Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Top position in Group F will be at stake when Braga and Crvena zvezda face each other at Estadio Municipal de Braga on Thursday evening. The Primeira Liga side have been impressive at home ground this season, and it is no wonder the bookies see them as favourites to pick up all three points from the decider. A man to watch in the home team will be Ricardo Horta, who scored a brace in a 2-0 win over Estoril at the weekend, while all Al Musrati, Carmo, Galeno, Sequeira, and Tormena should miss out with injuries.
The Serbian champions, on the other hand, are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in Thursday’s showdown, but preventing Braga from scoring in Portugal is easier said than done. Both Marko Gobeljic and Milan Degenek are back from suspension for the visiting side.
Highlighted Player (Ricardo Horta):
Ricardo Horta is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Sporting Braga in Primeira Liga. Born in Sobreda, Portugal, on September 15, 1994, Ricardo Horta spent his youth career at Ginasio Corroios, Benfica, and Vitoria Setubal.
The 173-cm-tall winger continued playing for Setubal at the senior level, but he moved to Malaga in the summer of 2014, signing a five-year deal with the La Liga outfit. Ricardo Horta scored only one goal in 48 appearances for los Boquerones in the Spanish top flight before signing a loan deal with Braga. In July 2017, he signed a permanent contract with the Minhotos.
Ricardo Horta made his Primeira Liga debut against Rio Ave back in April 2013, during his spell with Vitoria Setubal. His primary position is left winger, but he is capable of producing good performances as a right winger as well. He made his Portugal debut in a 1-0 loss to Albania in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Highlighted Team (Crvena Zvezda):
Crvena Zvezda are the most famous club in Balkans. The Crveno-beli have 19 Yugoslav First League titles and have won eight domestic trophies since the breakup of Yugoslavia. Crvena Zvezda won their last league title in the 2015/2016 season, with the team finishing the campaign no less than 28 points clear of Partizan.
Speaking of Partizan, the Crno-beli are considered Crvena Zvezda’s bitterest rivals and the two teams meet in the “Eternal derby” (Veciti derbi). The capital club did well to win the European Cup title in 1991, with the team beating Olympique Marseile on penalties in the title game. That is considered the club’s biggest success, but it has to be noted that the Serbian club won the International Cup later in 1991. Crvena Zvezda outclassed Colo Colo of Chile (3-0) at National Stadium in Tokyo.
The likes of Dejan Savicevic, Vladimir Jugovic, Dragan Stojkovic, Dragoslav Sekularac, Rajko Mitic, Dusan Savic, Nemanja Vidic and Dejan Stankovic are some of the famous footballers who played for Crvena Zvezda in the past.