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Feb 28, 2022 at 8.15pm UK
Santa ClaraSanta Clara

Castro (29'), Silva (37'), Tormena (75')

Morita (34'), Mansur (41'), Carvalho (53')
Mansur (78'), Morita (89')

Preview: Braga vs. Santa Clara - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Fresh off the back of progressing to the round of 16 of the Europa League, Braga return to the Primeira Liga where they play host to Santa Clara at the Estadio Braga Municipal on Monday.

The visitors, meanwhile, will be looking to end their three-game winless run and get one over the hosts having failed to win any of the last four meetings between the sides since 2020.

Match preview

Having lost 2-0 in the reverse leg back in Moldova, Braga turned in a performance of the highest quality when they faced Sheriff Tiraspol in last Thursday's second leg as they claimed a 2-0 win before winning 3-2 on penalties to secure their place in the round of 16 of the Europa League.

The game was off to a flyer as Iuri Medeiros opened the scoring in the 17th minute before Ricardo Horta netted on the stroke of half time to level matters on aggregate and force penalties where they claimed a 3-2 win with Francisco Moura scoring the all-important spot kick.

Braga now turn their attention to the Primeira Liga where they will be seeking to pick up a third win on the spin after seeing off Tondela 1-0 at the Estadio Joao Cardoso in their most recent outing.

Carlos Carvalhal's men head into Monday's game on a run of four wins from their last five league outings, with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Vitoria de Guimaraes on February 5 being the only exception.

With 44 points from 23 games, Os Arcebispo are currently fourth in the Primeira Liga standings, four points above Gil Vicente in the final Conference League qualification spot.

Santa Clara, on the other hand, failed to find their feet last time out when they bottled the lead with 10 minutes left to play and settled for a 1-1 draw with Portimonense at the Estadio de Sao Miguel.

After going ahead in the 43rd minute through Lincoln's strike, Moroccan full-back Fahd Moufi came up trumps for the visitors as he netted in the 80th minute to force a share of the spoils.

Mario Silva's side have now failed to win any of their last three league outings, picking up two draws and losing one since claiming consecutive victories over Moreirense and Boavista.

While Santa Clara will be looking to find their feet, they have struggled to get going on the road this season, picking up just one win and six points from 16 games.

Os Acoreanos also face the stern test of squaring off against an opposing side who they have struggled against, claiming two wins from their last nine meetings between the sides and failing to win any of their most recent four.

Santa Clara have won six, drawn seven and lost 10 of their 23 league games to collect 25 points and sit in 12th place in the table, five points above Tondela in the relegation playoff spot.

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

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

Santa Clara Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D

Santa Clara form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D

Team News

Carvalhal will be unable to call upon the services of Portuguese midfielder Andre Horta who will serve his suspension having received his marching orders in the game against Tondela last week.

On the injury front, Os Arcebispo will take to the pitch without 31-year-old defender Nuno Sequeira, who has been out of action since last November through injury.

Lucas Mineiro is also out of contention for Braga after the Brazilian midfielder picked up a muscle injury in January's game versus Maritimo.

Former Sporting Lisbon defender Paulo Oliveira, who has featured in 21 of Braga's 23 league games, missed the game against Sheriff Tiraspol through injury and the 30-year-old is a doubt for Monday's game.

Meanwhile, Santa Clara remain without the services of Costinha, who sustained a severe Achilles tendon Injury in August's game against Moreirense.

He is joined on the Os Acoreanos injury table by Pierre Sagna, who is set to miss his fifth consecutive game after coming off injured versus Sporting Lisbon back in January.

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Tormena, P Oliveira, Leite; Silva, Castro, Moura, Al Musrati; V Oliveira, R Horta, Ruiz

Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Pereira; Mansur, Tassano, Villanueva, Boateng; Carvalho, Morita; Crysan, Lincoln, Ricardinho; Costa

We say: Braga 2-0 Santa Clara

Braga put on an impressive show of class as they overturned their two-goal deficit and progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League. Next up is an inconsistent Santa Clara side who have managed just one win from their last five games in all competitions and we predict they will build on their midweek performance and come away with all three points.

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Primeira Liga Table
2Sporting Lisbon25194249163361
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10Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira246992027-727
13Santa ClaraSanta Clara2468102742-1526
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