MX23RW : Tuesday, September 21 19:54:04| >> :600:503887:503887:
Jan 4, 2021 at 9.15pm UK at Estadio Municipal
PortimonensePortimonense
2-0
FarenseSC Farense
Beto (72', 90+2')
Willyan (55'), Luquinhas (68'), Dener (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Stojiljkovic (45+2'), Pinto (57')

Preview: Portimonense vs. SC Farense - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Primeira Liga clash between Portimonense and SC Farense, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A battle at the bottom of Portugal's Primeira Liga takes place on Monday night, as Portimonense welcome fellow Algarve club SC Farense to Estadio Municipal de Portimao.

Both sides are looking for a first win in three games, as they aim to pull away from the basement of a tightly-packed Liga Nos table.


Match preview

Portimonense's Dener celebrates scoring against Benfica in June 2020© Reuters

Portimonense slipped into last place in the league on eight points after last week's loss to title-chasing Benfica, though that situation could change rapidly, given that only five points currently separate all the clubs outside the top six in the table.

With Paulo Sergio's outfit just a point adrift of Monday's visitors, the incentive to claim maximum points against Farense is substantial.

Naturally, a 2-1 defeat at Estadio da Luz did not come as a shock to Portimun followers, who would in fact have been encouraged by their team's greater share of the possession and better pass completion against a second-placed Benfica side.

However, just seven goals in 11 league games to date tells the tale of their season so far - highlighted by just one of their 13 attempts against the Lisbon giants hitting the target.

As a result, Portimonense are expected to strengthen their squad during the January transfer window, with Botafogo's veteran Japan international Keisuke Honda set to sign terms.

Former Japan international Keisuke Honda pictured in September 2018© Reuters

Honda, 34, recently accepted Botafogo fans' criticism after scoring only three goals in 27 matches during a disrupted year in Brazil, which began with much fanfare but ended on a flat note.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether attempted pre-season signings of Junior Tavares and Luan from Sao Paulo will finally go ahead this month. Certainly, the Portimao-based club could benefit from some new blood in the squad to stave off relegation - which they only managed due to administrative irregularities at Vitoria Setubal last term.

SC Farense joined their fellow Algarvian side in the top flight for the first time in nearly two decades last summer and have already demonstrated that they may have the ability to remain in the Primeira.

Despite still sitting just above the relegation zone, two wins from four matches moved Sergio Vieira's team back into a congested bottom-half pack, before a late loss to leaders Sporting and subsequent draw with Pacos de Ferreira either side of the brief Christmas break.

Those home wins over Boavista and Maritimo - plus running potential champions Sporting so close - have boosted morale at Estadio de Sao Luis in recent weeks.

Scorer of the equaliser against Pacos, Scottish playmaker Ryan Gauld has continued to impress in Faro, contributing four goals and four assists so far.

Gauld took the unusual route of joining Sporting back in 2014 when a number of other more conventional options were available. Though the 24-year-old was unable to make the grade in Lisbon - and loan spells at Setubal, Aves and Hibernian ultimately did not work out - he has excelled ever since signing permanently for Farense in 2019 and was integral in helping his new side achieve promotion to Liga NOS last season.

The left-footed star will provide a considerable - potentially decisive - threat to the Portimonense defence on Monday, whether from the 'number 10' role or stationed on the left flank for Farense.

Portimonense Primeira Liga form: LLWLDL
Portimonense form (all competitions): LLWLDL

SC Farense Primeira Liga form: DWLWLD
SC Farense form (all competitions): WLLWLD


Team News

Ryan Gauld during a Scotland training session in May 2014© Reuters

Farense's attacking intent will be headlined by star man Gauld, upon whom manager Vieira has become reliant for goals and assists. Either Gauld or French-Algerian forward Bilel Aouacheria should start in support of Patrick, with the other man moving out wide.

The visitors have first-team regulars Fabricio Isidoro and Brian Mansilla both under threat of suspension due to accumulated bookings, but veteran goalkeeper Rafael Defendi returns to duty after serving a ban for his sending off against Sporting.

Portimonense boss Sergio will be without midfielder Lucas Fernandes after the 23-year-old injured his cruciate ligament, while Pedro Sa remains out through an injury suffered last month.

On-loan striker Fabricio is set to lead the line, with well-travelled former Bolton Wanderers forward Ricardo Vaz Te available on the bench.

Portimonense possible starting lineup:
Samuel; Cande, Mauricio, Possignolo, Moufi; Boa Morte, Dener, Willyan, Anzai; Fabricio, Luquinhas

SC Farense possible starting lineup:
Marques; Pinto, Mancha, Falcao, Nunes; Seco, Isidoro, Melo, Aouacheria; Gauld, Patrick


SM words green background

We say: Portimonense 1-1 SC Farense

The incredible congestion at the lower end of the Primeira Liga standings demonstrates just how closely-matched Portugal's 'also-rans' are in this strange season.

With neither side prolific in front of goal, a hard-fought draw is the most probable outcome in Portimao this Monday, as both sides continue a season-long campaign for survival.





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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Benfica66001631318
2Porto64201431114
3Sporting Lisbon6420103714
4Estoril PraiaEstoril641194513
5Braga632195411
6PortimonensePortimonense631274310
7Gil Vicente62227618
8BoavistaBoavista62228808
9Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira622257-28
10Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes61416337
11Maritimo613268-26
12Vizela6132612-66
13AroucaArouca6123612-65
14Santa ClaraSanta Clara6114414-104
15FamalicaoFamalicao603359-43
16TondelaTondela6105712-53
17BelenensesBelenenses603338-53
18MoreirenseMoreirense6033815-73

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