While the home side are without a victory in four matches, the visitors ended a three-match losing streak with success against Belenenses.
In the immediate aftermath of their agonising Europa League exit to AC Milan, Rio Ave suggested that the disappointment of that defeat would provide motivation for the rest of the campaign.
However, four games without success have left the club down in 10th position, eight points adrift of fifth-placed Vitoria De Guimaraes and just two points above the relegation zone.
Mario Silva has been caught between targeting a repeat of last season's final position and ensuring that the club do not become embroiled in a battle at the wrong end of the table.
Getting the better of opponents who sit below them would make a difference, particularly during the Christmas and New Year period when points are tougher to accumulate.
That said, the Vilacondenses have the worst attacking record in the division, and that is something which will only encourage Maritimo ahead of this important contest.
Having previously succumbed to four defeats in five outings, the 1-0 success over Belenenses has resulted in Os Verde-Rubros progressing out of the bottom two and to within closer proximity to mid-table.
With the decisive goal not arriving until the 92nd minute, Milton Mendes will not be getting carried with his side's change in fortunes.
Nevertheless, with each of their most recent setbacks coming via a 2-1 scoreline, there is now a feeling that Mendes's side are moving in the right direction after he replaced Lito Vidigal earlier this month.
Rio Ave Primeira Liga form: WWDLDL
Rio Ave form (all competitions): DWLDWL
Maritimo Primeira Liga form: LDLLLW
Maritimo form (all competitions): LWLLWW
Silva will almost certainly make alterations to his Rio Ave XI after the 3-0 defeat at Braga.
Having come off the substitutes' bench to score the winner against Belenenses, Joel will expect to be handed a recall to the Maritimo side.
Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Kieszek; Santos, Borevkovic, Amaral; Pinto, Pele, Jambor, Mane; Gabrielzinho, Ronan, Lopes
Maritimo possible starting lineup:
Abedzadeh; Rene, Junior, Andrade; Winck, Bambock, Guitane, Correa, Hermes; Pinho, Joel
We say: Rio Ave 2-1 Maritimo
Having lost touch with the top five, Rio Ave are under pressure to deliver a much-improved performance. Although we expect Maritimo to kick on from their latest result, the home side are due to finally produce some extra quality in the final third.