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Sep 17, 2021 at 8.15pm UK
Santa ClaraSanta Clara
Aponza (10'), Fernandes (44')
Cande (27'), Fernandes (50'), Aponza (59'), Carlinhos (90')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Costa (20')
Romao (29'), Carvalho (63'), Gonzalez (90+4')

Preview: Portimonense vs. Santa Clara - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Portimonense vs. Santa Clara - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Primeira Liga clash between Portimonense and Santa Clara, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Portimonense and Santa Clara kick off round six of the Primeira Liga campaign when they face off at the Estadio Municipal de Portimao on Friday.

The hosts will head into the game seeking to get one over on the visitors who they failed to pick up a point against in both home and away fixtures last term.

Match preview

Portimonense continued to drop points in the Portuguese top flight last Sunday, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a resilient Boavista side.

In a cagey affair at the Estadio do Bessa, Carlinhos scored what was his first goal of the season on the stroke of half time to hand the Alvinegros a one-goal lead heading into the break, but Petar Musa came up clutch for Boavista, as he struck a 92nd-minute leveller to force a share of the spoils.

That followed a slender 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Pacos de Ferreira, when Douglas Tanque scored late in the first half to hand Os Castores their second win of the season.

While Portimonense have been solid at the defensive end of the pitch, where they have conceded three goals and kept two clean sheets, a lack of firepower in attack is a growing concern for head coach Paulo Sergio.

Friday's hosts have scored five goals from their opening five games this season, with three coming in the victory over Tondela a little under a month ago.

Next up is the daunting task of going against a Santa Clara side who they have failed to beat in the last six meetings between the teams, losing three and picking up three draws.

Santa Clara bounced back from their Europa Conference League qualification heartbreak to secure their first Primeira Liga win of the season when they defeated Gil Vicente 1-0 at the Estadio de Sao Miguel three weeks ago.

However, the resurgence was short-lived, as they were sent crashing back down to earth in their subsequent outing courtesy of a humbling 5-0 defeat at the hands of high-flying Benfica last Saturday.

After controlling proceedings for most of the first half, Rodrigo Pinho scored three minutes before the interval to open the floodgates for As Aguias, who hit four goals midway through the second half through Rafa Silva, Roman Yaremchuk and a brace from Darwin Nunez.

Daniel Ramos's men, who secured an impressive sixth-placed finish last campaign, have now failed to win four of their first five league games, picking up one draw and losing three.

That has been down to their struggles at the defensive end of the pitch, which is a key area needing strengthening if they aim to get their season up and running, as they have conceded the most goals so far in the division with 12.

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

Portimonense form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Santa Clara Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Santa Clara form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Portimonense will take to the pitch without Brazilian forward Fabricio, who is currently recuperating from a knee injury he sustained in the game against Vitoria de Guimaraes back in August.

Newly-signed Shoya Nakajima continues to wait for his debut, as he makes his long journey to full fitness after picking up a severe injury that has kept him out of action since February.

However, fellow newcomer Achraf Lazar could be handed his first appearance for the club after recently joining from Watford on a two-year deal.

Meanwhile, the visitors will still have to cope without the services of 26-year-old Brazilian Allano, who will serve the second of a three-game suspension for picking up a straight red against Gil Vicente three weeks ago.

Venezuelan defender Mikel Villanueva picked up an injury while on international duty against Peru last Monday and will sit out the game.

Costinha is another name on Santa Clara's injury list, after the midfielder sustained an Achilles tendon injury in the game against Moreirense on August 15.

Ramos opted for a back three last time out to match Benfica's three-man defence, but following his side's underwhelming performance, we expect the Portuguese manager to revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Portimonense possible starting lineup:
Samuel; Moufi, Possignolo, Pedrao, Cande; Rocha; Fernandes, Carlinhos, Oliveira, Ewerton; Junior

Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Fernandes; Ramos, Afonso, Henrique, Mansur; Carvalho, Morita; Costa, Lincoln, Patric; Cryan

We say: Portimonense 1-1 Santa Clara

​While both sides have stumbled into the new campaign, Portimonense have been the slightly better side and will be looking to strengthen their position in the top half of the table.

However, Santa Clara head into the game as the superior side in recent meetings between the sides and are unbeaten in each of their last six encounters since 2018, and we ultimately anticipate they will cancel out each other's efforts and settle for a share of the spoils.

Top tip

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

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Primeira Liga Table
3Sporting Lisbon8620134920
4Estoril PraiaEstoril8431127515
7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes824297210
9Gil Vicente8233101009
11Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira8233811-39
15Santa ClaraSanta Clara8134616-106
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