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Preview: Basaksehir – Braga

It’s all up to last season’s Turkish Super Lig runners up İstanbul Başakşehir to find a win here if they are to progress from the Europa League (EL) group stage.

 

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Beating second placed Ludogorets in the last round was vital for them to even have a chance of progressing, now they face an already qualified Braga. Başakşehir will go through if they win and Ludogorets fail to win at Hoffenheim thanks to superior head-to-head results.

The hosts have seen an upturn in form over the past two months with six wins and three draws from nine games, holding Champions League (CL) surprise package Besiktas to a valuable away point in the Turkish Süper Lig as well as thrashing second placed Galatasaray 5-1 at home to reclaim top spot domestically.

Usually a strong outfit at home, Başakşehir will start this game as favourites after only losing twice at home in all competitions since the start of last season. Braga may already be qualified but are yet to secure top spot as they need Ludogorets to not win or win themselves, meaning other results will impact the standings of Group C.

The visitors are also in good form, going unbeaten in their last eight league games and only losing two of their last 16 games in all competitions. Playing away, they do tend to drop points twice as often as at home, though.

Placed fourth in Liga NOS – just behind the three big teams Sporting, Porto and Benfica – Braga face fifth placed Marítimo late on Monday night which might cause manager Abel Ferreira to rotate some of his squad.

In 24 games in all competitions, Braga have only kept five clean sheets this season but have on the other hand only failed to score on five occasions. In fact, they have scored at least two goals in 16 of these 24 games, averaging almost two goals a game. It’s a bit strange then that no Braga player has individually scored more than 4+ goals!

 

Missing players

Basaksehir: A.Chedjou (back injury), E. Elia (doubtful), E. Korkmaz (doubtful)

Braga: W. Eduardo (thigh injury), R. Ferreira (suspension), G. Marcelinho (suspension), Mauro (knee injury), M. Bakic (doubtful), J.P. Dias Fernandes (doubtful), Fransergio (doubtful), Marafona (doubtful), R. Silva (doubtful).