Sporting Lisbon will host Rio Ave on matchday 14 of the Portuguese Primeira Liga on Friday, with three points at stake at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
The home side come into this clash on the back of a shock 2-0 defeat away to Maritimo in the Taca de Portugal on Monday. Rio Ave also suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Estoril at the same stage of the competition a day later.
With 13 matchdays gone, Sporting Lisbon lead the way on the standings, with 35 points accrued so far. Rio Ave sit in mid-table, although they are just three points off bottom-placed Famalicao.
Sporting Lisbon vs Rio Ave Head-to-Head
Sporting Lisbon have the advantage in 30 previous matches played between the two sides.
The capital outfit were victorious on 19 occasions, drawing five, with 54 goals scored and 29 conceded. Rio Ave have just six victories to their name.
Their most recent clash came in February 2020, on matchday 21 of last season, when the sides could not be separated in a 1-1 draw. A late penalty from Johane Cobral canceled out a second-minute opener by Lucas Piazon to ensure parity.
Sporting Lisbon form guide (all competitions): L-W-W-W-W
Rio Ave form guide (all competitions): L-W-L-L-L
Sporting Lisbon vs Rio Ave Team News
The hosts do not have any new injury concerns or suspension worries. The only injury absentee is forward Luiz Phellype who has been sidelined for almost a year with an ACL rupture.
Manager Ruben Amorim named a heavily-rotated squad for the trip to Maritimo on Monday, which backfired. He is likely to name his strongest XI for the visit of Rio Ave.
Injury: Luiz Phellyppe
The visitors have right-back Junio ruled out with a fibula fracture. There are no suspension concerns for Rio Ave.
Sporting Lisbon vs Rio Ave Predicted XI
Sporting Lisbon Predicted XI (3-4-3): Antonio Adan (GK); Zouhair Feddal, Sebastian Coates, Luis Neto; Nuno Mendes, Joao Palhinha, Joao Mario, Pedro Porro; Nuno Santos, Pedro Goncalves; Andraz Sporar
Rio Ave Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pawel Kieszek (GK); Pedro Amaral, Aderlan Santos, Toni Borevkovic, Ivo Pinto; Carlos Mane, Chico Geraldes, Ryotaro Meshino, Gelson Dala
Sporting Lisbon vs Rio Ave Prediction
Sporting Lisbon are currently the only unbeaten side in the Portuguese league. They will be keen to keep their momentum going in their quest for a first league title in 19 years.
The hosts should not have too many issues dispatching a Rio Ave side that have lost four of their last five games, failing to score in three of them. We expect Rio Ave to draw another blank in a comfortable victory for Sporting.
Prediction: Sporting Lisbon 2-0 Rio AvePublished 13 Jan 2021, 17:47 IST