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Aug 11, 2022 at 8pm UK at Estádio Cidade de Barcelos
Gil Vicente
vs.
Riga FC
 

Preview: Riga FC vs. Gil Vicente - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Riga FC vs. Gil Vicente - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa Conference League clash between Gil Vicente and Riga FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Gil Vicente kick off their Europa Conference League qualification campaign when they visit the Skonto Stadium to face Riga FC in the first leg of their third-round clash on Thursday.

The Latvian outfit have enjoyed a perfect run in the qualifiers, winning each of their four games so far, and will look to keep the juggernaut rolling and place on foot in the round of the qualifiers.


Match preview

Riga FC maintained their perfect record in the Conference League qualifiers as they claimed a 2-1 victory over Ruzomberok in the second leg of their second-round clash last Thursday.

Having claimed a 3-0 victory in the reverse leg, Hrvoje Babec and Finish forward Mikael Soisalo scored either side of Jan Maslo's 53rd-minute equaliser to hand the Latvian side a second-leg victory.

Prior to that, Sandro Perkovic's side made it two wins from two in the Latvian Virsliga on July 24 when they came from behind to see off Spartaks 2-1 on home turf courtesy of second-half strikes from Marcelo Torres and Gabriel Ramos da Penha.

Riga FC have now won each of their last five games across all competitions, scoring 10 goals and conceding twice since a 2-0 loss against Valmiera FC in the round of 16 of the Latvian Cup on July 10.

Thursday's hosts head into the game in fine defensive form, keeping eight clean sheets and conceding six goals in their last 12 games across all competitions since May.

Meanwhile, Gil Vicente secured a place in the Conference League qualification places following a fine run in the 2021-22 Primeira Liga, where they finished fifth in the league standings.

The Gilistas, who returned to the top flight in 2019, picked up 51 points from their 34 games last season to secure an impressive fifth-placed finish, three points above Vitoria de Guimaraes in the final Conference League qualification spot.

Gil Vicente head into Thursday off the back of a fine pre-season campaign, where they claimed a 2-0 victory against Penafiel on July 13 before closing their preparations for the new campaign with a 1-1 draw against fellow Portuguese rival Tondela on July 22.

Ivo Vieira's men now take their first step towards securing a place in the fourth round of qualifiers for this year's continental showpiece, where they will be looking to take part and make a lasting first impression.

However, they head into Thursday on a run of four consecutive away games without a win, losing three and picking up one draw since seeing off Braga 1-0 at the Estadio Braga Municipal back in March.

Riga FC Europa Conference League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Riga FC form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Gil Vicente form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D


Team News

Off the back of picking up a fifth straight victory, Perkovic could name an unchanged starting side on Thursday, meaning we could see a back three of Gustavo Dulanto, Douglas Bergqvist and former Dijon defender Ngonda Muzinga.

At the centre of the park, new signing Babec has hit the ground running since joining from Gorica and the 23-year-old should retain his role in midfield, alongside Raivis Jurkovskis and Ukrainian international Yuri Vakulko.

At the attacking end of the pitch, we expect to see a two-man front line of Pafos FC loanee Douglas Aurelio and Brazilian international Penha.

Meanwhile, Gil Vicente will be without Russian goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk, who continues his long journey to full fitness after picking up a severe knee injury while in action for Zenit St. Petersburg last November.

He is joined on the Gilistas injury table by Brazilian forward Murilo de Souza, who sustained an Achilles tendon injury in the league game against Boavista back in January.

Gil Vicente recently completed the signing of Kevin Villodres and defender Lucas Barros from Atlético Malagueno and Covilha respectively, and both men could be handed their debut this Thursday.

Riga FC possible starting lineup:
Purins; Muzinga, Bergqvist, Dulanto; Soisalo, Torres, Babec, Jurkovskis, Vakulko; Aurelio, Penha

Gil Vicente possible starting lineup:
Andrew; Carraca, Cunha, Fernandes, Barros; Carvalho, Tiba; Fujimoto; Boselli, Alipour; Navarro


We say: Riga FC 2-1 Gil Vicente

While Gil Vicente will be looking to kick off their campaign on a high, they face a spirited Riga FC side who have won each of their four games in the qualifiers. The Latvian side head into Thursday on a run of seven wins from their last nine home games and we are backing them to maintain this fine record by claiming a vital first-leg victory against the Portuguese outfit.


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




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