Paciencia: Thirteen may prove lucky for Braga

LISBON - Braga are down to 13 available players for Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second leg against Dynamo Kiev but coach Domingos Paciencia believes that could prove a lucky number for his team.

Paciencia is looking on the bright side even though his Portuguese team have been decimated by injuries and suspensions.

"I'm optimistic. We have 13 players, today is the 13th and 13 is my lucky number," the coach told reporters on Wednesday.

Braga appear to have the upper hand against the Ukrainians after last week's 1-1 draw in Kiev but two suspensions and four injuries mean the hosts will be under-strength.

"We are weakened in defence, a part of the team that has put in very strong performances," said Paciencia. "We know we have problems but we have solutions."

The coach is expected to move Vandinho from midfield to cover for Peru central defender Alvaro Rodriguez, with Custodio also moving back into the rearguard to replace Nigerian left-back Elderson.

Braga, who have never reached the semi-finals of a European competition, are one of three Portuguese sides in the quarter-finals.

Porto crushed Spartak Moscow 5-1 in their first leg while Benfica breezed past PSV Eindhoven 4-1.