Braga - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils hoping to seal qualification for knockout stages
Sir Alex Ferguson's men will be looking to make it five consecutive matches unbeaten in Portugal but the hosts have won their last four home games against English teams
By Alfie Meekings
Baiano, Coelho, Echiejile, Douglao
Custodio, Mossoro, Viana, Alan
Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Buttner
Cleverley, Carrick, Fletcher, Rooney
Chicharito, Van Persie
Braga enter Wednesday's encounter with a clean bill of health. Eder, the club's top scorer this season with six goals, is likely to be partnered up front by Barbosa.
Meanwhile, Alan, who scored two goals the last time these sides met at Old Trafford, is set to keep his place on the left flank.
Manchester United are without Shinji Kagawa (knee), Nemanja Vidic (knee), Danny Welbeck (knee) and Phil Jones (knee).
However, Chris Smalling (metatarsal) narrowly missed out on the Red Devils' Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday so could be in line for an appearance on the substitutes' bench.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Braga have won their last four encounters against English opposition on home turf.
- The hosts are currently third in their domestic league and have only lost just one match all season.
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last four matches in Portugal.
- The visitors have played a total of 238 matches in the Champions League and lost just 45.
- The away side have only failed to score once in their last 20 European matches. Manchester United are 3/1 with Bet365 to be the only team to score in this game.
- Robin van Persie (pictured right) has netted five times in his last six games in the competition.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sporting Braga 1-3 Man Utd.
- 25.41 %
Sporting Braga 1-2 Man Utd.
- 14.32 %
Sporting Braga 0-3 Man Utd.
- 12.05 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 7, 2012||Sporting Braga 1 - Man Utd. 3|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 23, 2012||Man Utd. 3 - Sporting Braga 2|
|Apr 16, 2014||Rio Ave 2 - Sporting Braga 0||TDeP|
|Apr 13, 2014||Sporting Braga 1 - Porto 3||POR1|
|Apr 5, 2014||SC Olhanense 0 - Sporting Braga 2||POR1|
|Mar 30, 2014||Sporting Braga 0 - Benfica 1||POR1|
|Mar 26, 2014||Sporting Braga 0 - Rio Ave 0||TDeP|
|21||Uwa Elderson Echiejile||Defender|
|-||Djamal Abdoulaye Mahamat Bindi||Midfielder|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|14||Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez||Striker|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
The Brazilian terrorised Manchester United at Old Trafford, scoring twice early on to put Sir Alex Ferguson's men under some real pressure. Braga were unlucky not to come away from with anything that night, and you can bet that the 33-year-old will want to help his side take revenge in Portugal.
|Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez|
The 23-year-old has been in explosive form for Manchester United recently, and it all started with a double to help his side to victory over Braga. The Mexico international looks as sharp as ever, and he will be on the shoulder of the last defender all night looking to exploit any space in behind Braga's backline.
Braga hit Manchester United twice early on in their previous encounter, but the Red Devils showed their experience by patiently working their way back to an eventual 3-2 victory. The Portuguese side will need to race out of the starting blocks if they are to stand a chance of taking anything from Sir Alex Ferguson's men, and it is very difficult to see past the visitors on this occasion.