SC Braga vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 22 October 2008
Pompey are in Braga for what promises to be a stern test of their UEFA Cup credentials tomorrow.

Having seen off local rivals Vitoria Guimaraes, Harry Redknapp expects a tougher match at the Estadio AXA despite the hosts only picking up five points from their first five league games.

I watched Braga play against Guimaraes not so long ago and I think our friends at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques were lucky not to get beaten. In Wason Renteria and Albert Ze Meyong they have two potent forwards as well as Austrian striker Roland Linz.

Luis Aguiar is also considered to be a key man for a team that have wiped the floor with their UEFA Cup opponents so far this year having put 5 past Sivasspor, 3 past Zrinjski Mostar and 6 past Artmedia Petrzalka. I think it is safe to say that our defence are really going to have to be on top form if we're going to win.

Sol Campbell has been a major influence in our back four recently and so long as he plays, I feel we have a good chance of getting something from the game.

Our problems are in midfield once again as Richard Hughes is still out whilst Lassana Diarra is not going to be risked with the Fulham game coming up on Sunday. I think Harry will select the same side that played against Villa for this one, with Belhadj coming in for Traore to give us a bit more cover down the left.

This should be a good game so it's a shame that those Pompey fans who are staying at home are going to have to scour the 'net to find a stream of the game as it isn't on TV.

It's worth noting that Braga haven't beaten an English side in five attempts so that might work in our favour. Defeat would really set us back so I'm hoping that Sol can inspire us to another clean sheet and then maybe Crouch or Defoe can nick one at the other end.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Braga

GK: EDUARDO

RB: Joao PEREIRA
CB: Paulo JORGE
CB: Alberto RODRIGUEZ
CB: MOISES
LB: EVALDO

CM: Luis AGUIAR
CM: VANDINHO
CM: Cesar PEIXOTO

CF: Wason RENTERIA
CF: Albert ZE MAYONG

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Noe PAMAROT

RM: Glen LITTLE
CM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
CM: Sean DAVIS
LM: Nadir BELHADJ

CF: Jermain DEFOE
CF: Peter CROUCH

My Prediction

This will be tough and I think we'll do very well to stop a rampant Braga side scoring. We have enough to cause them problems though, so long as our players do not shrink in stature back on Portuguese soil.

SC Braga 1 Pompey 1

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 16th December 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Bury

Last game - Match Centre


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