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May 14, 2022 at 3.30pm UK at Estádio Municipal
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Preview: Arouca vs. Belenenses - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arouca vs. Belenenses - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Arouca and Belenenses, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Arouca and Belenenses draw the curtain on their 2021-2022 Primeira Liga campaign when they go head to head at the Estadio Municipal de Arouca on Saturday.

The Arouquenses head into the game needing just a point to confirm their safety, while only a win will see the visitors keep their slender survival hopes alive as they could move into the relegation playoff spot.

Match preview

Arouca were sent crashing back down to earth in the Primeira Liga when they fell to a slender 1-0 defeat at the hands of fourth-placed Braga last Sunday.

In a one-sided affair at the Estadio Braga Municipal, Ricardo Horta came up clutch for the hosts as he scored the only goal of the game with three minutes remaining in the game.

Prior to that, Arouca ended their three-game winless run when they claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Portimonense on April 30 courtesy of a 50th-minute strike from David Simao.

With 30 points from 33 games, Armando Evangelista's side are currently 15th in the Primeira Liga standings, three points above 16th-placed Tondela in the relegation playoff spot.

While Arouca will be looking to close out the season on a high, next up is an opposing side who they are winless against in seven of the last eight meetings between the teams, losing four and claiming three draws in that time.

Elsewhere, Belenenses failed to arrest their slump in form last time out when they suffered a 3-2 home defeat against a rejuvenated Famalicao side at the Estadio Nacional do Jamor.

Adrian Marin and Bruno Rodrigues scored to cancel out Alex Nascimento's first half-half own goal and turn the tie on its head, and after Yves Baraye levelled matters with a 93rd-minute strike, Pepe struck two minutes later to hand the visitors all three points.

Franclim Carvalho's side have now failed to taste victory in any of their last three outings, picking up one draw and losing two since a 1-0 victory over 14th-placed Vizela on April 16.

Belenenses have now lost 18, drawn 10 and won just five of their 33 games this season to collect 25 games and sit 18th in the standings, two points off Tondela in the relegation playoff spot.

O Belem's struggles have been owing to their horrid run on the road, where they are yet to pick up a win and hold the division's worst record with seven points from 16 away games to date.

Arouca Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Arouca will be with several notable absentees as the likes of goalkeeper Fernando Augusto, defender Jose Manuel Velazquez and midfielder Moses Yaw have all been ruled out through injuries.

They are joined on the Arouquenses injury table by the midfield duo of Pedro Moreira and Eboue Kouassi, who are recuperating from knee and ACL injuries respectively.

Thirty-year-old forward Wellington Nem misses out through a muscle injury, while Nino Galovic is set to sit out his second consecutive game after coming off injured at half time against Portimonense on April 30.

As for Belenenses, Carvalho will be unable to call upon the services of 21-year-old forward Alioune Ndour, who picked up an injury in February's game against Pacos de Ferreira.

He is joined on O Belem's injury table by Portuguese midfielder Tomas Castro, who sustained a knee injury back in January's game against Maritimo.

Arouca possible starting lineup:
Braga; Thales, Basso, Ba, Quaresma; Simao, Ruiz, L Silva; Bukia, Nunes, A Silva

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Felipe; Carraca, Henriques, Tavares, Calila; Braima, Teixeira, Sousa; Camacho, Lica, Baraye

We say: Arouca 1-1 Belenenses

While a draw seals Arouca's safety, Belenenses need all three points to move into the relegation playoffs spot and keep their slender survival hopes alive. We predict a cagey affair with the Arouquenses doing just enough to force a share of the spoils and confirm O Belem's relegation.

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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