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Primeira Liga | Gameweek 12
Dec 1, 2023 at 8.30pm UK
Estadio Municipal Eng. Manuel Branco Teixeira
2 - 1
Hernandez (30' pen.), Jo (48')
Nogueira (8'), Vitoria (15'), Pedro (37'), Nwakali (45+3'), Victor (89')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Essende (12')
Nascimento (21'), Ortiz (67'), Samu (87')
Wilson (90+9')

Preview: Chaves vs. Vizela - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Primeira Liga clash between Chaves and Vizela, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides fighting at the bottom end of the Primeira Liga table will raise the curtain on the weekend's action on Friday, when Chaves entertain Vizela.

Following a third straight defeat, the hosts currently find themselves 17th but just three points behind their visitors who recently climbed up to 14th spot.

Match preview

Vizela's Nuno Moreira celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on August 12, 2023© Reuters

After their impressive seventh-placed finish last time around, Chaves have certainly experienced a more difficult start to the new Primeira Liga campaign and return to action on Friday in the relegation zone with just seven points on the board from their opening 11 matches.

Their struggles have largely come in defence, having already conceded 30 goals in those 11 matches, five more than the league's second leakiest defence at this stage.

Indeed, six of the Flavienses' points came in back-to-back victories in early October, as they bounced back from a six-game winless run to stretch the term by beating Arouca and Gil Vicente 2-0 and 4-2 respectively under the new management of Moreno, but they were unable to build on those triumphs before the November international break, firstly suffering a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Vitoria de Guimaraes.

The Flavienses then hosted defending champions Benfica and suffered a 2-0 defeat, having kept the game goalless until the hour mark, before Moreno's men most recently travelled to Portimonense and suffered an eighth league defeat of the campaign, losing 2-1 with Bernardo Sousa's goal coming too late to spark a turnaround after the hosts led 2-0 in the first half.

Now returning to action for the first time since the latest break, Chaves find themselves in the automatic relegation spots at the bottom of the Primeira Liga, but with just a one-point gap to the playoff spot and a three-point gap to the three sides outside the bottom three, including Friday's visitors, they will know they can quickly improve their standing with a return to winning ways on Friday.

They meet a Vizela side who will aim to increase that gap, meanwhile, having recently climbed out of the drop zone after a difficult start of their own.

Aiming to build on an 11th-placed finish last time around, the Vizelenses sat on just six points from their opening nine games in Portugal's top flight this term, having won just one of those while suffering five defeats.

Pablo Villar's side did look to have started to correct their form prior to the break, though, firstly putting a second three-point haul of the season on the board in a 1-0 triumph away at Casa Pia, as Alberto Soro netted the only goal of the game 20 minutes from time, before extending their cushion over the bottom three by taking a share of the spoils in a home contest against Famalicao as the game ended in a goalless stalemate.

Villar's men have been in action since the return from the break, too, as they hosted Estrela Amadora in the Taca de Portugal fourth round last Friday and booked a place in the round of 16 with a 2-1 triumph after extra time, with Bruno Wilson drawing them level in the 90 minutes and Matheus Pereira netting the decisive goal in the additional period.

Now unbeaten in three games across league and cup action, Vizela will turn their focus back to Portugal's top flight and aim to continue their run of improvement with another three-point haul on Friday which would see them rise further up the table and increase their lead over the relegation zone.

Chaves Primeira Liga form:

Chaves form (all competitions):

Vizela Primeira Liga form:

Vizela form (all competitions):

Team News

In their 3-4-3 shape, Chaves' attack will again be spearheaded by Hector Hernandez, who has been a shining light in their tough campaign thus far, netting seven of their 13 league goals thus far with only one player in the division topping his tally.

He could again be supported up front by Leandro Sanca and Ruben Lameiras, although Bernardo Sousa does have a claim to come into the attack from the outset after his goal off the bench in their defeat to Portimonense before the break.

Elsewhere, Kelechi Nwakali and Ruben Ribeiro should again partner up in midfield, while Ygor Nogueira will hope to return to the back three from the start alongside Bruno Rodrigues and Sandro Cruz, having settled for a substitute appearance last time out on his return from a one-match suspension.

Pablo Villar is expected to field an unchanged Vizela starting XI from their last two league games before the break, having earned four points and seen out two clean sheets, with Tomas Silva, Bruno Wilson, Anderson and Joao Escoval bound to line up in an unchanged back four.

In a 4-3-3 shape, Samuel Essende should continue to spearhead the attack, having notched up four goals in 11 league appearances so far this term, while Matias Lacava and Nuno Moreira are fighting to keep their places either side of the lone front man.

Diogo Nascimento is a key man in midfield with Pedro Ortiz again set to join him, while Samu will look to add further attacking threat from the centre.

Chaves possible starting lineup:
Souza; Rodriguez, Nogueira, Cruz; Correia, Nwakali, Ribeiro, Langa; Lameiras, Hernandez, Sanca

Vizela possible starting lineup:
Buntic; Silva, Wilson, Anderson, Escoval; Nascimento, Samu, Ortiz; Lacava, Essende, Moreira

SM words green background

We say: Chaves 1-2 Vizela

Vizela have certainly taken steps in the right direction in recent weeks, particularly in defence, while their hosts failed to build an improved run following their wins before the break.

Given Chaves' struggles at the back and lack of confidence on their return to action, we fancy the visitors to leave with all three points on Friday and move further clear of the bottom three.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data

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