MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 01:27:04| >> :600:6323007:6323007:
May 16, 2021 at 5pm UK at Estádio do Restelo
Santa ClaraSanta Clara

Esgaio (8')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Carlos (9' pen., 60')
Carvalho (46')

Preview: Belenenses vs. Santa Clara - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Primeira Liga clash between Belenenses and Santa Clara, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Belenenses and Santa Clara face off on Sunday, as they battle to secure a spot in the top six of the Primeira Liga table with two games left to play.

Currently, the eighth-placed hosts only sit below their opponents due to Santa Clara's 2-0 win over Belenenses earlier in the season, according to the Primeira Liga's priority on head-to-head results, while both sides sit just two points behind sixth-placed Vitoria de Guimaraes.

Match preview

Belenenses head coach Petit pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Belenenses come into Sunday's game on the back of consecutive victories, putting them in contention for a top-six finish.

Petit's side recorded an impressive 3-1 away win over Tondela last time out, in an important mid-table clash, as a Mateo Cassierra brace and a Miguel Cardoso penalty overturned Mario Gonzalez's early goal for the hosts.

That followed a 1-0 win at home to Portimonense, as Cassierra again got on the scoresheet to seal all three points for his side.

Having previously been threatened by relegation, O Belem have dragged themselves quickly up the table with four wins and 13 points from their last six matches, meaning they now stand in contention to finish in the top six of the Portuguese top flight.

Currently only trailing Santa Clara due to the head-to-head result earlier in the season, Petit's men will go ahead of their opponents and potentially leapfrog sixth-placed Vitoria de Guimaraes with what would be another impressive victory on Sunday.

Their opponents will also look for a win to cement their spot and push to move above Vitoria going into the final day of the season.

Daniel Ramos, now in charge of Santa Clara, pictured as Boavista boss in June 2020© Reuters

Santa Clara broke a five-game winless run with a narrow victory over strugglers Rio Ave on Tuesday.

Carlos netted the only goal of the game early in the second half, as Daniel Ramos's side held on to secure all three points to maintain their position in seventh spot.

That followed a run of five games without a victory in the Portuguese top flight, having picked up just two points in that time.

However, they have managed to stay within touching distance of an inconsistent Vitoria side, and two wins from their last two matches should see them seal a spot in the top six at the end of the campaign.

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Santa Clara Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Belenenses' Miguel Cardoso celebrates scoring their first goal with Afonso Gamelas in December 2020© Reuters

Belenenses will come into this game without midfielder Silvestre Varela, who will miss out through suspension after he was shown his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

Mateo Cassierra will lead the line with plenty of confidence, having netted three goals in his last two games to take his tally to 10 goals from 30 league appearances this season.

At the other end of the pitch, Petit should line up with the familiar back three of Goncalo Silva, Thibang Phete and Tomas Ribeiro, shielding the reliable Stanislav Kritsyuk between the sticks.

Santa Clara will remain without Julio Romao through injury, while left-back Mansur will also miss out through suspension.

Ramos is likely to keep the majority of his side unchanged after the positive result last time out, with Mikel Villanueva and Fabio Cardoso partnering up at the back while Rui Costa could again lead the line with the support of Carlos and Allano.

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Kritsyuk; Silva, Phete, Ribeiro; Esgaio, Sousa, Sithole, Lima; Cardoso, Cassierra, Teixeira

Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Ferreira; Ramos, Villanueva, Cardoso, Lucas; Lincoln, Nene, Morita; Carlos, Costa, Allano

SM words green background

We say: Belenenses 2-1 Santa Clara

Belenenses come into this game with plenty of momentum having quickly raced up the table, and we see them pulling off another impressive victory on Sunday to see them move into the top seven.

While the visitors did make a crucial return to winning ways last time out, we see them falling short against a Belenenses side who have hit form at a great time, and will be full of confidence.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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