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Dec 28, 2020 at 6.45pm UK at Estadio do Rio Ave
Rio AveRio Ave
1-3
MaritimoMaritimo
Diego (14')
Borevkovic (12'), Tarantini (36'), Pele (67')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Joel (50', 63'), Hermes (75')
Junior (43'), Jean (90+2')

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

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

Rio Ave and Maritimo square off in Primeira Liga on Monday evening with just one point separating the two teams in the standings.

While the home side are without a victory in four matches, the visitors ended a three-match losing streak with success against Belenenses.


Match preview

Rio Ave players Gelson and Carlos Mane celebrate after scoring against AC Milan in the Europa League in October 2020© Reuters

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


Team News

Silva will almost certainly make alterations to his Rio Ave XI after the 3-0 defeat at Braga.

Nikola Jambor is in contention to feature in midfield, while Gabrielzinho and Ronan are pushing for just their second league starts of the season.

Having come off the substitutes' bench to score the winner against Belenenses, Joel will expect to be handed a recall to the Maritimo side.

Jorge Correa also made a difference in that fixture and could replace Pedro Pelagio.

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


SM words green background

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.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data


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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

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· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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