The Europa Conference League returns this week, and there is a standout tie between Fiorentina and Braga to look ahead to. Both sides will be keen to reach the next round of the competition, and the first leg looks set to be crucial for Braga.
Europa Conference League Preview
Fiorentina may be slightly disappointed that they were forced to play in a playoff round, as they were among the front-runners to reach the next round of the competition when the draw was made. However, they finished second overall in the Group A standings after losing in the second round of matches to Istanbul Basaksehir. The Italian giants still won four of the six games that they played, and were the joint highest scorers in the group.
However, they will need to be more defensively solid in the competition throughout the knockout rounds, as they allowed six goals in six games before the break. The Italian side also comes into this game after losing each of their previous two in Serie A, while they have won just once in their last four in all competitions.
Braga will drop into the Europa Conference League at this stage after finishing third in their Europa League group before Christmas. The Portuguese side finished third, behind Union Berlin and Union Saint-Gailoise. They won three of the six games that they played, but defeats against the top two were ultimately costly to their chances of progression.
Braga still managed to score nine goals in the group stage of the Europa League, but like Fiorentina, they will need to be more solid defensively, as the Portuguese side allowed seven goals in six group stage games before Christmas.
Braga vs Fiorentina Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between the sides in European competition. It will be a quickfire rematch between the sides too, with the return game in Italy taking place next week.
Braga vs Fiorentina Prediction
Both of these sides have struggled defensively throughout their fixtures in Europe this season, and that should make for an entertaining game for the neutrals when they clash on Thursday. However, we fully expect the Italian giants to have too much for Braga, and we could see Fiorentina claiming a 1-0 win.
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