Wolves vs Braga betting tips: UEFA Europa League match preview & predictions

Wolves vs Braga prediction: Wolves 2-1 Braga

A first ever UEFA group stage appearance for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wolves were so impressive in the qualifiers but the mood is not great ahead of this one.

Nuno Espírito Santo’s side are in terrible form in the Premier League and suffered a big defeat at the weekend.

Nevertheless, they’ll fancy their chances of winning this one so will it be a memorable night under the lights at Molineux?

Highlights of Torino 2-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Torino

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Braga: Who will win?

Wolves are big odds-on favourites to win this matchday one encounter at 4/6.

Braga have only ever won one of their 11 visits to Britain and are rank outsiders at 4/1 to change that.

A draw, which would probably be a good result for the visitors, is 13/5.

Over 2.5 goals is evens.

Both teams to score is 10/11.

Wolves to win and both teams to score is 11/4.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: Raúl Jiménez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates a goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux on January 29, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Raúl Jiménez scored six goals in the Europa League qualifiers, only two players netted more. The Mexican is 16/5 to score first and 23/20 to add to his tally.

His strike partner Diogo Jota has netted three times this season. He is 7/2 to score first and 7/5 to score anytime.

Paulinho will lead the line for the visitors. He is 7/1 to net first and 13/5 to score anytime.

Both Jota and Jiménez to score is 4/1.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Braga: Match preview

Diogo Jota

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea FC at Molineux on December 5, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Jekyll and Hyde nature of Wolves’ European and domestic form must be of concern.

In the first two rounds of Europa League qualifying, they eased through beating Crusaders 6-1 on aggregate before demolishing Pyunik away and then at home by the same 4-0 scoreline.

Then, in the play-off round, they won 3-2 in Italy before finishing the job at home to beat Torino 5-3 over the two legs.

However, possibly as a result of these European commitments, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side have really struggled in the Premier League.

They kicked off with three draws, 0-0 at Leicester before back-to-back 1-1 home draws with Manchester United and Burnley.

Then, before the international break, they suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 3-2 at Goodison to Everton.

On Saturday, they put in by far their most concerning display of the season so far.

Chelsea were 4-0 up at Molineux after 55 minutes before eventually going on to win 5-2.

That means Wolves are second bottom of the table and are one of just two sides yet to win in the league.

However, attention turns back to Europe for now.

Turkish side Beşiktaş and ŠK Slovan Bratislava of Slovakia are the other two teams in Group K.

Wolves and Beşiktaş are the favourites to make the knockout stages but Braga are the most likely of the other two to challenge them.

Thus, this makes this a big game so can Wolves lay down a marker with a win?

Can Braga inflict more misery on Molineux?

Europa League live streaming

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – MARCH 15: The logo of the UEFA Europa League is seen prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund at the Red Bull Arena on March 15, 2018 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

As for Braga, they too impressed in the Europa League qualifiers.

They entered in the third qualifying round where they eased past Brøndby 7-3 over two legs.

In the play-off round, they were drawn against Russian heavyweights Spartak Moscow and actually went into that one as underdogs.

However, a 1-0 win at Estádio Municipal before an impressive 2-1 away victory at Otkritie Arena saw them book their place in the group stages.

This is Os Arcebispos’ tenth appearance in a group stage and they actually got all the way to the Europa League Final in 2011 where they lost to FC Porto in Dublin.

In their last group phase two years ago, they did really well to top a group containing Ludogorets, Hoffenheim and İstanbul Başakşehir.

Although, they crashed out in the round of 32 to Olympique de Marseille.

This season, just like their hosts, they have really struggled domestically.

Last time out on Friday night, they lost 1-0 to Vitória de Setúbal, the side who finished 13th last year.

That means Braga have just four points after five games so are just one place above the relegation zone.

They are one of the two outsiders to progress to the knockout stages but, a win here, could change all that.

Can Ricardo Sá Pinto’s side stun Molineux?

Wolverhampton Wanderers team news vs Braga

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 21: Adama Traoré of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on December 21, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

Nuno Espírito Santo made the fewest changes to his starting XI in the Premier League last season.

However, he’s already made ten, which is as many as he made in the first 16 games of last season, due to the Europa League.

Unsurprisingly, he’s expected to tinker a little bit from the side that was demolished by Chelsea on Saturday.

Portugal’s number one Rui Patrício will play in goal against a side he has played against 24 times in his career before.

Ahead of him, Romain Saïss got a surprise start at centre-back on Saturday but will drop out.

Jesús Vallejo will also drop out with Ryan Bennett and former Braga man Willy Boly joining Conor Coady in defence.

Coady has now played the full 90 minutes in Wolves’ last 75 matches and there’s no sign of that run ending.

It’ll be the usual midfield featuring Rúben Neves and former Europa League winner João Moutinho.

That Europa League victory came when Moutinho’s Porto beat Braga in the final.

Both wing-backs could change.

Adama Traoré and Jonny could be rotated out for Matt Doherty and Rúben Vinagre.

Up front, despite Patrick Cutrone’s first goal in old gold on Saturday, it’s likely to be the usual front two.

Diogo Jota will partner Raúl Jiménez.

Both will be looking to maintain their record of having scored against every different opponents Wolves have played in Europe this season.

Nuno Espírito Santo is unbeaten in his last eight games against Braga in all competitions since losing his first ever meeting with them back in September 2012.

He’ll not only be hoping to extend that record to nine but doing so by making it five wins.

Will Wolves get a much needed lift?

Braga team news vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Braga live streaming

BRAGA, PORTUGAL – MARCH 10: A general view of the Estadio Municipal de Braga on March 10, 2011 in Braga, Portugal. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

As for Braga, Ricardo Sá Pinto certainly can not boast as much talent as his opposite number.

However, he’ll very much fancy his chances of leaving England with a result.

Matheus will be in goal looking to add to his solitary clean sheet in eight appearances this season.

Experienced defender Wallace, who’s on loan from Lazio, went off injured on Friday night but should be fit enough to play in this one.

Vítor Tormena is not fit though; he’s still out with a muscle problem.

Ricardo Esgaio will get the nod over Diogo Viana at right-back.

João Palhinha will anchor the midfield allowing club captain Fransérgio to try and create.

On the right, Murilo is expected to come into the side at Galeno’s expense.

Former LAFC man André Horta will also be on the bench once more.

Wilson Eduardo is injured and that is a blow.

Paulinho will lead the line ahead of former Fulham striker Rui Fonte.

Can this side get a result to set them up nicely for the remained of this group stage campaign?

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Braga

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Braga

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Braga.

Predicted Braga line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Braga line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Braga line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-5 Chelsea

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Man United

Highlights of Pyunik 0-4 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 Pyunik

Highlights of Braga 1-0 Spartak Moscow

Highlights of Spartak Moscow 1-2 Braga

Highlights of Vitória de Setúbal 1-0 Braga

The latest tweets from Wolves pre Braga

The latest tweets from Braga pre Wolves

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Premier League table:

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Primeira Liga table:

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