Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Roma will be looking to defend their two-goal lead in the tie against Braga when the two sides take on each other at Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening. The Gialorossi proved their worth in the first leg, but they can’t afford any complacency in the second leg. Bosnia international Edin Dzeko, who return to the starting XI in the 2-0 win over Braga, is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts.
The likes of Ibanez, Cristante, Kumbulla, Santon, Smalling, and Zaniolo have all been struggling with injuries of late. Braga, on the other hand, face an uphill task in the Stadio Olimpico clash. Considering that Roma have turned their venue into a real fortress, we believe that home win should be considered. Sequera returns to contention from a domestic ban, while Carmo, Fonte, and Moura are out of contention through injuries.
Highlighted Player (Nikola Kalinic):
Nikola Kalinic is a product of Hajduk Split’s youth school. The 187-cm-tall striker scored 32 goals in 59 appearances for Hajduk at senior level and he played for the likes of Pula and Sibenik in Croatia as well. In 2009 he moved to Blackburn Rovers for fee of £6 million.
Nikola Kalinic made his Blackburn Rovers debut against Sunderland on 22 August, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the Riversiders against Peterborough United in the League Cup. After making 44 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers, the Croatian attacker joined Dnipro in 2011 and he played for the Ukrainian outfit until 2015.
Kalinic signed a four-year deal with Fiorentina on 15 August, 2015 and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign, scoring 12 goals in 36 games. The Fiorentina striker made two appearances for Croatia at the 2016 European Championship in France and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 2-1 win over Spain in the group stages of the competition.
Highlighted Team (Braga):
Braga are a Portuguese club that have always been in the shadow of Primeira Liga giants Porto, Benfica and Sporting. Os Minhotos were founded on 19 January, 1921 and they originally played in green and white kits. After the World War II they changed their kits to red and they have been wearing red shirts and white shorts ever since.
Braga play their home games at Estadio Municipal de Braga, the stadium that was opened in December, 2003. Os Minhotos have yet to win the Primeira Liga title, but they finished the 2009/2010 campaign in second position in the standings, just five points behind champions Benfica.
In 2011 Braga participated in the Europa League final, but fellow Portuguese outfit Porto proved to be a big catch for Os Minhotos. Anyhow, that is regarded as the club’s biggest success. Vitoria de Guimaraes are considered Braga’s bitter rivals and the two teams face each other in the Minho derby.