaldo, Weigl, Taarabt, Goncalves; Pizzi, Seferovic, Everton

SM words green background

We say: Braga 1-2 Benfica

Both sides have an opportunity to end the season with a piece of silverware, so that should make for an enthralling affair. Benfica have the slight edge due to their familiarity with occasions of Sunday's nature, and we are tipping them to carry the day.

Top tip

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Sporting Lisbon's Pedro Goncalves celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates in January 2021
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Wednesday's Primeira Liga predictions including Sporting Lisbon vs. Maritimo
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