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Aug 6, 2022 at 3.30pm UK at Estádio do Rio Ave Futebol Clube
Rio Ave
0 - 1

Pereira (27'), Gomes (36'), Amaral (62'), Ronaldo (75'), Oudrhiri (90+2'), Rodrigues (90+2'), Ferreira (90+7')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Moreira (66')
Anderson (44'), Wilson (53'), Buntic (71'), Alvarado (90+3')

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

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

Following their promotion back to the Primeira Liga, Rio Ave will kick off the new season with a home contest against Vizela on Saturday.

The hosts earned a place back in Portugal's top flight after topping the second tier last season, while their visitors managed to preserve their Primeira Liga status last time around after a promotion of their own in the previous year.

Match preview

After 13 consecutive years in the Primeira Liga, Rio Ave eventually slipped down to Portugal's second tier, and they entered last season with their sights set on an immediate return.

While they never dropped out of the top five, Os Rioavistas did let go of pole position in the fight for automatic promotion in February, only to storm back into the top two with five straight wins while conceding just once.

Finding themselves in a three-team fight for the two automatic promotion places, Luis Freire's side finished with another winning run to book their place back in the top flight and pip Casa Pia to the title, with Abdul-Aziz Yakubu netting an early goal and Aderllan Santos hitting a brace in a final-day 3-0 win over third-placed Chaves.

Now heading into a new Primeira Liga season with momentum from their title win, Os Rioavistas will aim to make a winning start on home turf on Saturday with a tough schedule upcoming as they take on Sporting Lisbon, Estoril Praia and defending champions Porto in the next three outings.

Vizela will make the trip also hoping to begin on the front foot, having sealed a second consecutive season in the top flight.

Following their long-awaited return to the Primeira Liga, Vizela found themselves battling in the bottom half but consistently remained out of the relegation zone, having finished with important tallies of seven wins and 12 draws.

A victory over Arouca was a crucial one for Alvaro Pacheco's side, as Guilherme Schettine hit both goals in a 2-1 win over the fellow relegation-fighters, and, despite suffering a final day thrashing at the hands of Moreirense, they finished four points clear of the bottom three.

Now on the back of a mixed pre-season, culminating in a confidence-boosting win over Pacos de Ferreira, Vizela will turn their attention to the new campaign with the hopes of an improvement in their standing in the top flight.

Rio Ave pre-season form:
  • D
  • L
  • W

Vizela pre-season form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Abdul-Aziz Yakubu should come into the new season as Rio Ave's key man going forward, having netted 15 goals in all competitions last season.

They have bolstered their attacking ranks further with the signing of former Estoril Praia man Leonardo Ruiz, while Pedro Mendes will also be hoping to carry his scoring form into the top flight.

Guga was a relative mainstay throughout their triumphant season last time around, and he will again play a crucial role in the centre this term, likely alongside Vitor Gomes.

Vizela head into the new season needing to fill the hole left by Guilherme Schettine, who saw his loan from Braga come to an end in the summer, leaving plenty of responsibility on Cassiano to lead the attack, after he chipped in with six league goals last season.

Goalkeeper Fabijan Buntic arrived over the summer and could take the number one spot in time, while 19-year-old midfielder Diego Rosa could be handed a first competitive appearance after joining on loan from Manchester City.

Full-backs Carlos Isaac and Matheus Pereira have also signed from Alaves and Cruzeiro respectively and will be pushing to earn debuts at the weekend.

Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Jhonatan; Costinha, Santos, Pantalon, Amaral; Joca, Guga, Gomes, Gabrielzinho; Mendes, Yakubu

Vizela possible starting lineup:
Silva; Juliao, Fernandes, Anderson, Pereira; Claudemir, Mendez, Rosa; Kiko, Cassiano, Cann

We say: Rio Ave 2-1 Vizela

Rio Ave will head into the new season with confidence, and, possibly eyeing Saturday as a good chance to put points on the board at home to a side who narrowly avoided relegation last term, we see Os Rioavistas coming away with an opening-day win.

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

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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