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Rio Ave
Primeira Liga | Gameweek 19
Jan 31, 2024 at 6.45pm UK
Estadio do Rio Ave Futebol Clube
Estoril

Rio Ave
1 - 1
Estoril

Boateng (56')
Patrick (20'), Joca (46'), Costinha (90+4'), Oudrhiri (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Tavares (85')
Feltes (55'), Mangala (84'), Gomes (90+3')

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

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

Rio Ave will welcome Estoril Praia to the Estadio dos Arcos on Wednesday for a key battle in the fight at the bottom end of the Primeira Liga table.

The two sides are separated by a single point after 18 league games, with the hosts sat in the relegation playoff place and the visitors just one spot above the bottom three.


Match preview

Rio Ave's Guga celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 14, 2024© Reuters

On the back of a tough first half to the league campaign, Rio Ave return to action on Wednesday aiming to jump out of the bottom three in the Primeira Liga table in the fight for top-flight survival this term.

From their first 18 outings, Os Rioavistas have only amassed 16 points while managing just two victories in 17 attempts since the opening day, leaving them just three points above 17th-placed Vizela and four ahead of basement side Chaves.

Following four straight draws and a defeat to round off 2023, the most recent of their three league triumphs came at the beginning of the new year, as Luis Freire's side beat Portimonense 2-0 on home turf thanks to goals from Emmanuel Boateng and Ze Manuel, but they have been unable to build on that since, firstly facing a tough trip to title-chasing Benfica and suffering a 4-1 beating despite going ahead through Guga.

Angel Di Maria levelled the scores in the first half and Antonio Silva, Marcos Leonardo and Joao Mario went on to put the game out of sight, before Os Rioavistas most recently travelled to fellow strugglers Chaves and had to settle for a share of the spoils as neither side managed to break the deadlock.

While they will be disappointed by their standing just after the halfway point of the campaign, Rio Ave are far from cut adrift, and sitting just one, two and three points behind Wednesday's opponents, Estrela Amadora and Casa Pia respectively, they have the chance to move out of the bottom three with a victory in midweek.

Estoril's Rafik Guitane celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 24, 2024© Reuters

Their visitors will set out to extend that gap in their own bid for survival, however, having endured a similarly tough first half to the campaign in Portugal's top flight.

Following a 14th-placed finish last time around, Estoril Praia currently occupy 15th spot in the Primeira Liga with just a one-point lead over the drop zone, as despite managing five victories in their 18 outings, only basement side Chaves have suffered more than their 11 defeats.

After a particularly dismal start to the term, four of those five wins came in a six-match span to end 2023 on a positive note, culminating in a 4-0 thrashing of Farense at the end of December thanks to Joao Marques's brace and goals from Tiago Araujo and Raul Parra, but they have been unable to extend the improved run since the turn of the year, instead suffering three further losses on the bounce and conceding 10 goals along the way.

The New Year began with a tough trip to leaders Sporting Lisbon, with Vasco Seabra's side taking a 5-1 thrashing, before falling short in disappointing fashion against Moreirense and most recently losing 2-1 at home to ninth-placed Arouca prior to their trip to the Taca da Liga final at the weekend.

They saw off Benfica in a penalty shootout on Wednesday to book a contest with Braga in the final but were on the wrong end of the same outcome in agonising fashion, falling short in the shootout after a 1-1 draw and coming away empty-handed, and now with all their focus on the fight to maintain their top-flight status this campaign, Estoril Praia will set out to bounce back to winning ways on Wednesday and move four points clear of the Primeira Liga drop zone.

Rio Ave Primeira Liga form:

Estoril Praia Primeira Liga form:


Estoril Praia form (all competitions):



Team News

Rio Ave's Costinha celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 28, 2023© Reuters

Rio Ave will be unable to call on defender Miguel Nobrega on Wednesday, as he will serve a suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, but Aderllan Santos will return to contention and should take his place in the back three after serving his own suspension last time out for a red card shown in their defeat to Benfica.

Santos will join Renato Pantalon and Josue Sa from the outset, while Guga and Amine Oudrhiri are key men in the engine room with Joao Graca likely completing the midfield trio if they stick with a 3-5-2 shape.

Emmanuel Boateng will continue to lead the line, having notched up four goals so far this term, with Leonardo Acevedo, Ze Manuel and Abdul-Aziz Yakubu competing to join him, while Costinha will offer further support from a wing-back role having also managed four goals this season.

Vasco Seabra should field a similar Estoril Praia starting XI to the one that featured in the Taca da Liga final last weekend after only falling at the final hurdle against Braga, with Cassiano bound to again lead the line after notching up his 10th goal of the season in that game.

That is despite competition from Alejandro Marques, with Rafik Guitane and Joao Marques likely to again flank the lone striker in a 3-4-3 setup.

Jordan Holsgrove will bid to return to the midfield from the outset, after Koba Koindredi and Mateus Fernandes were preferred last time out, while Pedro Alvaro, Bernardo Vital and former Manchester City man Eliaquim Mangala should line up in an unchanged back three.


Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Jhonatan; Pantalon, Santos, Sa; Costinha, Graca, Guga, Oudrhiri, Ronaldo; Boateng, Manuel

Estoril Praia possible starting lineup:
Figueira; Alvaro, Vital, Mangala; De Pina, Holsgrove, Koindredi, Araujo; Guitane, Cassiano, J Marques


SM words green background

We say: Rio Ave 1-2 Estoril Praia

While Estoril Praia may feel the effects of a busy schedule, they do now have their full focus on the Primeira Liga and should make their quality count on Wednesday with a return to winning ways to kickstart a climb up the Portuguese top flight.


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


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Game History

How you voted: Rio Ave vs Estoril

Rio Ave
46.9%
Draw
15.6%
Estoril Praia
37.5%
32
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sporting Lisbon28242283275674
2Benfica29224365234270
3Porto29185653233059
4Braga29185661402159
5Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes29176645291657
6MoreirenseMoreirense29127103033-343
7AroucaArouca291341250391143
8FamalicaoFamalicao2881193135-435
9Casa Pia2988132941-1232
10SC FarenseFarense2987143841-331
11Rio AveRio Ave2951593137-630
12BoavistaBoavista2978143455-2129
13Estoril PraiaEstoril2985164350-729
14Gil Vicente2977153648-1228
15Estrela Amadora29610133145-1428
16PortimonensePortimonense2976163262-3027
17ChavesChaves2957172860-3222
18Vizela2949162860-3221


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