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Braga V Manchester United: Match Preview
United will look to continue their 100% record in the Champions League when they travel to Portugal to face group rivals Braga
Braga v Man Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
The Manchester club are unbeaten so far in this season's group stage of the Champions League after Sir Alex Ferguson vowed a repeat of last season's embarrassing 3rd place finish in the group would not happen and so far he's stick to his word. With United getting wins at home and on the road in Europe, beating Galatasaray and Braga at home and CFR Cluj away . Although some will argue United have not hit top form in the competition as of yet. They'll be hoping to do that against Braga to make it four wins on the bounce as they look to progress into the knock-out stages. Braga however will be looking to build on their win over Galatasaray and push for a spot in the next round.
Many would agree that Manchester United haven't yet hit top form, in any competition although they have been winning games. Which is often said to be the mark of champions, grinding out results even when the team isn't performing at it's best. They have certainly looked better in Europe this season, winning their first three matches in the group stages home and away and with Rooney and Van Persie now linking up well and Hernandez getting back to top form Braga should be wary of the potency of this new up-front combination. The only concern United will have when they face the Portuguese team is the rate at which they have been letting in goals. Conceding 23 goals in all competitions already this season.
Last Five Results:
Manchester United 2 – 1 Arsenal
Chelsea 5 – 4 Manchester United
Chelsea 2 – 3 Manchester United
Manchester United 3– 2 Braga
Manchester United 4 – 2 Stoke
Braga come into the match on good form domestically and in Europe, have won 4 of their last five matches and drawing only one, scoring 15 goals in the process. Although they did lose to Cluj despite the fact they were the more dangerous team on the night.
Last Five Results:
Braga 3 – 1 Gil Vicente
Maritimo 0 – 2 Braga
Manchester United 3 – 2 Braga
Braga 3 – 0 Leixoes
Braga 4 – 4 Olhanense
The title of star man is normally pretty straight forward for United, Wayne Rooney has been the main threat at the Manchester club since the departure of Ronaldo. But since the arrival of RVP it has been a closer contest, the way Van Persie has got United out of a few sticky situations already this season is impressive, scoring a hat-trick to deny Southampton a famous win, also scoring a brace to see of Cluj single handedly. But despite RVP's imperious form I still have to go with Wayne Rooney, he can score the goals, provide the passes for the goals and a whole lot more. He really is United's talisman and if they were to be without him for a long period of time I think they would struggle to maintain their winning form even with the likes of Robin Van Persie in the team.
Braga's star man has to be Eder. He is there main goal threat and has already scored four goals for the club in the Portuguese league this season. Although I have to point out another dangerous player in their ranks, Alan who is their main architect playing on the right wing. He has an awesome final ball and notched seven assists for his team last season.
United will be looking to continue their winning form which has seen them beat Chelsea and Arsenal in the space of a week in the Premier League and pushed them to the top of the table after slip-ups from rivals Manchester City and Chelsea
Braga have previously only ever faced United once before, and that was this season where they lost 3-2 at Old Trafford. They have played against English teams on a previous 15 occasions. Winning just five, drawing two and losing eight of those encounters. Statistics that bode well for Manchester United.
I'm predicting a win for United, all the facts and statistics go against Braga, although I'm sure many of you will be thinking anything is possible in football, which is of course entirely true. United won't find it easy against this gritty and determined Portuguese side who will be looking to upset the odds.
Braga 0 - 2 Manchester United
The usual candidates Rooney and Van Persie to get on the score sheet.
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