Often Partisan

SC Braga Preview

Tonight sees the start of Blues’ Europa League group campaign with the visit of the arsenalistas of Braga to St Andrews.

SC Braga

Braga have named a 20 man squad prior to the match at St Andrews; and yes, it looks like Quim will be in goal. I suspect he’s in for an evening of piss-taking that he might not quite understand – you’ve probably already made your own jokes up about Wood penetrating. New signings Douglão and Carlão are both named in the squad, along with former Newcastle man Hugo Viana, former Arsenal man Fran Merida and former Portuguese great Nuno Gomes.

Birmingham City

Chris Hughton has already indicated that he may well make changes from the side that beat Millwall 3-0 at the weekend, with youngster Nathan Redmond and new-boy Guirane N’Daw both in contention for a starting spot. Zigic isn’t quite match ready yet, and Morgaro Gomis is a doubt after picking up a groin injury on Sunday. Fahey and Mutch are all still out injured.

As I posted on Monday, I fully expect Blues to go to a 4-2-3-1 formation to combat the midfield skill of the Portuguese side, and use three attacking midfielders to get forward and supplement the lone front-man. Blues are actually slight favourites for this game, which I think is a reflection of the fact that Braga haven’t travelled well in Europe in the past. This is not the same squad that got to last year’s Europa League final in Dublin either; like Blues they’ve gone through some fairly major player turnover.

I really, really want to believe we can win this, but I honestly cannot see it. I think that it’ll be one of those games where Blues battle bravely to repel a more skillful side, and as such I’m going with a 1-1 draw. In saying that, I’m thoroughly looking forwards to this game – we might be in the Championship but you can’t knock a European tour.

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2 Responses to “SC Braga Preview”

  • Daniel says:

    I am fully with you. I think a draw wouldn’t be the worst result as I think Braga is the hardest opponent in this group. Maybe we snatch a lucky win though :) Whatever happens, I am going to enjoy this. Blues in Europe is just a great thing.

  • gary says:

    I am going with a 4-1-4-1 set up. Possibly see Ndaw or Spector with the achor role and Woods up top on his own. Its good that we will have something on the bench to change things if need be.
    Bring it on, I cant wait.

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