MX23RW : Monday, June 21 02:00:33| >> :600:2567132:2567132:
Apr 17, 2021 at 8.30pm UK at Estadio do Rio Ave
Rio AveRio Ave

Augusto (35'), Amaral (41'), Aderlan (61')
Gelson (80')

Sequeira (30'), Carlos Teixeira Lopes Reis Goncalves (69')

Preview: Rio Ave vs. Braga - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Rio Ave and Braga, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With their Primeira Liga title hopes now hanging by a thread, Braga travel to the Estadio dos Arcos to face off against Rio Ave on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the hosts are just four points ahead of the relegation zone, and they will be looking to put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three.

Match preview

Braga head coach Carlos Carvalhal pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Braga were left to rue missed opportunities as they dropped points for the second home game running in a 1-1 draw versus Belenenses on Sunday.

Carlos Carvalhal's men took the lead 10 minutes before the break through Nicolas Gaitan, but they passed up several chances to add to that lead, and they were eventually made to pay as Mateo Cassierra equalised for the visitors on the hour mark.

Os Arcebispos have dropped points in three of their last four games since a 3-0 smashing of Vitoria de Guimaraes to kick off the month of March.

As a result of those dropped points, Saturday's visitors are now three points behind Benfica in the race for the final Champions League spot.

A trip to a venue where they have only won one of their last 10 games promises to be another stern test of their European credentials.

Braga's Francisco Moura celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in November 2020© Reuters

Rio Ave came from behind on three occasions to claim a hard-fought point in a 3-3 stalemate away at Boavista on Saturday.

After both sides traded blows for the first three quarters of the game, the hosts took the lead with less than 10 minutes remaining and looked to have landed the decisive punch, but Fabio Coentrao had other ideas as he popped up with a last-gasp leveller to ensure a share of the spoils.

Miguel Cardoso's men have now played out ten draws this campaign, with only one side in the entire division involved in more.

This can be attributed to their lack of cutting edge in front of goal, as they currently possess the joint-second worst attacking record.

Next up for the Vilacondenses is a clash against Braga who beat them 3-0 in December's reverse fixture at the Braga Municipal Stadium.

Rio Ave Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

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

Braga form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Braga head coach Carlos Carvalhal pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Francisco Moura suffered a serious knee injury in November, and the 21-year-old defender is yet to feature since then.

David Carmo remains sidelined with an ankle problem which has kept him out for the past eight weeks, but he is not far off a return to action.

The visitors will also have to cope with the absence of Rui Fonte, who suffered a long-term knee injury nine months ago.

Like Fonte, Junio Rocha still awaits his first outing of the campaign as he continues to recover from a broken leg which he sustained in June.

Rio Ave's substitute goalkeeper Leo Vieira was sent off last time out, so he is guaranteed not to play any part in the game.

Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Kieszek; Amaral, Monte, Santos, Pinto; Rodrigues, Pele, Tarantini; Geraldes, Dala, Mane

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Sequeira, Silva, Tormena, Esgaio; Horta, Fransergio, Al Musrati, Galeno; Gaitan, Sporar

SM words green background

We say: Rio Ave 1-3 Braga

Only the current top two teams have picked up more away victories than Braga this term, highlighting their impressive record on the road. We are backing the visitors to keep that good away form up with all three points in this one.

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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Porto's Sergio Oliveira celebrates scoring their second goal against Juventus on March 9, 2021
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