In a clash between two teams from the upper half of the Primeira Liga standings, fifth-placed Vitoria welcome fierce rivals Braga to the Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques on Monday (February 27). Vitoria bounced back well from an eight-game winless run, winning three games, before their winning run got snapped in a goalless draw against Casa Pia last weekend.
Braga, meanwhile, have won their last three Primeira Liga games, including a 2-0 home win over Arouca last Sunday. They’re third in the standings and have a 15-point lead over the hosts. The visitors failed to build on their good domestic form in their UEFA Europa Conference League playoffs against Fiorentina, though, falling to a 7-2 aggregate defeat.
Vitoria have lost just twice at home in the Primeira Liga this season. They have seen an upturn in form, winning three of their last four games and keeping three clean sheets. However, they lost both their meetings with Braga this term.
Braga, meanwhile, have fared well on their travels, losing just twice in the league, including a 5-0 reverse to Sporting earlier this month. They diasappointed in the Europa Conference League knockut playoffs, though.
They have scored at least twice in four of their last five away league games. Considering their recent form against Vitoria, Braga should eke out a narrow win in a goalfest.
Prediction: Vitoria 2-3 Braga
This match will start from 2:45 am
This match will take place on 28 February 2023
Having missed the draw at Casa Pia through suspension, Vitoria centre-back Ibrahima Bamba should return to the team for his 19th league start of the season, replacing Mamadou Tounkara in defence.
The hosts are still without Tomas Handel and Ze Carlos, with the latter not expected back until April.
Moreno welcomed back Mikel Villanueva to training this week following the defender’s non-appearance last time out, signalling a return to the 3-4-3, having utilised a 4-2-3-1 in Bamba and the Venezuelan’s absence.
Ricardo Horta, Bruma and Abel Ruiz were left out of the Braga lineup on Thursday, but the trio are expected to return in the derby.
Vitor Tormena was absent in Europe through suspension, and the centre-back should be reinstated by Jorge, with his ban not applying to domestic competition.
Varela; Amaro, Bamba, Villanueva; Maga, Silva, Silva, Freitas; Silva, Safira, Silva
Matheus; Gomez, Oliveira, Tormena, Sequeira; Bruma, Racic, Al Musrati, Horta; Banza, Ruiz
We say: Vitoria de Guimaraes 0-1 Braga
Vitoria have conceded the joint-third fewest home goals in the Portuguese top flight — notably holding out to a goalless draw against Benfica and losing 1-0 to Porto — keeping six clean sheets in 11 fixtures at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques.
However, Braga are the division’s top scorers away from home, and that consistency in finding the back of the net on their travels should produce a slender victory in the derby.
Tip 1: Result – Braga
Tip 2: Goals – Over/Under 2.5 Goals – Over 2.5
Tip 3: At least a goal to be scored in the first half – Yes
Tip 4: Simon Banza to score any time – Yes
Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats, suggests the most likely outcome of this match is a Braga win with a probability of 39.68%. A win for Vitoria de Guimaraes has a probability of 34.08% and a draw has a probability of 26.2%.
The most likely scoreline for a Braga win is 0-1 with a probability of 10%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome are 1-2 (8.54%) and 0-2 (6.84%). The likeliest Vitoria de Guimaraes win is 1-0 (9.12%), while for a drawn scoreline it is 1-1 (12.47%).
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