Serie A Champions Napoli will aim to start their Champions League this season with a win when they face Braga tonight at the Estadio Municipal de Braga.
Finishing third in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last season helped Braga secure a spot in the Champions League group stage qualification rounds. Os Arcebispos recorded an emphatic 7-1 victory over the two legs against Backa Topola in the third qualifying round and then moved on to disposing of Panathinaikos in the playoffs to secure a place in the group stages of the tournament. The Portuguese side last played in the Champions League during the 2010-11 season when they finished third in their group but went to reach the Europa League final. They will be looking for a point tonight as they have Real Madrid and Union Berlin to face in the upcoming days.
Meanwhile, Napoli begin their Champions League journey on the back of a frustrating 2-2 draw with Genoa. The Partenopei have failed to start the season on the right track, thus failing to put an early charge on defending the Scudetto. Newly appointed manager Rudi Garcia had a day to forget when they lost 2-1 to Lazio.
Luis Alberto managed to open the scoring for the visitors that day and Piotr Zielinksi equalised soon after. However, it didn’t matter much as Daichi Kamada scored the decider in the 52nd minute and Napoli looked out of options to snatch another goal. The current Serie A title holders will aim to ensure they grab the three points tonight to set them up nicely to qualify for the next round.
Here are the predicted line-ups for the match according to Sky Italia:
Braga (4-2-3-1): Matheus; Gomez, José Fonte, Niakaté, Marin; Vitor Carvalho, Al-Musrati; R. Horta, Pizzi, Bruma, Abel Ruiz.
Napoli (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Natan, Mario Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia.
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN