Preview: Santa Clara vs Estoril Praia – prediction, team news, line-ups
Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Primeira Liga clash between Santa Clara and Estoril Praia, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
The Portuguese Primeira Liga returns with a new round of fixtures as Santa Clara and Estoril Beach face off on Sunday at the Estadio de Sao Miguel.
It will be the second meeting between the sides after Canarinhos came from behind twice to salvage a thrilling 2-2 draw in the reverse game in November.
Santa Clara were simply crushed by Porto when the sides met at the Estadio do Dragao last Monday as Sergio Conceicao’s side claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Portuguese midfielder Fabio Viera grabbed a brace in the first half to put the league leaders two goals before the interval before Zaidu Sanusi icing on the cake with a goal in the 84th minute.
Before that, Mario SilvaThe men were on a fine unbeaten streak, drawing four and winning one, while scoring four goals and keeping three clean sheets during that span.
With 31 points from 28 games, Santa Clara are currently 10th in the Primeira Liga standings, three points and three places behind Sunday’s visitors.
Elsewhere, Estoril Praia failed to find their way back to winning ways due to a somewhat disappointing 2-1 loss to Vizela at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota last Saturday.
After Kiko Bondoso gave the Vizelenses the lead in the 16th minute, Leonard Ruiz restored parity 20 minutes later to end the first half level but Bondoso again delivered the goods by striking shortly after the hour mark to give the visitors the three points and end their streak seven games without a win.
This is a second consecutive loss for Bruno Pinheirowho were beaten 2-1 at Benfica in game 20 when Rafa Silva and Goncalo Ramos put As Aguias in front Andre Franco grabbed a consolation in the 93rd minute.
Estoril Praia are heading to the weekend without a win in each of their last seven away games in all competitions, losing five and claiming two draws since a 1-0 victory over Belenenses in December.
As they look to end this drought, the next step is an opposition side who are currently unbeaten in eight consecutive home games, collecting an impressive 17 points from a possible 24.
Form of the Santa Clara Primeira Liga:
Form of Estoril Praia Primeira Liga:
Silva remains unable to call on the Portuguese midfielder Costinhawho continues his spell on the sidelines due to an Achilles tendon injury.
Julio Romao is a doubt for Os Acoreanos after the 24-year-old midfielder was injured in the middle of the game against Porto last weekend.
If he can’t get rid of his wound, Ruben Oliveira could enter for his first starting appearance of the season, teaming up with Nene in the center of the park.
Ruben Providence won’t play a role for Estoril Praia as the 20-year-old continues his recovery from an ankle injury that has kept him out since last April.
He is joined on the Canarinhos injury chart by Brazilian defender Lucas Africo, who has been out since last November with a knee problem.
Possible starting line-up from Santa Clara:
Pereira; Ramos, Tassano, Boateng, Mansur; Carvalho, Morita; Ricardinho, Crysan, Lincoln; Coast
Possible starting composition from Estoril Praia:
Figueira; Soria, Ferraresi, Silva, Joaozinho; Gamboa, Géraldes; Gomes, Franco, Mboula; Ruiz
We say: Santa Clara 1-0 Estoril Praia
Santa Clara will relish its chances of getting back to winning ways as it returns home where it has been solid for the past few weeks. They face an outstanding Estoril Praia side who have picked up two points in their last six games on the road and we expect them to walk away with all three points, albeit by an odd goal.