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

Sports Mole preview Saturday’s Primeira Liga clash between Sporting Lisbon and Rio Ave, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Sporty LisbonIn the first home game of the 2022-23 Primeira Liga season, they face the newly promoted side Rio Ave on Saturday at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Reuben AmorimThe side of are currently on a winning streak of six from their last seven home games in the league and will be looking to continue that good streak.


game preview

Sporting Lisbon's Pablo Sarabia celebrates scoring his first goal with his teammates on April 3, 2022©Reuters

Sporting Lisbon have been denied a dream start to the 2022-23 Primeira Liga season as they suffered a thrilling 3-3 draw against a stubborn Braga side at the Estadio Braga Municipal last Sunday.

The Leos took the lead courtesy of three times Pedro Goncalves, Nuno Santos and Marcus Edwards but the visitors hit back with goals Simon Banza, Siko Niakate and Abel Ruiz when both sides settled for a share of the spoils.

This followed an unconvincing pre-season in which Sporting Lisbon failed to win four of their five friendlies – clinching three and losing once – in a 3-2 win Jose Mourinho‘s Roma on July 19 is the exception.

The 2020-21 Portuguese champions had a solid domestic campaign last season as they finished second in the Primeira Liga standings, just six points behind rivals Porto who clinched their 30th league title.

Sporting Lisbon now welcome Rio Ave to the Estadio Jose Alvalade, where they have won all but one of their last seven league games since early February, scoring an impressive 17 goals and keeping five clean sheets in that span.

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Rio Ave's Ivo Pinto with teammates after the game on January 15, 2021©Reuters

A year after being relegated in the 2020-21 season, Rio Ave secured an immediate return to the Portuguese top flight as they finished first in the Segunda Liga last season.

Beaten in the relegation playoffs by Arouca in May 2021, the Vilacondenses recorded 21 wins, seven draws and lost six of their 34 league games last season, accumulating 70 points and lifting the league crown by a two-point margin over runners-up Casa Pia.

After a win in their three pre-season games, Rio Ave couldn’t announce their return to the Primeira Liga in style as they were condemned to a 1-0 home loss to Vizela last Saturday.

Despite being on the front pedal for most of the game and seeing 65% of possession, Luis Freire‘s men were guilty of a toothless display in attack Nuno Moreira scored the only goal of the game to give the visitors all three points.

While Rio Ave will be looking to quickly brush the dust off their feet and get their top-flight campaign up and running, next up is a fierce opposition side who are unbeaten in 15 of their last 20 matches, recording 11 wins and four draws has this time.

Form of Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga:

Form of Sporting Lisbon (all competitions):

Form of the Rio Ave Primeira Liga:

Form Rio Ave (all competitions):


Team News

Sporting Lisbon coaches Ruben Amorim and Ricardo Esgaio on February 15, 2022©Reuters
Sporting Lisbon will step onto the pitch without the services of the 23-year-old midfielder Daniel Bragancawho has been out since May due to a cruciate ligament injury.

After a good offensive performance against Braga, Amorim was able to name an unchanged front three PaulinhoBarcelona loan Francisco Trincao and Goncalves, who recorded 14 league goal involvements last season.

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However, England striker Edwards could be in the running for a place in the starting XI after the 23-year-old came on as a substitute last weekend and capped a brilliant guest appearance with an 83rd-minute goal.

In the meantime, June Rocha is long absent for Rio Ave as the 25-year-old defender continues his journey to full fitness after suffering a serious fibula injury.

Head coach Freire will be watching from the stands this weekend after the 36-year-old conceded a red card in a heated opening defeat by Vizela last weekend.

Sporting Lisbon possible starting line-up:
Adam; Inacio, Coates, Rice; Porro, Nunes, Morita, Santos; Trincao, Paulinho, Goncalves

Rio Ave possible starting line-up:
Jonathan; Costinha, Nobrega, Santos, Amaral; Gomes, Joca, Guga, Vitor; Yakubu, Pereira


SM words green background

We say: Sporting Lisbon 3-0 Rio Ave

Sporting Lisbon enjoyed this game better, recording 11 wins in their last 20 matches, including a 2-0 win in the most recent encounter. Amorim’s side put in a good offensive performance last time out and we expect the same to be repeated this weekend, with the visitors suffering a heavy defeat.

For data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.


top tip

Our expert Tipster partners at Sporita.com predict over 1.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their tried and true football tips.About 1.5: data


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