SC Braga: An Insight

By Martin Douglas
 February 17, 2020

Rangers welcome SC Braga to Ibrox on Thursday night for the first-leg of the Europe League last 32 knockout round. A lot of supporters, myself Included, felt this was one of the easier teams to come up against when the draw was made. However since the turn of the year Braga have yet to lose; winning 8 of the 9 matches under new manager Rúben Amorim.

Thursday will be a welcome distraction for Rangers after recent results and below par performances in the league. Fanconfidence is also at its lowest since Gerrard took over at Ibrox.

Here are some things you should know about the Portuguese side before Thursday’s match at Ibrox.

In the Group stages of the Europa League Braga were drawn in a group with Wolves, Slovian Bratislava and Besiktas. They finished top of the group winning four and drawing two, highlights include a 1-0 away win at Wolves and a 3-1 away win at Besiktas.

Braga are currently sitting 3rd in the Portuguese league mainly because of their poor start to the season but since the turn of the year they have been flying, winning the Allianz Cup beating Sporting in the semi-final and then Porto in the final. They have won 4 of their last 5 games including a stunning 2-1 win away against Porto, a 1-0 win at home against Sporting and to top it all off a 1-0 away win in the league against Benfica on Saturday.

Braga play a 3-4-3 attacking formation and have great players all over the pitch, here are some of their key players you should look out for:

Nuno Sequeria
The 29 year old left back has played 33 times this season and has the clubs most assists (9).

Galeno
The 22 year old Brazilian left winger has played 29 times and has 8 assist and 5 goals.

Paulinho
Braga’s key man, the 27 year old has scored 17 goals thisseason and provided 5 assists.

For anybody who thinks this will be an easy tie or Rangers will control the game and have lots of possession, then they are seriously underestimating Braga. They are coming to Glasgow full of confidence and will be on the front foot looking to attack with clever intricate passing and fast counter attacks.

One thing is for sure if we are as slow on the build-up or make the same silly defensive errors that we have seen over the last few weeks then it will be a long night and possibly the tie will be over before we reach Portugal.

On the other hand if we are defensively solid, press the ball well and counter with fluidity and accuracy then we will create chances and have the opportunity to score goals, with all that said any one who is going to game will no doubt see a cracker of a European match.

Written By Martin Douglas [@D89Martin]

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