MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 14:49:15| >> :60:2542:2542:
Feb 5, 2021 at 9pm UK at Mata Real
Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira
2-1
TondelaTondela
Tanque (2'), Pedro (85')
Uilton (59'), Rebocho (64')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Pedro (66' pen.)
Grau (48')

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

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

Pacos de Ferreira host Tondela on Friday evening, with the hosts on the hunt for a sixth consecutive league win to increase the pressure on Benfica, who sit two points ahead in fourth place in the Primeira Liga table.

Meanwhile, Tondela will be hoping to carry on their own good run of form, which has seen them rise up to ninth in the top flight.


Match preview

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

Last time out, Pacos de Ferreira stretched their league winning run to five games, with a 2-1 win away at Gil Vicente.

Early goals from Joao Amaral and Luiz Carlos gave Pepa's side a two-goal lead in the first half, before Alaa Abbas scored a late goal in vain for the hosts.

That meant Os Castores moved onto nine league wins this season from 16 games, only two fewer than they managed in 34 matches last season, while they are only eight points away from matching last season's tally of 39 points.

This has put Pepa's side in a strong position in the battle for European qualification, with fifth place possibly earning a spot in the Europa League qualifying rounds, while fourth place is guaranteed a spot in qualification.

The five-match run has also seen Pacos de Ferreira pick up wins against Rio Ave, Belenenses and Maritimo, while the most impressive result was undoubtedly their 2-0 win over third-placed SC Braga.

Second-half goals from Bruno Costa and Helder Ferreira sealed an excellent victory for Pepa's side against a team in hot pursuit of the top two.

Those five matches have seen Os Castores score 11 goals, while conceding only one.

As a result, they now boast one of the best defensive records in the Primeira Liga, with only league leaders Sporting Lisbon conceding fewer than their 13 from 16 games, a significant improvement on last season, when they conceded 52 goals from 34 league matches.

However, their long winning run could be put under threat by a Tondela side with some real confidence of their own.

Pako Ayestaran, now in charge of Tondela, pictured in 2016© Reuters

In their last five league matches, Tondela have picked up three victories, taking their tally for the season to five wins.

That has seen Pako Ayestaran's side move away from the league's relegation scrap, now sitting five points clear of Gil Vicente in the automatic relegation zone.

They secured an important win last time out, beating basement side Farense 2-0, thanks to second-half goals from Joao Pedro and Rafael Barbosa.

That result saw Tondela leapfrog several sides stuck in the battle for survival, as they moved up into the top half of the division.

Despite their current position, Ayestaran's team do still have defensive issues which need to be addressed, with only two sides in the Primeira Liga conceding more than their 25 from 16 games.

That is a major worry for Tondela, especially as they come up against a Pacos de Ferreira side who have scored two or more goals in each of their last five matches in league action, and the home side will see this game as a great opportunity to continue their scoring form and add another three points onto their tally.

Pacos de Ferreira Primeira Liga form: DWWWWW

Tondela Primeira Liga form: LWLWLW


Team News

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

Pacos de Ferreira will be without Israeli forward Dor Jan, who remains out with an injury picked up in November.

The hosts lost full-back Oleg Reabciuk to Olympiacos at the beginning of the January transfer window, however they have not struggled in his absence, having won every game since his departure.

Pepa will be without midfielder Stephen Eustaquio, who has to serve a one-match ban after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

Tondela added to their midfield options in January, bringing Roberto Olabe on loan from La Liga side Eibar.

The away side have also struggled with absences due to COVID-19, with goalkeeper Joel Sousa remaining out since December, while midfielders Jaume Grau and Telmo Arcanjo both returned in the last fixture following previous positive tests.

They will be without defenders Bebeto and Enzo Martinez Suarez; both picked up their fifth yellow card of the season in the win over Farense.

Pacos de Ferreira possible starting lineup:
Jordi; Fonseca, Baixinho, Gonzaga, Rebocho; Carlos, Diaby, Costa; Amaral, Tanque, Ferreira

Tondela possible starting lineup:
Niasse; Almeida, Medioub, Tavares, Khacef; Pedro, Augusto, Grau; Murillo, Gonzalez, Agra


SM words green background

We say: Pacos de Ferreira 2-0 Tondela

While Tondela will come into this game with some confidence, having won three of their last five league matches, we think the hosts will extend their winning run in this encounter, coming in with huge amounts of momentum.

Pepa's side should take advantage of Tondela's poor defence and we expect them to pick up the three points from this game.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Benfica55001321115
2Estoril PraiaEstoril541093613
3Porto532093611
4Sporting Lisbon532093611
5PortimonensePortimonense631274310
6BoavistaBoavista52217528
7Braga52216428
8Gil Vicente52126517
9Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira521246-27
10Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes51314136
11Maritimo512268-25
12Vizela5122511-65
13AroucaArouca5113410-64
14Santa ClaraSanta Clara6114414-104
15MoreirenseMoreirense5032810-23
16TondelaTondela510469-33
17FamalicaoFamalicao502359-42
18BelenensesBelenenses502327-52

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