20:00 GMT 09 August 2017
Only four teams have played their first games in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this season and the other 14 sides are yet to play their first game of the 2017/18 season. As Braga make the trip to the Portuguese champions, Benfica, the two teams who qualified for European football last term get off the mark in the league. The hosts won the title by six points last season while the visitors came 5th and secured a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
The recent fixtures between Braga and Benfica have been quite even as both sides are considered two of the biggest sides in Portugal. In the last 10 meetings between the two, both teams have won four with two draws making up the ten. The game has been decided by one goal in three of those games and in only one game have both teams scored.
A win for Benfica would start their season off nicely and a big win would be even nicer. However, their main talisman is a doubt for the clash as he picked up a muscular injury during pre-season. They will struggle to fill the void made by the Greek striker and if he is injured, it will be a huge disadvantage to the champions.
Latest matches: Benfica Lisbon
|05.08.2017||Supe||Benfica Lisbon||Vitoria Guimaraes||3:1||W|
|30.07.2017||Emir||RB Leipzig||Benfica Lisbon||2:0||L|
|29.07.2017||Emir||Arsenal FC||Benfica Lisbon||5:2||L|
|22.07.2017||Club||Benfica Lisbon||Hull City||0:1||L|
|20.07.2017||Club||Benfica Lisbon||Betis Sevilla||2:1||W|
An away win against the title favourites would be fantastic for Braga and would make their tough start feel a lot easier. But they have four players out through injury: Mauro, Marafona, Tiago Pereira and Dyego Sousa and these holes could be hard to patch especially in the number one position. These injuries mean they have a severely reduced chance of victory.
Latest matches: Sporting Braga
|14.07.2017||Club||CS Maritimo Madeira||Sporting Braga||1:2||W|
|08.07.2017||Club||Sporting Braga||CD das Aves||3:0||W|
|08.07.2017||Club||FC Penafiel||Sporting Braga||1:2||W|
There is no doubt that, with the home crowd behind them and with the visitors’ number of crucial injuries, Benfica are big favourites to pick up the three points in the best of the match week one fixtures in Portugal. They will also be hopeful of a clean sheet and that is a real possibility with their strong defence. Braga will struggle and could be comfortably beaten.
09 August 2017 - 20:00 GMT
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