MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 20:52:28| >> :600:2278674:2278674:
May 15, 2021 at 8.30pm UK at Estadio do Rio Ave
Rio AveRio Ave
0-3
PortoPorto

Borevkovic (31'), Amaral (83'), Gabrielzinho (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Martinez (56'), Diaz (59'), Oliveira (68')
Uribe (88')

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

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

Rio Ave and Porto lock horns at the Estadio dos Arcos on Saturday, in a game of major importance at both ends of the Primeira Liga table.

The hosts currently sit one point ahead of Boavista in the relegation playoff place and three points above the automatic drop zone, while Porto require a victory to seal second spot and Champions League football for next season.


Match preview

Porto's Antonio Martinez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in January 2021© Reuters

Rio Ave suffered another disappointing defeat in their bid to avoid relegation last time out, as they fell to a 1-0 away loss at the hands of Santa Clara.

Carlos found the net early in the second half, and Miguel Cardoso's men were unable to find an equaliser, taking their winless run to 10 league matches.

In that time, Os Rioavistas have picked up just six points, seeing them fall from a seemingly comfortable mid-table position down into the scrap for survival.

With just two points from their last five league outings, Cardoso's side have only been kept out of the bottom three by their fellow strugglers dropping points, but they could quickly be dragged in if Boavista or Farense pick up a victory in the final two games.

With two matches of the season left to play, Rio Ave require a maximum of four points to ensure that they avoid automatic relegation to the second tier, while they will be desperate to end their winless run to maintain the gap going into the final day, even if the sides below them pick up positive results.

However, Cardoso's side will have to be on top of their game if they are to secure a result on Saturday, as they play host to a Porto side who have not lost in the Primeira Liga since October.

Rio Ave's Ivo Pinto with teammates after the match on January 15, 2021© Reuters

Sergio Conceicao's side come into this game knowing that a victory will confirm their finish as runners-up in the top flight, securing their place in next season's Champions League as a result.

Os Dragoes strengthened their bid with a dominant win last time out, as they hosted strugglers Farense.

A Mehdi Taremi brace and goals from Antonio Martinez, Luis Diaz and Joao Mario gave Conceicao's men a comfortable 5-0 lead, and the only blemish was a late Lica consolation goal for the visitors.

Before that, Porto played out a 1-1 draw in O Classico away against rivals Benfica, as Mateus Uribe netted a 75th-minute equaliser after Everton gave the hosts an early lead.

As a result, Os Dragoes have managed to maintain the four-point gap between themselves and As Aguias with two games left to play, meaning a win on Saturday would see them achieve Champions League qualification.

Porto have managed to stay around the top of the table all season thanks to their strong attacking record, with no other side in the top flight matching their 67 goals from 32 games.

While they have fallen short of retaining the title this season, due to a strong Sporting Lisbon outfit, Conceicao will now place all his focus on finishing in second spot before they relaunch their title bid next campaign.

Rio Ave Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Porto Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Porto players celebrate scoring against Marseille in the Champions League on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Rio Ave will remain without forward Andre Pereira and midfielder Nikola Jambor through injury.

However, Tarantini will return from a one-game suspension to add another option to Os Rioavistas' midfield alongside Guga and Chico Geraldes.

Fabio Coentrao was moved back to left-back for the Santa Clara match, after his spell as part of the front three failed to improve Rio Ave's attacking threat.

Porto will come into this game without key centre-back Chancel Mbemba, who will miss out through suspension after he was shown his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

The Congolese international has been a key man for Os Dragoes this season, but Diogo Leite should be a strong deputy alongside Pepe.

Winger Jesus Corona is also expected to continue his spell on the sidelines through injury, with Otavio and Luis Diaz expected to play on the flanks on Saturday.

Mehdi Taremi will lead the line with plenty of confidence, having netted a brace last time out to take his tally to 15 league goals for the season alongside 13 assists.

He should be partnered by Antonio Martinez, who also found the net in that game, as Moussa Marega is eligible to play but recently signed a deal to take him to Al-Hilal next season, which should limit his impact in Conceicao's side for the final two matches.

Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Kieszek; Pinto, Borevkovic, Santos, Coentrao; Tarantini, Guga, Geraldes; Mane, Dala, Camacho

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Manafa, Leite, Pepe, Sanusi; Otavio, Oliveira, Uribe, Diaz; Taremi, Martinez


SM words green background

We say: Rio Ave 0-2 Porto

Although they come into this game with a huge desire for an elusive victory, Rio Ave should fall short against a Porto side full of quality and confidence.

We see last season's champions brushing Cardoso's men aside on Saturday, as they look to confirm second spot.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Rio Ave vs Porto

Rio Ave
16.0%
Draw
8.0%
Porto
76.0%
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Sporting Lisbon's Pedro Goncalves celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates in January 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
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2 34248274294580
3 34237469274276
4 34197853332064
5 34158114041-153
6 34137144436846
7 34127153744-743
8 341013113743-643
9 341010144048-840
10 34913122535-1040
11 34116173342-939
12 34106183657-2136
13 34812143949-1036
14 3498173441-735
15 34105192747-2035
16 34713142540-1534
17 34710173148-1731
18 3467213059-2925

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