Santa Clara are in big trouble this season. They are unexpectedly only one point above the relegation zone and are currently without a win in the last five games in all competitions. In the previous match, they lost 1-0 on the road against Gil Vicente. That game was fairly even, but the home side did just enough to secure all three points. In that match, Santa Clara offered a dismal performance against one of the teams with which they will fight for survival. They have big problems with creating chances in the attack, which is best shown by the fact that against a very weak Gil Vicente, they sent only one shot into the frame of the goal. In the 14 rounds played so far, they scored only 11 goals and are among the most ineffective teams in the league. The situation in defense is no better either and in the last 5 games they conceded 10 goals. It is certainly not the form in which you want to meet one of the best teams in the league.
Braga opened the season fantastically and for many rounds after the start of the championship they did not know of a defeat. Somewhat worse results in the league came after the start of playing games in Europe, where they managed to secure placement in the Conference League, but it seems that they found their good form again lately. They are currently in the 3rd position in the table with 6 points less than the leader Benfica. It was against Benfica that they played their last match in the previous year and they could not have had a better end to the year. Braga had suffered a painful 5-0 defeat to Sporting Lisbon in the League Cup just a week before the mentioned drubbing of Benfica. This says enough about the mental strength of the players and the team's spirits at the moment. They have been playing really well in the league lately and have recorded 4 wins in their last 4 games. I must mention that they have a fantastic defense and that they did not concede a goal in any of those 4 games. Without any doubt, they are a much better team than Santa Clara, with much better individuals, and I believe that we will have the opportunity to see that in this match. After a big win against Benfica, Braga's head coach Artur Jorge was delighted. He said the team fulfilled the plan from the dressing room completely. Also, Jorge said the whole squad has the right attitude, so he expects even better results.