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Jan 16, 2021 at 3.30pm UK at Mata Real
Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira

Preview: Pacos de Ferreira vs. Sporting Braga - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Pacos de Ferreira and Braga, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

It is fourth against fifth at the Estadio Capital do Movel as Pacos de Ferreira and Braga square off in a highly anticipated clash on Saturday.

With the teams currently separated by five points in the Primeira Liga table, the importance of a victory for either side cannot be overstated.

Match preview

Pacos de Ferreira head coach Pepa pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Since losing two of their first three league games of the season, Pacos de Ferreira have lost only one of the subsequent 10, which was a 2-1 defeat to Benfica last December.

That fantastic run of results has propelled them up to fifth, with qualification for European football looking very achievable for Pepa's men at the moment.

Os Castores have turned their home ground into a fortress, picking up 13 points - which is bettered by only the current top four teams - from a possible 18.

Last Sunday's 2-0 win at Belenenses made it back-to-back victories since the turn of the year for the home side, who are going in search of a third league triumph on the bounce.

Braga's Ricardo Horta celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Wolverhampton Wanderers on September 19, 2019© Reuters

Fresh from Wednesday's 5-0 annihilation of Torreense in the last eight of this year's Taca de Portugal, Braga will be going into Saturday's game on a real high.

Carlos Carvalhal's men have won eight of their last 10 games in all competitions, which has led them to fourth place on the log and into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Os Arsenalistas are four points behind Benfica in the race for the last Champions League spot, and they know that any further slip up could prove fatal to their hopes of returning to Europe's premier club competition for the first time in eight years.

Braga have won on their last three trips to Pacos de Ferreira, but both sides are closely matched now more than ever before.

With seven goal involvements in his last five games, Paulinho will be expected to play a key role in determining the outcome of this one.

Pacos de Ferreira Primeira Liga form: WLDDWW
Pacos de Ferreira form (all competitions): LLDDWW

Braga Primeira Liga form: WLWWLW
Braga form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Team News

Carlos Carvalhal, now in charge of Sporting Braga, pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Jorge Silva is yet to feature for the home since damaging his ACL last July, and his absence is expected to continue for another month at least.

Dor Jan is also doubtful due to a sprained ankle, meaning that we could see Joao Pedro up front for this one.

Braga will have to cope without Rui Fonte and Francisco Moura, who both remain sidelined and will not feature here.

Paulinho's availability is still uncertain, but he should be fit enough to play a part even if he does not start the game.

Pacos de Ferreira possible starting lineup:
Jordi; Uilton, Baixinho, Maracas, Fonseca; Costa, Eustaquio, Carlos; Singh, Tanque, Ferreira

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Silva, Carmo, Viana; Sequeira, Musrati, Castro, Esgaio; Horta, Paulinho, Medeiros

SM words green background

We say: Pacos de Ferreira 1-2 Braga

Both teams are in good form at the moment, but Braga edge their opponents in terms of overall quality, which should translate into a victory, albeit a narrow one.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


Who will win Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Pacos de Ferreira and Braga?

Pacos de Ferreira
Pacos de Ferreira
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7Santa ClaraSanta Clara134361216-415
9Rio AveRio Ave13355915-614
12Gil Vicente133461015-513
13SC FarenseFarense133371519-412

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