The betting support may be for Porto ahead of the Europa League final, but Braga have already proved capable of upsets as the underdogs on numerous occasions in this season’s competition.
Porto have shortened overnight from 1/2 to 4/9 in the Europa League odds to claim victory within the 90 minutes and there are strong reasons for this support, including winning both games against the opposition in their unbeaten Portuguese league season.
However, Braga’s defensive and resolute style seems to have lent itself perfectly to the Europa League format and has already helped them to spring a few surprises.
Liverpool and Benfica are among the biggest sides to have fallen to defeat against Braga and Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas is fully aware that being favourites against them does not count for too much.
He said: “Braga have beaten every favourite they’ve faced so far.”
Furthermore, Braga’s first ever European final represents the last game as the club’s manager for Domingos Paciencia and he is determined to go out on a high.
Paciencia also has prior experience of landing an upset in a European final when he was a part of the Porto squad that beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League in 1987.
He added: “In a final, and given how the season has gone, it’s natural that Porto are big favourites. But it’s a final, it’s just one match.”
It is 6/1 that Braga beat Porto inside 90 minutes, which would also represent their first victory in a final against the opposition at the third attempt.
However, Braga are likely to be content to keep things tight and they would be more than happy to see the game progress into extra time or even into a penalty shoot-out.
Braga are 11/4 to lift the Europa League trophy, with Porto 1/4 in the same market.
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