SC Braga vs PanathinaikosUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Aug 23, 2023, Estadio Municipal de Braga
SC Braga host Panathinaikos in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League playoff tie. Both teams progressed to this stage in contrasting fashion and while the Greeks can make things difficult, Braga's superior attacking prowess should give them the upper hand here.
Braga flexed their attacking muscles un the previous round as they claimed a 7-1 aggregate victory over Backa Topola. They ran out 3-0 winners in the first meeting at home before picking up a 4-1 win in the second leg with Bruma and Alvaro Djalo scoring twice each across both fixtures.
That result is an extension of Braga’s fine form in the early stage of the season as they have claimed eight wins in their last 10 matches, a run stretching back to preseason. The goals have also flowed freely for Artur Jorge’s men who have scored eight times in their last two matches.
Braga will head into Wednesday’s clash with extra confidence after picking up their first Primeira Liga win of the season. They claimed a 4-2 victory at Chavez last weekend with Bruma once again among the goals.
Panathinaikos’ progress to the playoffs was not as smooth as they needed penalties to see off French giants Marseille. Having battled to a 3-3 draw after extra-time, the Greeks held their nerves better to earn a 5-3 victory in the shootout.
The Greek side have come through two rounds of qualifiers and will be feeling confident after overcoming the likes of Dnipro and Marseille. However, a closer look shows they have picked up just two wins in four qualifying matches and were actually beaten 2-1 at Marseille in their previous fixture.
One of the major problems plaguing Panathinaikos in recent weeks is a lack of discipline at the back. Ivan Jovanivic’s men have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven matches across all competitions.
How the bookies view it
Braga are considered overwhelming favourites among the bookies with a home win procedure at 7/10 by Coral. A victory for Panathinaikos is valued at 5/1 with bet365 while a draw is set at odds of 11/4 with William Hill.
Head to head
This will be the first ever meeting between Braga and Panathinaikos.
Players to watch
Bruma has caught the eye for Braga in the early stages of the season and heads into Wednesday’s clash with four goals in his last five matches across all competitions. The forward is priced at 15/8 by bet365 to maintain his scoring run.
Panathinaikos also have some attacking quality of their own, particularly with Andraz Sporar, who has three goals in four qualifying fixtures. The Slovenian striker is priced at 4/1 by William Hill to find the net on Wednesday.
Anything else catch the eye?
Braga and Panathinaikos can hold their own going forward and both teams could be backed to score at 11/10 with bet365. The Portuguese side has seen over 3.5 goals in their last two matches and a repeat is priced at 29/10 with Unibet while over 2.5 goals is valued at 11/10 with BetVictor.
With Braga priced at minimal odds for a straight victory, a win and over 2.5 goals can be considered at 19/10 with William Hill.
This UEFA Champions League match between SC Braga and Panathinaikos will be played on Aug 23, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best SC Braga vs Panathinaikos prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.