Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After suffering back-to-back losses to the likes of Slovan Bratislava and Wolverhampton, Besiktas will be aiming to record their first win in the 2019/2020 Europa League season when they host Sporting Braga at their Vodafone Park. The black and whites have no other choice but to go all guns blazing at los Bragantinos, but this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts.
One of the men to keep an eye on in the home side will be Serbia international Adem Ljajic, who provided two assists for Aleksandar Mitrovic in a 2-1 win over Lithuania in the EURO 2020 qualifiers. Sporting Braga kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton, but they dropped two points in a 2-2 draw with Slovan Bratislava. The Portuguese club often struggle on the travels and given the importance of Thursday’s clash for Besikstas, we believe that home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Enzo Roco):
Enzo Roco is one of the young and exciting defenders coming out of Chile in the recent times. The 23-year-old started in the youth teams at Universidad Catolica and moved up the ranks. He was promoted to their first team in 2011 and in three years with them played more than 90 matches.
He established himself in the first team and was an omnipresent figure at the back for the team that won Primera Division and Copa Chile titles. Roco moved to the Spanish club Elche on loan in 2014 and by the next year he was at their fellow Spanish club RCD Espanyol.
Roco’s international appearance started with the under-17 squad in 2009 while his senior international debut was in 2012. He was named in the 30-man list by Jorge Sampaoli for the 2014 FIFA World Cup but was cut from the final list.
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.