Braga is the stadium where one side of the pitch faces a cliff wall, it’s one of the most picturesque places to visit in Europe. But what other cultural delights might the Rangers faithful have found?
There’s contemporary photography in the Museu da Imagem, which spans two historic buildings: one from the 19th century and a tower from the 14th that was part of the original city wall, and innovative design at the Chapel Tree of Life (open to the public Fridays at 5pm) within the centuries-old seminary of São Pedro and São Paulo. This slatted structure, constructed solely of wood (with no nails or hinges), is suffused with light and evokes the serenity of the nearby forests while providing a singular example of the power of modern architecture.
Braga’s social media team have chosen a rather Tolkienesque font.
What does that mean? Aaron Ramsey was supposed to start but doesn’t, and drops to the bench alongside Joe Aribo and Kemar Roofe, while Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala come in. There’s talk that Gio Van Bronckhorst has opted for a back three, and it does look like a hard-working, more defensively minded team.
To quote Rangers’ website:
That means it’s a back five of Allan McGregor in goal with James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey in front of him.
Kamara joins John Lundstram and Ryan Jack in the middle of the park, while up front, Arfield and Ryan Kent will play in support of Fashion Jr.
Braga: Matheus, Y. Couto, Fabiano, Tormena, Carmo, Al Musrati, Medeiros, A. Horta, R. Horta, Ruiz, Gomes Subs: Hornicek, Sa, Buta, Leite, P. Oliveira, Rodrigues, Castro, B. Cuoto, Mineiro, Moura, Fale, V. Oliveira
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Bassey, Jack, Lundstram, Kamara, Arfield, Sakala, Kent. Subs: McCrorie, McLaughlin, Wright, Barisic, Davis, Aribo, Sands, Ramsey, Diallo, Roofe.
Last Sunday hurt for Rangers. When Aaron Ramsey scored that early goal against Celtic, all seemed to be going to plan only for things to fall apart and the title race may be all but lost. And then there was that unpleasantness with bottles being thrown. Still, Europe has been a sanctuary for Rangers this season, away from the pain of losing Steven Gerrard and a distraction from domestic matters. Braga, who reached the final of this competition back in 2011, are coming off a 3-2 win over Benfica at the weekend, and sit fourth in the Portuguese Liga table behind the three traditional powers. Of course, Rangers will have to do this without Alfredo Morelos, ruled out for the season, and come up against a familiar face in Carlos Carvahal, once of Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday, who is in charge of the youngest team in the competition. Portugal is always a crucible of talent, so could be some stars of the future on show. Not that Rangers will be admiring the talent, going as far in the competition as possible is the aim.
Kick-off is at 8pm UK time. Join me.