Porto's coach Andre Vilas-Boas overseas a training session at the Dublin Arena, accompanied by assistant coach Jose Mario Rocha
Porto's coach Andre Vilas-Boas overseas a training session at the Dublin Arena, accompanied by assistant coach Jose Mario Rocha REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

This season's Europa League final is noticeable for throwing together two teams situated less than 100 miles apart, as well as for the gulf in class between the two.

Portuguese rivals Porto and Braga meet in the final of UEFA's much-maligned 'second tournament' at the Dublin Arena on Wednesday evening.

Porto, will seek to return to the heights of 2003 and 2004, when they followed their UEFA Cup triumph over Celtic with Champions League glory.

Andre Villas-Boas has already led his side to league and Portuguese Super Cup triumphs in 2010/11 and are the overwhelming favourites. His side have notched 130 goals in 52 games in all competitions, 45 of which have been won, and have only failed to score twice in that time.

The club have previous when it comes to success in this particular competition. A certain Jose Mourinho took them all the way in 2003 in his first full season in charge, before going on to land the UEFA Champions League crown a year later: this is also Andre Villas-Boas's first full season as Porto boss, and he learned his trade working under Mourinho at Porto and Chelsea.

On his chances of replicating that achievement Villas-Boas, who will become the youngest coach to win a Uefa club competition should Porto triumph, said: "You cannot say that by reaching the final in the Europa League you will win the Champions League the next year. It's not that straightforward.

"Next year we hope to get through the group stage, then maybe the quarter-final or further. Let's dream a little bit more."

For Braga, a win would cap a remarkable season. This is the club's first European final (if you don't count the Intertoto Cup and whoever did?), having only won one trophy in their history - the Portuguese Cup all the way back in 1966.

But they have completed the more challenging route to the Aviva Stadium. They dropped out of the Champions League having lost their first match of the group stages 6-0 to Arsenal and, once in the Europa League, required a battling display to edge past Lech Poznan and enter the last-16 stage. It was from there, however, that Braga took off, recording a comfortable win over Liverpool before beating Dynamo Kyiv and another Portuguese giant, Benfica, in the semi-finals.

Team news

Helton, Joao Moutinho and Fernando will all return to the Porto side after being rested for their final league match of the season.

Mariano Gonzalez and Pawel Kieszek are long-term absentees, while Christian Rodriguez and Rafa (both thigh) and Jorge Fucile have not made the journey to Dublin.

Braga's Peruvian defender Alberto Rodriguez is expected to shake off a thigh complaint in time to figure in the final.

Silvio has served a domestic suspension and should come back into the side, while Miguel Garcia and Paulo Cesar have travelled despite carrying slight knocks.