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Braga vs Rangers prediction: Braga 2-1 Rangers
The first leg was a famous European night at Ibrox that no one will ever forget.
However, it did not always look as though this was going to be the case.
Braga took the lead in Glasgow after just 11 minutes when Fransérgio’s rocket flew past Allan McGregor.
Then, just before the hour mark, Abel Ruiz weaved through the Gers’ defence to fire in a second.
2-0 Braga and the tie looked all over.
But, less than eight minutes later, Ianis Hagi gave the Scottish side hope with a low drive.
Then, shortly after, Joe Aribo restored parity with an amazing solo effort.
However, Ibrox had not yet reached fever-pitch because, with eight minutes to go, Hagi added his second with a deflected free-kick.
3-2 to Rangers it finished.
Can Steven Gerrard’s side make it count in this second leg in Northern Portugal?
This one is set up perfectly at Estádio Municipal de Braga.
Highlights of Rangers 3-2 Braga
Highlights of St Johnstone 2-2 Rangers
Highlights of Braga 3-1 Vitória de Setúbal
Braga vs Rangers: Who will win?
Braga must win this second leg to have any chance of going through and are odds on at 19/20 to do just that.
Rangers meanwhile are 3/1 to win, just as they did six days ago.
A draw, which would do just nicely for the Scottish side, is 12/5.
Over 2.5 goals is evens.
Both teams to score is 5/6.
Braga to win and over 2.5 goals is 2/1.
Paulinho will lead the line for the home side. He’s 10/3 to open the scoring and 11/8 to score anytime.
Fransérgio, who scored an amazing goal at Ibrox, will be a threat again. The captain is 12/1 to score first and 5/1 to add to his tally.
Ianis Hagi meanwhile could be the main man for Rangers again. The Romanian is 9/1 to break the deadlock and 7/2 to score yet again.
James Tavernier has scored 20 goals since the start of last season. The Gers’ skipper is 18/1 to score first and 7/1 to score anytime
Both Ricardo Horta and Paulinho to score is 7/1.
Both Francisco Trincão and Galeno to score is 11/1.
Both Hagi and Florian Kamberi to score is 20/1.
Both Joe Aribo and James Tavernier to score is 100/1.
Braga vs Rangers: Match preview
Can Braga overturn the one-goal deficit?
It’s been a very memorable European campaign for them so far, first overcoming Brøndby IF and Spartak Moscow in the qualifiers.
Then, they topped a very tough Group K unbeaten on 14 points, above Wolves, Beşiktaş and ŠK Slovan Bratislava.
They love a repeat of 2010/11 when they got all the way to the Europa League Final, losing 1-0 to Porto in Dublin.
They will be very dangerous opponents if they can turn this tie around.
Domestically, they’ve been in staggeringly good form since Rúben Amorim took charge.
He took over on 4 January and last Thursday at Ibrox was his very first defeat.
Just three weeks after his appointment, they won the Taça da Liga.
Ricardo Horta’s 95th-minute goal saw them beat Porto 1-0 to claim just the eighth major honour in the club’s history.
Also, in the Primeira Liga, they’ve amassed 22 points from a possible 24 since the change of manager.
That includes wins over Porto and Sporting CP as well as a first victory over Benfica at Estádio da Luz for 65 years.
On Sunday night, they hosted Vitória de Setúbal and won 3-1; Ricardo Horta, Bruno Wilson and Francisco Trincão the scorers.
Despite this remarkable upturn in form, they’re still only third, one point above Sporting, 13 behind Porto and 14 off league-leaders Benfica.
They make the long journey to Marítimo next Sunday but first will fight for their Europa League lives.
Will the home faithful be celebrating at Estádio Municipal de Braga?
Will Rangers get the required result in Portugal?
As for Rangers, last mid-weeks stunning comeback was a rare bright spot in what’s been a largely underwhelming 2020.
On Sunday afternoon, they travelled to McDiarmid Park but found themselves 1-0 down just eight minutes in.
However, two goals after half time from Florian Kamberi and then Joe Aribo saw them turn it around in Perth.
But, there was still a late twist with St Johnstone snatching a point in Perth late on.
2-2 it finished.
That means Steven Gerrard’s side have only won four of their eight Premiership games since the winter break and are now 12 points behind Celtic.
A first league title since 2011 looks highly unlikely now.
They still have a realistic chance of claiming silverware this campaign.
On Saturday, they’re at Tynecastle to take on Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Cup sixth round.
They have not won either of their visits to Gorgie this season so that’ll be a tough task for sure.
First though, can they keep their European campaign alive.
To get this far, the Gers have already beaten St Joseph’s, Progrès Niederkorn, Midtjylland and Legia Warsaw.
Then, they came through a very daunting group in second, behind Porto and above Young Boys and Feyenoord.
They last won a knockout phase tie in 2011, beating Portuguese opposition in Sporting CP on away goals.
Rangers last lost a knockout stage tie when winning the first leg in 1999 against Borussia Dortmund.
In October they drew 1-1 with Porto at Estádio do Dragão.
Will they be celebrating another result 33.8 miles down the road?
Braga team news vs Rangers
As for Rúben Amorim’s side, he did make eight changes at the weekend after the collapse in Glasgow.
It’ll be interesting to see who he goes for here.
The experienced Matheus will, as always, be in goal.
As always now, Os Arcebispos will line-up with a back three.
In defence, Bruno Viana is the only centre-back who started both of their last two games.
Bruno Wilson will continue alongside him with Raul Silva coming in; Wallace and David Carmo are the other options.
At wing-back, Nuno Sequeira will continue on the left with Ricardo Esgaio preferred to Diogo Viana on the other side.
In the middle, captain Fransérgio scored a spectacular goal in the first leg.
He’ll rejoin Francisco Trincão and João Palhinha in midfield.
In attack, Abel Ruiz scored on his debut last mid-week after joining on loan from Barcelona.
He will continue to partner Paulinho up front.
Ricardo Horta, João Novais and Galeno are the other attacking options.
Will this XI defeat Rangers this time?
Rangers team news vs Braga
Steven Gerrard has some big decisions to make.
Allan McGregor, as always, will be in goal; if he keeps his 23rd clean sheet of the season they are through.
In defence, James Tavernier will start at right-back and Connor Goldson will be alongside him.
However, the other two spots in the back four are up for grabs.
After a really poor showing in Perth, centre-back Nikola Katić could be dropped.
George Edmundson would come in for him with Filip Helander currently injured.
At left-back, Borna Barišić hobbled off in the first leg and Gerrard said he is 50-50 to play.
However, even if not 100% fit, the Croatian international is likely to start, displacing Andy Halliday.
In midfield, as always in Europe, Glenn Kamara will be an integral part.
Alongside him, Ryan Jack will return from suspension alongside the Fin.
Further forward, Scott Arfield has scored six goals in 2020 but is unlikely to start.
Ianis Hagi meanwhile announced himself as a Rangers player with two stunning second half goals.
Ryan Kent is likely to start on the other flank with Joe Aribo, who scored the other six days ago, also starting.
Through the middle, Alfredo Morelos, who’s scored 29 goals this season, is suspended.
He was booked for dissent in the first leg which is a stupid way to get booked
So Florian Kamberi, who scored his first goal for the club on Sunday, will come in with Jermain Defoe injured.
Will this XI finish the job?
Predicted Braga line-up vs Rangers
Predicted Rangers line-up vs Braga
Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-1 Braga
Highlights of Braga 3-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Highlights of Benfica 0-1 Braga
Highlights of Braga 1-0 Sporting CP
Highlights of Rangers 1-0 Feyenoord
Highlights of FC Porto 1-1 Rangers
Highlights of Rangers 2-0 FC Porto
Highlights of Feyenoord 2-2 Rangers
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
Primeira Liga table:
|5||Rio Ave FC||24||10||8||6||32||23||9||38|
|9||Gil Vicente FC||24||7||9||8||25||29||-4||30|
|10||CD Santa Clara||24||8||6||10||19||26||-7||30|
|15||CS Maritimo Madeira||24||5||9||10||22||32||-10||24|
|16||FC Pacos Ferreira||24||6||4||14||18||34||-16||22|
|18||CD das Aves||24||4||1||19||23||47||-24||13|
Scottish Premiership table:
|7||St Johnstone FC||29||8||12||9||28||46||-18||36|
|9||St Mirren FC||30||7||8||15||24||41||-17||29|
|10||Ross County FC||30||7||8||15||29||60||-31||29|
|11||Hamilton Academical FC||30||6||9||15||30||50||-20||27|
|12||Heart of Midlothian||30||4||11||15||31||52||-21||23|