Our prediction for this Europa League match:
There will be fireworks when Wolverhampton and Braga face each other at Molineux Stadium in the Group K derby on Thursday evening. The Wolves faced no difficulties in the qualifying matches against Crusaders, Pyunik and Torino, but the game against the Portuguese outfit will be anything but a walk in the park for the Premier League side. Wolverhampton produce much better performances at home than on the travels and seeing that coach Nuno Espirito Santo is likely to field the best possible side against Braga, we are positive that the hosts are going to pick up one point from the match.
Over the years the Primeira Liga side have gained a lot of experience in the Europa League, which is the main reason why we predict that they are going to hold the Wolves to a draw at Molineux Stadium in their Europa League opener.
Highlighted Player (John Ruddy):
John Ruddy is a goalkeeper who was born in St Ives, England on 24 October, 1986. He played for a number of English clubs in the past and he started his senior career at Cambridge United. After making 39 appearances for Cambridge, he signed a deal with Everton for a fee of £250,000.
However, he failed to establish himself as the team’s first-choice shoot-stopper and as a result, he spent a bit part of his career on loan at Walsall, Rushden and Diamonds, Chester City, Stockport County, Wrexham, Bristol City, Crewe Alexandra and Motherwell. In 2010 he made a right decision when he signed for Norwich city for an undisclosed fee as he was immediately given the number 1 shirt. Two years later he received his first England call-up as Roy Hodgson decided to bring him to Euro 2012 finals.
However, Ruddy was forced to withdraw from the squad through injury. John Ruddy is married to Laura and his nickname is “The Iceman”. He was named Norwich City Players’ Player of the Year for the 2011/2012 season.
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.