On Thursday, January 5, Santa Clara will play Braga, which is third in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, at the Estadio de Sao Miguel. After the international break, the hosts began their league campaign with a 1-0 loss at Gil Vicente. They have lost four of their last five competitive games, making it their first defeat in five league games. After 14 games, Santa Clara is 15th with 13 points.
In contrast, Braga began their league campaign with a crushing 3-0 victory over Benfica at home. Ricardo Horta scored twice before Abel Ruiz scored the first goal in the second minute. After 14 games, Braga is third in the standings, six points behind Benfica (37).
This season, Santa Clara has scored nine goals at home. It’s interesting to note that they haven’t kept a clean sheet at home in their last six games, so they might lose this one. In contrast, Braga has won six of their travel games this season and only lost one.
This season, they’ve scored 18 of their 32 league goals on the road. While Braga has only lost one of their last seven games, winning six, the hosts have lost four of their last five competitive games. Braga should prevail given that and their recent head-to-head record.
Prediction: Santa Clara 1-2 Braga
The two teams have met 17 times in competitions, all but three of those encounters taking place in the Portuguese top flight. While five games have ended in draws, Braga leads 9-3. Last season, they met twice in the Primeira Liga and played out draws, with the game at Santa Clara ending goalless. Santa Clara’s defense ranks fifth, allowing 15 goals in 14 games.
Last season, they met in the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal, which Braga won 6-0. In their last five competitive matches against Santa Clara, Braga has never lost. With 12 goals conceded in 14 games, Braga has the competition’s third-best defensive record. The hosts’ (11) offensive record ranks third in the competition. Braga has the third-best attacking record with a 32-game record.
|United States||Fox Soccer Plus, ViX|
|France||Molotov, Free, L’Equipe, L’Equipe Web|
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|India||JioTV, SONY TEN 3 HD, SONY TEN 3, Sony LIV|
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