Beating Real Madrid didn’t advance Sheriff to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. However, it did earn the Wasps their first appearance in springtime European competition.
This Thursday, the Moldovan champions play host to Braga in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Playoffs. It will also be the first time these two teams face one other. The visitors, reigning Portuguese Cup champions, control the soccer lines thanks to a -105 price.
Sheriff vs Braga 2022 UEFA Europa League Playoffs
Sheriff Out of Rhythm
Domestically, Sheriff seem to have no competition. The Wasps currently sit in first place, with a two-point advantage despite having played two less games. Plus, they’ve scored 55 goals while allowing only five.
Sounds pretty good, right? Well, it is pretty good. However, the Moldovan league can’t compare to the Primeira Liga, and Sheriff hasn’t played since December. We’re guessing that has given them time to prepare for this series, though the players might be a little rusty.
That’s the main reason for Sheriff coming in as the betting online underdog at +310. Also, some players left after the end of the UCL Group stage, beating Real Madrid lowered their price considerably. The list of ‘departeds’ includes Danilo Arboleda, Fernando Costanza, and Dimitris Kolovos, while Edmund Addo and Gustavo Dulanto are suspended.
On the bright side, we don’t think you’ll find a more motivated team than Sheriff. Plus, the Wasps have been much better when playing at home. Prior to losing to Inter Milan, try five straight games and unbeaten in seven.
Sheriff predicted lineup: Giorgos Athanasiadis; Charles Petro, Stefanos Evangelou, Stjepan Radeljic, Keston Julien; Alexander Belousov, Sebastien Thill, Adama Traore, Boban Nikolov, Basit Khalid; Jasurbek Yakhshiboev.
Braga Aiming High
After 22 games into the Primeira Liga season, the title is no longer an option for Braga. The team is sitting in fourth place, 19 points behind Porto. That doesn’t mean Braga isn’t a competitive side, Quite the contrary, but winning the UEL has become their main goal.
As was mentioned before, Braga is the reigning Portuguese Cup champion. Plus, they recently defeated Sporting Lisbon, 2-1, and that very good fight against Porto despite losing, 1-0.
Braga is here after finishing in second place in Group F. The Portuguese side finished with 3-1-2 record, scoring more goals than any other team with 12.
Despite losing their last five road games, Braga is deserving of controlling the odds. The team from northern Portugal has plenty of experience playing in the UEL knockout phase, as this is their seventh appearance.
Individually, Ricardo Horta is having a great season. He and his 16 goals in all competitions are the main reason for you to consider including them in your soccer picks. On the other hand, Diogo Leite is suspended, but the rest of the team is ready to go.
Braga predicted lineup: Matheus Lima; Vitor Tormena, Bruno Rodrigues, Guilherme Araujo; Fabiano de Souza, Ali Musrati, Andre Castro, Francisco Moura; Ricardo Horta, Wenderson Galeno, Vitor Carvalho.
Sheriff vs Braga Game Information
- Date, Time: Thursday, 12:45 p.m. ET
- Venue: Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena, Tiraspol, MLD
- Live Stream: fuboTV
Sheriff vs Braga Betting Lines
|Sheriff Tiraspol||+½ -125||+310||2½ +105o||½ -190o
|Braga||-½ -105||-105||2½ -135u||1½ +115o
Sheriff vs Braga Prediction
We’ve nothing but respect for Sheriff. We don’t think the Wasps are ready to take the next step, however. We’re talking about a different team from the one that beat Real Madrid. Plus, two of its best players are out.
That doesn’t mean the Wasps won’t offer a good fight, especially since Gustavo Dulanto used to play for Boavista (10 appearances) and defeated Braga twice. There’s no underestimating that.
The visitors have momentum and experience on their side. We also expect them to maintain their average of two goals per game. Don’t contradict the Las Vegas odds and go with Braga winning by one.
Score Prediction: Braga 2, Sheriff 1