Sporting Braga vs Shakhtar Donetsk - Braga putting Benfica loss behind them

Posted Wednesday, April 06, 2016 by PA

Wilson Eduardo has promised Braga's domestic thrashing at the hands of Benfica will be forgotten by the time they take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday.

Braga lost 5-1 to league leaders Benfica on Friday night, but Eduardo said that result will be completely out of their system six days later, while pointing out that they lost to Belenenses immediately before the 4-1 second-leg win over Fenerbahce in the previous round.

"The result will not influence us," Eduardo said on the team's website. "Before the game against Fenerbahce we also had a bad result but that did not stop us doing our job. This team has a lot of strength and will prepare in the best way."

Braga have been one of the surprise packages in coming this far, but Eduardo does not feel they our out of their depth.

"We have a very balanced team and can go far in this competition," he added. "We are preparing for this tie with Shakhtar very seriously and with the support of our fans we believe we can advance. If we look at each round anything can happen. We can dream."

A first leg in Portugal could favour Braga, who have lost at home only once in the league this season, while Shakhtar have been used to playing at home first in the competition so far.

However, Shakhtar midfielder Bernard said the Ukrainians will be going to Portugal in no mood simply to settle for a draw.

"We are always determined to win," he said. "Each tie has its own story. You shouldn't give your opponents a chance. You never know what to expect in the return leg. A draw would be a pretty good result, but we want to win.

"Braga are strong defensively and counter-attack well. The most important thing (is for) us to use our best qualities."

Braga will be without Crislan and Rui Fonte (both hamstring) while Josue is doubtful with a thigh injury.

Shakhtar face a long list of problems with Fred and Olexandr Kucher both suspended, Marcio Azevedo out with a knee injury, and Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Vyacheslav Shevchuk and Taison all rated as doubtful as they try to shake off knocks.



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