Italian outfit Napoli travel to Portugal this week, where they will face a Braga side that narrowly beat Panathinaikos in qualification last month. The hosts are the underdogs but they will be confident that they can cause an upset.
Braga have had a rather mixed start to their domestic campaign this season and their defensive stability has been questioned on a few occasions. In the five games that Braga have played, they have conceded 10 goals and scored 10 goals, which clearly shows a lack of game management, which Napoli will be looking to take advantage of this on Wednesday.
Even though Artur Jorge rotated some of his side this weekend in preparation for the game versus Napoli, they suffered a disappointing 3-1 away defeat to SC Farense who were promoted this season. If they go into the tie against Napoli with the same approach and game plan, then they will be setting themselves up for disappointment.
After winning the Serie A last season and capturing the hearts of the footballing world, Napoli will be looking to add European silverware to their trophy cabinet. However, with new manager Rudi Garcia in charge, Napoli don’t look quite as dominant this time around. Their most recent game was a 2-2 away draw versus Genoa, where complacency handed them a two goal deficit. If they perform to a similar standard against Braga, then they may struggle to walk away with any points at all.
Luckily for Napoli, they do have individuals that can almost win a game on their own. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen and Piotr Zielinski are all extremely talented players that will need to be on their A game in Portugal. The game plan must be to constantly supply the Nigerian striker, which they struggled to do this weekend.
Napoli have too much quality in their side to not walk away with three points on Wednesday evening. Braga will attempt to disrupt the game in any way possible but given their leaky backline, they should concede plenty of chances, that Osimhen will no doubt finish.
The final prediction is Sporting Braga 1-3 Napoli.