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ON THE BALL

Posted on 8 March 2007  - 12:00

Paul Stalteri expects to face a technically strong SC Braga side in our UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg in Portugal tonight (Thursday).

Paul Stalteri expects to face a technically strong SC Braga side in our UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg in Portugal tonight (Thursday).

Currently fourth in Portugal’s SuperLiga, Braga have a heavy Brazilian influence – goalscorers in the 1-0 wins in both legs of the last round against Parma were Brazilians Ze Roberto and Diego – and a strong record at home, having beaten two of the country’s top three at Estádio Municipal de Braga in the league so far.

“Most Portuguese teams have a number of Brazilians,” said Paul, an experienced European campaigner at Werder Bremen and our match winner at West Ham on Sunday. “They will be good on the ball, will all want the ball, they will play out from the back and you won’t see many route-one balls up to the strikers.

“I don’t think they’ll be the strongest physically but quick and technically gifted players and they are not fourth in their league for no reason.”

Talking about our targets for the first leg, scoring a goal was certainly on Paul’s wish list. “Going into the away leg ideally you would want to score a goal because away goals are vital,” he added. “So if we get a result and get on the scoresheet as we do in most games, then it will be tough for them at the Lane.”




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