Our match prediction:
Sporting Braga will be looking to build on back-to-back wins over Estoril and Boavista when they take on Gent at Estadio Municipal de Braga in their Europa League opener. Braga were beaten by Porto in the final of the competition five years ago and, no doubt, they are capable of recording a good result in the 2016/2017 Europa League campaign. Gent recorded a thrilling 3-0 win over Lokeren in their last league match and it is more than obvious that coach Vanhaezebrouck is doing a great job with the Belgium outfit. However, seeing that Gent are not regarded as good travellers, we believe that the Portuguese team are going to emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match. You should bear in mind that Braga scored 2+ goals in five of their last seven home matches in the Europa League. Taking everything into account, home win appears on the cards.
Highligted Player (Ahmed Hassan):
After spending four seasons at Braga, Ahmed Hassan “Koka” joined Braga in 2015, signing a five-year deal with the Portuguese outfit. The Egyptian striker, who was born in Cairo on 5 March, 1993 made 23 league appearances for Braga in the 2015/2016 season, scoring 10 goals in the Primeira Liga. Ahmed Hassan won Taca de Portugal with Os Minhotos in 2016 and he started the title game against Porto. Braga defeated the Portuguese giants on penalties in the cup final. Speaking of his international career, “Koka” won the African U20 Championship with Egypt and he made his full international debut with the first team on 14 August, 2013 in a 3-0 win over Uganda. Ahmed Hassan found the net on his debut for the Egyptian national team. He has a contract with Braga which expires on 30 June, 2020. His highest market value was £4.25 million on February 24, 2016. Ahmed Hassan began his youth career at Al Ahly.
Highlighted Team (AA Gent):
Gent are a Belgian football club that plays their home games at Ghelamco Arena. The venue has been the club’s home ground since 2013 and the capacity of the stadium is 20 000. De Buffalo’s participate in the Belgian Pro League and they clinched their first domestic trophy in the 2014/2015 season. Gent finished the regular part of the season in second place in the standings, but they eventually climbed to the top position in the table in the play-off. The club won their third Belgian Cup trophy in 2010 and it has to be noted that they defeated Club Brugge in the Belgian Super Cup in 2015. Laurent Depoitre scored the winner for Gent three minutes before the final whistle. A number of top-class players were part of the team in the past and the likes of Victor Fernandez, Johan Boskamp, Bob Peeters, Trond Sollied and Michel Preud’homme are some of notable footballers who played for Gent in the past.