Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Primeira Liga clash between Santa Clara and Famalicao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Eighth-placed Santa Clara will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Primeira Liga on Sunday when they host bottom-of-the-table Famalicao at the Estadio de Sao Miguel.
The hosts are winless in their last four and have only won two of their last 11, but their visitors are in even worse form having failed to win any of their last seven outings across all competitions, stretching back to November.
Santa Clara continued their laudable campaign with an impressive midweek win against Moreirense to progress to the next round of the Taca de Portugal.
In the Primeira Liga, the Acoreanos sit eighth and have secured impressive results so far, including a 1-0 win against Sporting Braga and a 1-1 draw with a solid Benfica side.
Santa Clara have, however, been dreadful on home turf, picking up two draws and three losses in six games at the Estadio de Miguel, including a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Daniel Ramos‘s men have also scored the fewest number of goals at home, and the exit of Thiago Santana, who moved to Japanese outfit Shimizu S-Pulse, is a huge blow, as he was their leading goalscorer with seven goals.
Following a sensational 2019-20 Primeira Liga campaign, where they finished sixth, Famalicao have been nothing but disappointing this season.
After narrowly missing out on the Europa League spot, they have failed to find their feet and are currently bottom of the table with just 11 points.
The Vila Nova side are currently on the end of a seven-game winless run across all competitions and have failed to win in six Primeira Liga outings since their 2-1 victory over Maritimo.
Famalicao have, particularly, struggled to perform on the road, as they sit 12th on the away form table with just one win in six matches and have failed to find the net in their last four.
Having conceded 24 goals already – the most in the Portuguese top flight this season – the addition of Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Ruben Vinagre is a timely addition by head coach Joao Pedro Sousa, who aims to fix his defensive frailty
Famalicao follow this fixture with a huge test against Vitoria de Guimaraes, while Santa Clara travel to the Estadio dos Arcos to take on Rio Ave.
Santa Clara Primeira Liga form: WLLLDD
Santa Clara form (all competitions): DLLWWL
Famalicao Primeira Liga form: LDDLLL
Famalicao form (all competitions): DLDLLL
Santa Clara will be without midfielder Julio Romao, who remains out injured, while Brazilian full-back Patrick Oliveira remains a doubt for this contest.
Shahriar Moghanlou could be rewarded with a starting role on Sunday, after he scored the winning goal in the Acoreanos’ midweek clash against Moreirense.
Both Mikel Villanueva and Marco Pereira are expected to make a return to the starting XI, after they were both rested in the game against Moreirense.
As for the visitors, Luiz Junior is in contention to return to the starting XI, while Heriberto remains a doubt as he battles with an injury.
Famalicao will also be boosted by the return of Bozhidar Kraev, who featured in midweek following an injury absence.
Alexandre Guedes is expected to make his debut after he quit Vitoria de Guimaraes last month after a loan spell in the Japanese J League.
Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Pereira; Sagna, Afonso, Cardoso, Villanueva; Nene, Carvalho, Rashid, Lincoln; Moghanlou, Salomao
Famalicao possible starting lineup:
Junior; Morer, Babic, Queiros, Vinagre; Pereyra, Assuncao, Jordao, Robert, Guedes, Dias
We say: Santa Clara 1-2 Famalicao
Santa Clara have been in a subtle but steady decline and Famalicao will aim to capitalize on this poor form, as they are desperate to bring an end to their own woes and beat the drop.
Top betting tip
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