Preview: Braga vs. Nacional

Preview: Braga vs. Nacional

Braga hold a seemingly unassailable 5-0 lead in the Taca de Portugal semi-final against Nacional going into Tuesday’s second leg at the Municipal Stadium of Braga.

Artur Jorge’s men are favourites to make June’s final, with the second-tier club facing a daunting task in Minho.

Braga were backed to halt Nacional’s cup fairytale in the semis, but not even a 5-0 hammering was foreseen before that April 12 encounter.

However, the Archbishops were clinical in Madeira, converting their clear-cut chances to blow the Liga Portugal 2 SABSEG side to smithereens.

Simon Banza was on fire a fortnight back, scoring twice and setting up as many, and the forward will back himself to make a similar impact on Tuesday.

Jorge’s other decisive players in Madeira — Pizzi and Uros Racic — were involved in four goals and could punish Nacional further in the return leg.

Braga have claimed seven wins from eight in all competitions since their Europa Conference League exit in February, keeping six clean sheets in the unbeaten run.

Regardless of the admirable cup run this season, Nacional’s league form has left much to be desired.

Filipe Candido’s men are only six points clear of the bottom two spots and only two shy of the relegation playoff position, putting them in danger of relegation to the third tier.

Since beating top-flight club Casa Pia in the previous round, wins have been hard to secure for the Alvinegros, who have picked up just two victories in all competitions.

They have failed to score in six successive games in all competitions, although a five-game losing run was halted after Friday’s goalless encounter with fifth-placed Feirense.

With such a heavy defeat on their turf in the reverse fixture, it will take a miracle to pose a challenge in Braga.

Braga Taca de Portugal form:

Braga form (all competitions):

Nacional Taca de Portugal form:

Nacional form (all competitions):

We say: Braga 2-0 Nacional
Despite already holding a five-goal advantage, the in-form Braga are likely to score even more, even though they may not be as clinical as they were in the reverse fixture.

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