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May 11, 2021 at 4pm UK
Santa ClaraSanta Clara
Rio AveRio Ave
Carlos (53')
Mansur (38'), Villanueva (45+1'), Allano (69'), Crysan (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rodrigues (46'), Coentrao (73'), Meshino (79'), Augusto (83')

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

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

With the battle for survival heating up, Rio Ave travel to Santa Clara on Tuesday with the aim of putting more distance between themselves and the drop zone.

Miguel Cardoso's side find themselves just one point above the bottom three in the Primeira Liga table having gone nine league games without a victory, while the hosts will be hoping to break a five-game winless run of their own to maintain their seventh spot.

Match preview

Santa Clara suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat last time out, as they travelled to take on Famalicao.

Daniel Ramos's side had to play with 10 men when Nene was sent off in the 35th minute, but they managed to hold on for the majority of the encounter until Fama won a penalty in the 82nd minute, which Ivo Rodrigues converted to send Santa Clara home empty-handed.

Before that, they were on the right end of some late drama in an eye-catching 3-3 draw with strugglers Boavista, as Fabio Cardoso netted an equaliser in the 94th minute to salvage a point for Os Acoreanos after Lincoln and Carlos kept the game alive with goals earlier in the encounter.

While they would have been jubilant at snatching a point late on, Ramos's men have worryingly picked up just two points from their last five league outings, seeing them fall well behind fifth-placed Pacos de Ferreira and sixth-placed Vitoria de Guimaraes as a result.

Os Acoreanos go into their last three games of the season with very little to play for, although they do stand an outside chance of bridging the five-point gap to Vitoria and breaking into the top six if they can turn their form around.

On the other hand, their opponents come into this game with plenty to play for, as they aim to fend off the Primeira Liga's bottom three sides with a result on Tuesday.

Rio Ave suffered a 2-0 defeat last time out, as they played host to league leaders Sporting Lisbon.

Pedro Goncalves opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half, and the game was put out of sight on the hour mark as Tarantini was sent off before Paulinho immediately doubled Sporting's lead with a thumping strike from outside the box.

While that was not a devastating result against the unbeaten league leaders, it did stretch Os Rioavistas' winless run to nine games in the top flight, having picked up just six points from those matches.

As a result, Miguel Cardoso's men have fallen from their seemingly safe mid-table position down to 15th spot, just one point and one place above Boavista in the relegation playoff place.

Their struggles this season have undoubtedly come in attack, with only one side in the Primeira Liga scoring fewer than the 23 goals that Os Rioavistas have netted in 31 league games.

They come into Tuesday's match needing a win to increase that gap between themselves and the bottom three going into the final two games of the campaign.

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

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

Team News

Santa Clara midfielder Nene will serve his suspension on Tuesday after he was sent off in the first half of the Famalicao match.

They were reduced to nine men in the dying minutes of that game as Pierre Sagna was sent off deep into added time, and the right-back will also miss Tuesday's match through suspension.

Rafael Ramos is expected to come back into the XI on the right-hand side of a back four, while Anderson Carvalho should regain his starting spot in midfield alongside Lincoln and Hidemasa Morita in Nene's absence.

Wingers Crysan and Allano will both be pushing for returns to the starting lineup after Ukra was preferred over the pair last time out, with Rui Costa and Carlos completing the front three.

Rio Ave come into this game without experienced midfielder Tarantini, who will serve a suspension after he was shown a red card last time out.

They have netted just one goal in the last five matches, as the likes of Junior Brandao and Gelson Dala have struggled to find the net.

However, former Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao could bring a breath of fresh air to the forward line, having scored in his first game in a new right-wing role in a 1-1 draw with Pacos de Ferreira in late April.

Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Marco; Ramos, Cardoso, Villanueva, Mansur; Morita, Lincoln, Carvalho; Crysan, Carlos, Allano

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

We say: Santa Clara 0-1 Rio Ave

Rio Ave are desperately in search of a much-needed victory to boost their survival bid, and we see them picking that up on Tuesday when they take on a Santa Clara side who lack anything to play for.

Ramos's side have hugely dipped in form in recent weeks, and we see them being outfought at their home ground.

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:curl

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Primeira Liga Table
1 34267165204585
2 34248274294580
3 34237469274276
4 34197853332064
5 34158114041-153
6 34137144436846
7 34127153744-743
8 341013113743-643
9 341010144048-840
10 34913122535-1040
11 34116173342-939
12 34106183657-2136
13 34812143949-1036
14 3498173441-735
15 34105192747-2035
16 34713142540-1534
17 34710173148-1731
18 3467213059-2925
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