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Dec 5, 2021 at 8.30pm UK
EstorilEstoril Praia
Horta (34', 39')
Oliveira (13'), Silva (15'), Mineiro (20'), Gorby (81'), Silva (90+6')
Mineiro (65')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Fonte (49'), Soria (57'), Baro (71')

Preview: Braga vs. Estoril Praia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Braga vs. Estoril Praia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Primeira Liga clash between Braga and Estoril Praia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Braga and Estoril Praia square off on Sunday evening with just one point separating the two clubs in the Primeira Liga standings.

While the top three have already surged clear above them, these two sides are eager to remain as the best of the rest in the race for the European places.

Match preview

Braga enter every domestic campaign with ambitions of matching the biggest clubs in the division, but their inconsistency has already left them scrapping for fourth position.

To their credit, they have only suffered one defeat in 10 league fixtures, but that solitary setback came by a 6-1 scoreline at Benfica, further strengthening the feeling that they should no longer be regarded as realistic title contenders.

Carlos Carvalhal's team bounced back from that capitulation with a 4-1 victory over Vizela, Ricardo Horta taking his domestic tally for the season to seven goals courtesy of a double.

A period of four draws in five games cost Braga earlier in the campaign, and it has heaped the pressure on delivering three points in fixtures such as this one.

On the plus side, Braga have put together a 10-game unbeaten streak at Estadio Municipal de Braga since losing to Sporting Lisbon in the middle of August.

Many observers of Portugal's top flight have been waiting for Estoril to finally wilt after their astonishing start to their first campaign in the division.

However, Bruno Pinheiro's side continue to impress, Canarinhos twice having to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Santa Clara last time out.

Although Pinheiro would have been hoping for more against the league's bottom club, their latest show of character extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eight fixtures.

Estoril have only lost twice all season, each time by 1-0 scorelines, and you have to go back to August 1 for the last occasion that they suffered an away defeat.

Braga Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Braga form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Estoril Praia Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Estoril Praia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D

Team News

Having scored as a substitute last time out, Abel Ruiz is expected to be restored to the Braga XI.

Francisco Moura impressed on his first start of the season at left wing-back, but Galeno should come back into the team.

Andre Franco made an impression as a substitute for Estoril against Santa Clara and could earn an opportunity on Sunday.

Chiquinho, who is without a start in two months, is also in contention for a return in the final third.

Defender Lucas Africo is sidelined for the rest for the season with the injury that he sustained at the beginning of November.

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Oliveira, Leite, Silva; Couto, A. Horta, Castro, Galeno; Medeiros, Ruiz, R. Horta

Estoril Praia possible starting lineup:
Figueira; Soria, Ferraresi, Willian, Joaozinho; Rosier, Gamboa, Franco; Chiquinho, Ruiz, Gomes

We say: Braga 1-1 Estoril Praia

Neither team have been strangers to recording a draw this season, and we cannot back against that outcome for this fixture. While Estoril would be the happier of the two sides, Braga would not say not to avoiding defeat against the surprise package.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Primeira Liga Table
2Sporting Lisbon21172241132853
5Gil Vicente219753224834
6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes218673226630
7Estoril PraiaEstoril216962524127
10Santa ClaraSanta Clara216692539-1424
12Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira214981524-921
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Ligue 1 Table
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG23175151193256
7Montpellier HSCMontpellier2310493833534
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne2346132244-2218
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