No let-up as Braga and Fenerbahçe resume tussle

Paulo Fonseca and Vítor Pereira are speaking the same language in every sense as the Portuguese coaches predicted a tense night in store for Braga and Fenerbahçe.

Şener Özbayraklı and Rafa Silva duing the first leg
Şener Özbayraklı and Rafa Silva duing the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Fenerbahçe lead 1-0 from a tight first leg last week
  • Fenerbahçe have three Portuguese players and a Portuguese coach
  • One of those players, Raul Meireles, turns 33 the day of the second leg
  • Braga have beaten Marseille, Sporting CP and Porto at home this season
  • Fenerbahçe have won five in a row and are unbeaten in ten

Possible lineups
Braga: Matheus; Baiano, Boly, André Pinto, Goiano; Mauro, Vukčević, Josué, Rafa; Hassan, Stoiljković.
Out: Luíz Carlos (suspended), Rui Fonte (leg), Crislan (hamstring)
Doubtful: none
Misses next match if booked: Vukčević
Fenerbahçe: Volkan Demirel; Gökhan Gönül, Kjær, Bruno Alves, Caner Erkin; Mehmet Topal, Souza; Alper Potuk, Diego, Volkan Şen; Van Persie.
Out: Marković (foot)
Doubtful: none
Misses next match if booked: Kadlec, Bruno Alves, Tufan, Mehmet Topal

Paulo Fonseca, Braga coach
If it was difficult before the first leg, it is even more difficult now. Fenerbahçe are a very tough team with lots of quality and we must give our all to win this tie. It will be a game decided by intelligence and details. We need the support of our fans – it is not mission impossible.

We need to take the initiative and not give Fenerbahçe many chances, just like in the first game. We have already shown that at our stadium we are capable of being very strong, and we have already beaten teams like Marseille, Sporting and Porto. We think we can do it again.

First-leg highlights: Fenerbahçe 1-0 Braga
First-leg highlights: Fenerbahçe 1-0 Braga

Vítor Pereira, Fenerbahçe coach
Braga didn't surprise me in the first leg. Maybe it was our hardest game of the season. They are a team with character and they play with plenty of confidence. They are aiming for the quarter-finals and are a quality side. It will be difficult for both teams and I expect a very entertaining contest.

We will approach it as if the first leg was goalless. We will play as though we desperately need a win. Braga have many strengths and only a few flaws, which we will try to capitalise on.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Fenerbahçe: WWWWWD

No way through for Ozan Tufan last week
No way through for Ozan Tufan last week©AFP/Getty Images

Reporter's view: Çetin Cem Yılmaz
If the first leg was tight, the rematch could be tighter still. Mehmet Topal's individual effort is all that separates the sides – perhaps no surprise given Fenerbahçe have kept five home clean sheets in Europe this term. Braga are unbeaten at home in this season's competition yet have shipped a few goals too. You feel they must plug the gaps at the back to have any chance here.

Did you know?
Braga boss Fonseca replaced Pereira as Porto coach in summer 2013. He coached Fenerbahçe's Fabiano and Abdoulaye Ba during his time in the Porto dug-out from 2013–14. Find out more in our extensive match background.