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May 5, 2021 at 9.15pm UK
Rio AveRio Ave
0-2
Sporting LisbonSporting Lisbon

Augusto (23'), Aderlan (38'), Coentrao (65'), Brandao (90+4')
Tarantini (62')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Goncalves (34' pen.), Paulinho (63')
Mendes (26'), Feddal (42'), Palhinha (74'), Neto (90+3'), Coates (90+4')

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

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

Rio Ave welcome Sporting Lisbon to the Estadio dos Arcos on Wednesday, with a win moving the Lisbon outfit within four points of securing the Primeira Liga title.

The league leaders took a major step closer to the trophy on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Nacional, while the hosts' survival bid was marginally improved with a 0-0 draw away against Portimonense last time out.


Match preview

Rio Ave come into this game in the back of a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Portimonense, as Miguel Cardoso's men failed to break the deadlock for what would be a crucial victory, despite dominating the majority of the encounter.

That stretched their winless run to eight games in the top flight, having suffered losses in important matches at the bottom of the table against Maritimo and Gil Vicente.

In those eight games, Os Rioavistas picked up six points while netting just five goals.

As a result, Cardoso's men have fallen worryingly close to the relegation zone, now sitting just two points ahead of Boavista in the relegation playoff place and four points above the automatic drop zone.

With 12 points left to play for, Os Rioavistas will be desperate to put a crucial victory on the board to fend off the bottom three, but they face a tough test as the league leaders travel to the Estadio dos Arcos.

Sporting will look to go one step closer to lifting the 19th Primeira Liga trophy in the club's history, and their first since 2002.

Following a slightly inconsistent patch of form, Ruben Amorim's men got their title bid firmly back on track with consecutive victories coming into Wednesday's game.

They took 83 minutes to break the deadlock at home to basement side Nacional last time out, but Zouhair Feddal eventually opened the scoring before Jovane Cabral netted a penalty in added time to seal their 23rd league win of the campaign.

Amorim's men will also look to continue their league unbeaten run, having not suffered a defeat from any of their 30 games in the top flight this campaign, accumulating an impressive tally of 76 points from those matches.

That is in no small part down to their strong defensive record, with no side in the league conceding as few as the 15 goals that Os Leoes have shipped in 30 games, while also registering an eye-catching tally of 54 goals at the other end of the pitch.

With a six-point lead over second-placed Porto after 30 games of the campaign, Os Verde e Brancos now require just seven points to seal the title, and Amorim will be hopeful of his side picking up a third consecutive victory to take a huge step closer to that aim.

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

Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Rio Ave will be boosted by the return of experienced full-back Ivo Pinto, who served a suspension last time out for a red card.

Former Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao has recently moved into a more attacking role on the right wing, and he could continue in the attacking line alongside Junior Brandao and Gelson Dala.

Goalkeeper Antonio Adan will return to the Sporting Lisbon XI after serving a suspension last time out.

The experienced Spanish stopper has kept an impressive tally of 17 clean sheets in 29 league games this season, and he will take his spot back from Luis Maximiano, who deputised in his absence for the Nacional victory.

They will also be boosted by the return of centre-back Goncalo Inacio from suspension, reforming their familiar back three alongside Zouhair Feddal and captain Sebastian Coates.

Paulinho will lead the line with the support of winger Pedro Goncalves, who has recorded 17 goals and four assists in 28 league games in his first season in the Portuguese capital.

Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Kieszek; Pinto, Borevkovic, Santos, Amaral; Geraldes, Augusta, Guga; Coentrao, Brandao, Dala

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Mario, Palhinha, Mendes; Goncalves, Paulinho, Santos


We say: Rio Ave 0-2 Sporting Lisbon

Despite Rio Ave's growing need for a win, the league leaders should be too strong for Cardoso's men on Wednesday.

With the title firmly in their sights, we expect Os Leoes to grind out another victory built on their solid back line.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data



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Primeira Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sporting Lisbon33257160194182
2Porto33238270294177
3Benfica33227466264073
4Braga33196853332063
5Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira33148113739-250
6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes32126143641-542
7MoreirenseMoreirense33913113443-940
8Santa ClaraSanta Clara32117143836240
9BelenensesBelenenses32913102529-440
10Gil Vicente33116163240-839
11FamalicaoFamalicao32910133745-837
12TondelaTondela33106173454-2036
13PortimonensePortimonense3397173441-734
14Maritimo32104182642-1634
15BoavistaBoavista33712143748-1133
16Rio AveRio Ave33613142339-1631
17SC FarenseFarense33710163144-1331
18Nacional3267192954-2525
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