Fale, Miguel Maria Mariano
Monaco have never won any of their four trips to Portugal, also losing the 2004 Champions League Final against Porto. Braga though have lost their two previous knockout ties against French opposition, going out to PSG in 2009 and Marseille nine years later.
Will this be another memorable year for AS Monaco in Europe?
Les Monégasques got all the way to the Champions League Final in 2004, before making a run to the semi-finals in 13 years later.
However, the latter was followed by back-to-back Champions League group phase appearances, in which they failed to win a single game and finished bottom both times.
This season began in Champions League qualifying with a win over Sparta Praha, before crashing out to Shakhtar Donetsk in the play-off round.
Ruben Aguilar’s fluke own goal in extra time at Metalist Stadium seeing his side drop into the Europa League.
Once there though, Monaco impressed, topping a group that also featured Real Sociedad, PSV Eindhoven and Sturm Graz.
So, the side from the Principality return to continental competition here, hoping for another memorable run.
Those aforementioned qualifiers and group games were overseen by Niko Kovač but the Croatian was sacked as Head Coach on New Years’ Eve.
Philippe Clement took over shortly after and he enjoyed his biggest win as Monaco boss, so far, on Sunday night.
Gelson Martins getting the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Olympique de Marseille at Stade Vélodrome.
Nevertheless, they’ve won just three of eight Ligue 1 games under Clement so sit eighth, three points below the guaranteed European places.
Thus, Braga will fancy their chances of a victory in this tie.
Os Arcebispos announced themselves on the European stage 11 years ago by reaching the Europa League Final, going down 1-0 to local-rivals Porto in Dublin.
This is their sixth appearance in the knockout phase since then, with their best run coming in 2016, reaching the quarter-finals.
To get here, Carlos Carvalhal’s side finished second in Group F, below Crvena zvezda but above Ludogorets Razgrad and Midtjylland.
Braga then faced FC Sheriff Tiraspol and, despite losing 2-0 in Transnistria, fought back by winning the second leg by the same scoreline.
In a nervy penalty shootout, the Moldovan champions missed their first three spot-kicks as Braga snuck through.
Domestically, the Archbishops have never been crowned champions of Portugal and that isn’t going to change this season.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Boavista leaves them fourth in the Primeira Liga, 11 points behind Benfica in third, and 21 adrift leaders Porto.
Given their respective league positions, perhaps both clubs will put all their eggs in the Europa League basket.
Will there be a winner at the picturesque setting of Estádio Municipal de Braga?
Braga team news
Three Braga players, Al-Musrat, André Castro, Francisco Moura, would miss next Thursday’s second leg if booked here.
Here, they’re without left-back Nuno Sequeira and midfielder Lucas Mineiro due to long-term injuries.
What they do have is plenty of attacking talent, particularly Ricardo Horta who’s scored 18 goals already this season, including four in the Europa League.
Monaco team news
The away side are without young midfielder Youssouf Fofana after he was sent off against Real Sociedad on matchday five.
Attacking midfielder Aleksandr Golovin and striker Kevin Volland would be ruled out of the return meeting at home if booked in this one.
Elsewhere, centre-back Jean Marcelin and winger Krépin Diatta are long-term injury absentees.
What Monaco do have is one of the most highly-rated midfielders around: 22 year old Aurélien Tchouaméni.
A slightly more experienced player, Cesc Fàbregas, isn’t likely to feature in this tie having made just five appearances all season.
Right-back Djibril Sidibé is the only player still at the club who was part of Monaco’s Champions League semi-final run five years ago.
In attack, Volland will partner top-scorer Wissam Ben Yedder; they’ve got 11 and 22 goals to their name respectively this season.
FC Famalicao vs SC Braga - 3:2
SC Braga vs FC Arouca - 1:0
Belenenses Lisbon vs SC Braga - 0:1
SC Braga vs FC Porto - 1:0
Estoril Praia vs SC Braga - 0:0
|Latest match form, last 5 games:||
AS Monaco vs FC St. Gallen 1879 - 1:1
AS Monaco vs Cercle Brugge - 1:0
RC Lens vs AS Monaco - 2:2
AS Monaco vs Stade Brest 29 - 4:2
Lille OSC vs AS Monaco - 1:2
|May 15, 2022||Primeira Liga 21/22||FC Famalicao||3 - 2||SC Braga|
|May 8, 2022||Primeira Liga 21/22||SC Braga||1 - 0||FC Arouca|
|April 30, 2022||Primeira Liga 21/22||Belenenses Lisbon||0 - 1||SC Braga|
|April 25, 2022||Primeira Liga 21/22||SC Braga||1 - 0||FC Porto|
|April 18, 2022||Primeira Liga 21/22||Estoril Praia||0 - 0||SC Braga|
|June 29, 2022||Club Friendly Games 2022||AS Monaco||1 - 1||FC St. Gallen 1879|
|June 25, 2022||Club Friendly Games 2022||AS Monaco||1 - 0||Cercle Brugge|
|May 21, 2022||Ligue 1 21/22||RC Lens||2 - 2||AS Monaco|
|May 14, 2022||Ligue 1 21/22||AS Monaco||4 - 2||Stade Brest 29|
|May 6, 2022||Ligue 1 21/22||Lille OSC||1 - 2||AS Monaco|
|SC Braga||AS Monaco|
|59||Shots on goal||35|
|73||Shots off goal||27|
|45%||Average ball possession||53%|
|4||Shots on post||0|
|3||Shots on bar||0|
|20||Goals by foot||5|
|2||Goals by head||3|
|SC Braga||AS Monaco|
|1||Average Goals Scored||0.33|
|March 17, 2022||UEFA Europa League 21/22||AS Monaco||1 - 1||SC Braga|
|March 10, 2022||UEFA Europa League 21/22||SC Braga||2 - 0||AS Monaco|
|July 24, 2019||Club Friendly Games 2019||SC Braga||0 - 0||AS Monaco|
Primeira Liga table:
|5||Gil Vicente Barcelos||34||13||12||9||47||42||5||51|
|7||Santa Clara Azores||34||9||13||12||38||54||-16||40|
|11||FC Pacos Ferreira||34||9||11||14||29||44||-15||38|
Ligue 1 table:
|5||Clermont Foot 63||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|16||Stade Brest 29||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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What time is kick off between SC Braga vs AS Monaco?
20:00, Thursday 10 March 2022