Hoffenheim v Braga background

Hoffenheim will hope that third time is the charm as they chase a first European victory in their UEFA Europa League Group C opener against Braga.

Hoffenheim celebrate a Bundesliga goal
Hoffenheim celebrate a Bundesliga goal ©Getty Images

#EQUALGAME
This week, football fans watching UEFA Europa League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto "Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you play." More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.

Hoffenheim will hope that third time is the charm as they chase a first European victory in their UEFA Europa League Group C opener against Braga.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in European competition, and it is Hoffenheim's first encounter with Portuguese opposition.

• Braga have yet to win in six matches against Bundesliga teams (D2 L4), and lost both of their previous games in Germany without scoring.

Form guide
• Fourth in the 2016/17 Bundesliga, Hoffenheim have lost both of their UEFA fixtures to date.

• Braga are unbeaten in four European matches this season (W3 D1) – against AIK and FH in qualification – and have not lost in four games on the road in UEFA competition (W1 D3).

• Defeated by Liverpool home and away in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, Hoffenheim are contesting the UEFA Europa League group stage in what is their first season in UEFA competition.

• Fifth in Portugal last term, and runners-up in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League, Braga are competing in this group stage for the third season in succession.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Braga to Hoffenheim's Sinsheim home is around 1,600km.

• Braga winger Ricardo Horta turns 23 the day after the Hoffenheim game.

The coaches
• Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann's playing career ended prematurely due to persistent knee problems, but he shone as a youth coach and – aged 28 – took charge of Hoffenheim in 2016, becoming the Bundesliga's youngest ever senior boss.

• At the helm since April 2017, Abel Ferreira was previously Braga's B team coach. A right-back, he graduated from home-town side Penafiel to Vitória Guimarães, Braga and Sporting CP, where he won two Portuguese Cups before retiring in 2011.