Braga will be eager to overturn the 3-2 defeat to Rangers which they endured in the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 as they welcome them to Estadio Municipal de Braga. Under the managerial leadership of Steven Gerrard, Rangers have a slender lead to hang onto and it will be interesting to see the approach which they’ll implement away from home. As for Braga, the two away goals from Fransegio and Abel Ruiz could be vital heading into the second league.
Date- Friday, February 26
Kick-Off- 10:30 PM (IST)
Venue- Estadio Municipal de Braga
Wallace was forced off due to injury alongside Eduardo and Tormena on the sidelines. Conversely, Nuno Sequeira have returned to training and will be contending to start at left-back once again. Ricardo Rsgaio, Joao Palhinha and Raul Silva weren’t a part of the game against Vitoria de Setubal on Monday due to suspension but should be back to start for the hosts over here.
Ryan Jack should be back in the midfield position after missing the first leg. Florian Camberi came off the bench and had an instant impact with a goal and an assist in the 2-2 draw with St. Johnston and is likely to come in place of Alfredo Morelos up top who’s out due to suspension. Jermain Defoe, Filip Helander, Glenn Middleton and Borna Barisic are ruled out due to injuries.
BRG (Expected Playing 11)- Matheus; Silva, Viana, Wilson; Sequeira, Palhinha, Novais, Esgaio; Horta, Paulinho, Trincao
RNG (Expected Playing 11)- McGregor; Tavernier, Golson, Katic, Halliday; Jack, Davis, Arfield; Hagi, Kamberi, Aribo
Paulinho has been lethal while leading the line of attack for Braga. The 27-year-old has nine goals, three assists and a pass accuracy of 72.2% from 1270 minutes in the domestic league. Paulinho has also bagged four goals in the Europa League this season.
Ianis Hagi has been one of the standouts for Rangers. The attacking midfielder has two goals from just one Europa League appearances this season.
Ricardo Horta has six goals and four assists in the Portuguese league this season and has also bagged two goals from 492 minutes in the Europa League.
As mentioned earlier, Florian Camberi came off the bench to score one and assist one in the 2-2 draw against St. Johnston and can be a threat from Rangers’ end.
With Rangers missing out on a few first-team players, Braga will be the favourites heading into the second leg.
Goalkeeper- A McGregor
Defenders- J Tavernier, B Viana, R Silva, B Wilson
Midfielders- J Novais, R Horta (VC), F Trincao
Forwards- I Hagi, F Kamberi, J P Das (C)