Braga ready for Shakhtar encounter

The Portuguese side were thumped 6-0 by the Gunners at the Emirates

Stadium in their first group match in Europe’s premier club

competition. Their second Group H clash sees them take on Ukrainian

champions Shakhtar, who were 1-0 winners over Partizan Belgrade in

their opening match. Brazilian winger Cesar told UEFA’s website:

“The boys are calm, we know what we have to do, and we are sure and

completely confident in our own quality and capabilities. “Home

games in the Champions League are of massive importance and we have

to win ours. Braga have always been strong at home, always a tough

team to beat, and we expect a great result in our debut match here.

“We know it’s going to be a tough match, but we also know we have

what it takes to win. What we have to do is make no mistakes and

keep them under pressure. “Shakhtar are a great team – they’re

Ukrainian champions for a reason – but we are sure they’re at our

level.” Braga, who beat Celtic and Sevilla to reach the group

stages, can certainly draw confidence from their home form having

won 17 or their 18 league matches under coach Domingos Paciencia.

They will definitely be without Quim, who is expected to be out

until the new year after rupturing his Achilles tendon, while

Alberto Rodriguez (thigh) is a doubt. Shakhtar have won 12 of their

14 matches this season and once again sit on top of their domestic

league. The Ukrainians were the final UEFA Cup winners in 2009

before the competition was rebranded as the Europa League, and

striker Eduardo believes their extra European experience could

prove crucial. The former Arsenal forward told “Braga

are technically very strong as they have a lot of Brazilian

players. They have the will to win but there is one shortcoming –

they do not have the Champions League experience.” Fernandinho is

expected to miss the group stage with a broken leg while Dmytro

Chygrynskiy pulled his hamstring at the end of August and has not

featured since.