Braga take on Sporting at the Municipal in a game that will grab the headlines for the 17th round of Portuguese fixtures.
Braga vs. Sporting Lisbon
Braga overcame Academica 2-0 away in their last league outing, while in the League Cup they were never threatened in the 4-1 victory over Leiria. They remain unbeaten on home soil where they have only conceded one goal. On Wednesday they have a quarterfinal Cup tie away to Rio Ave. Excluded from today’s squad is defender Andre Leone (6 appearances) and midfielder Andres Madrid (7 appearances), while newly acquired attacking midfielder Luis Aguiar and forward Paulo Cesar (16 appearances and 3 goals) are available for selection.
Sporting Lisbon have put together 7 consecutive victories in all competitions and look to be in very good form. They scored a 1-0 victory away to Trofense to move into the semifinal stage of the League Cup. On Tuesday they have a Cup game against Porto at the Dragao. Apart from forward Simon Vukcevic (13 appearances 1 goal) who is unavailable, they welcome back midfielder Marat Izmailov (5 appearances) as well as forward Sinama Pongolle, who will likely partner Liedson.
Selection: The visitors are in good form and confidence is at a high, but Braga have been very strong at the Municipal this season. I think the chances on the hosts winning are not 41-42% but closer to 50%, so any odds close to 2.50 are a good value bet. Home win.