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Preview: Pacos de Ferreira vs. Vitoria de Guimaraes - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Primeira Liga clash between Pacos de Ferreira and Vitoria de Guimaraes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

An intriguing game takes place between sides in the top half of the Primeira Liga table on Sunday, as fifth-placed Pacos de Ferreira host sixth-placed Vitoria de Guimaraes.

While the two sides have enjoyed good seasons so far, both will be looking to return to winning ways, with the hosts being winless in two league games, while Vitoria are without a victory in four matches in the top flight.

Match preview

Pacos de Ferreira head coach Pepa pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Last time out, the hosts fell to a 2-0 away defeat at the hands of league leaders Sporting Lisbon, with goals from Joao Mario and Joao Palhinha settling the game.

Before that, Pepa's side played out a goalless draw with 12th-placed Portimonense, which put an end to a run of six consecutive Primeira Liga wins.

In that run, Os Castores recorded victories over Rio Ave, Belenenses, Maritimo, Gil Vicente, Tondela and most impressively Braga, scoring 13 goals in that time while conceding only two.

As a result of that, Pepa's men now boast one of the Primeira Liga's best defensive records, with only two sides in the division conceding fewer than the 16 goals they have shipped.

However, they will be looking to get back to winning ways here, having gone two matches without a victory in league action.

They take on Vitoria, who will be looking to end their own winless run, having failed to record a victory from their last four league outings.

A general shot of Marcus Edwards celebrating with teammates for Vitoria de Guimaraes in June 2020© Reuters

They looked set to seal an important victory last time out, when they hosted strugglers Farense, however the visitors managed to secure a point.

After an hour, with Farense reduced to 10 men, Vitoria led 2-1 thanks to goals from Pepelu and Marcus Edwards, but the visitors equalised through Nikola Stojiljkovic with 10 minutes to go.

That will have been a very disappointing result for Joao Henriques, who will feel his side should have held onto the three points against one of the league's weaker sides, who had Alex Pinto sent off.

Before that draw, the side from Guimaraes were comfortably beaten 3-1 at home to Rio Ave, with Ricardo Quaresma pulling a goal back after 75 minutes with his side trailing 2-0, before Gelson Dala immediately restored the visitors' two-goal lead.

Despite their disappointing recent form, Henriques's side still sit seven points clear of seventh-placed Moreirense, while a win on Sunday would put them level on points with their opponents, leapfrogging Pacos de Ferreira in the table thanks to the head-to-head points rule.

They will be encouraged by the reverse fixture earlier this season, when Andre Andre scored a penalty to fire Vitoria to a 1-0 home win over Os Castores, and Henriques will be hoping his side can repeat that outcome here.

Pacos de Ferreira Primeira Liga form: WWWWDL

Vitoria de Guimaraes Primeira Liga form: WWDDLD

Team News

Pacos de Ferreira have no injuries to deal with for this game, other than full-back Jorge Silva, who remains out with a long-term ligament injury.

However, forward Douglas Tanque will miss this match through suspension after he was shown his fifth yellow card of the season in the loss to Sporting Lisbon.

In his absence, Joao Pedro could be called upon to start against his former club, with the Portuguese striker joining from Vitoria last summer.

Os Castores broke their transfer record to bring in midfielder Stephen Eustaquio from Cruz Azul in January, with the Canadian international expected to start again in this match.

Vitoria remain without several players through injuries, with midfielders Jacob Maddox and Joseph Amoah out of contention, alongside right-back Silvio.

Henriques shook up his squad for the last game, with wingers Ricardo Quaresma and January signing Ruben Lameiras dropped to the bench.

In their absence, Marcus Edwards started and scored his third league goal of the season, putting forward his claim for another start in this game.

Their line will be led by Oscar Estupinan, who has scored six goals and registered an assist in his nine league appearances for Vitoria this season.

Pacos de Ferreira possible starting lineup:
Jordi; Fonseca, Marcelo, Baixinho, Rebocho; Eustaquio, Diaby, Carlos; Ferreira, Pedro, Singh

Vitoria de Guimaraes possible starting lineup:
Varela; Sacko, Fernandes, Mumin, Mensah; Almeida, Pepelu, Andre; Edwards, Estupinan, Quaresma

SM words green background

We say: Pacos de Ferreira 1-1 Vitoria de Guimaraes

We see this being a very tight game between two sides in fairly similar circumstances, and we expect the teams to share the points at the Mata Real Stadium, in a hotly contested 1-1 draw.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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