Sporting CP will look to move another step closer to sealing the Primeira Liga title when they travel to Rio Ave on Wednesday at 9:15pm (UK time).
Ruben Amorim’s side are six points clear of rivals Porto at the top of the table with just four games remaining. Rio Ave, meanwhile, are 15th and still in considerable relegation danger.
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Where to watch Rio Ave vs Sporting CP on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: GolTV
Scoreline prediction: Rio Ave 0-2 Sporting CP
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Rio Ave vs Sporting CP build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
After seemingly dragging themselves away from the relegation scrap, Rio Ave have been pulled back into trouble thanks to an eight-game winless run which has seen them pick up just six points. As a result, Miguel Cardoso’s men find themselves 15th and just two points clear of the relegation playoff spot, with an undesirable clash with Porto still to come after this match.
Rio Ave will expect no favours against a Sporting side marching toward Primeira Liga glory. The Lions haven’t won the title since 2002 and have had to watch on as their arch-rivals Benfica and Porto have dominated during that time. But with just four games to go, Amorim’s men remain unbeaten and six points clear at the top of the table. A win here, coupled with a Porto loss, would leave Sporting needing just a point from their final three games to finally end their long title wait.
- Rio Ave (vs Portimonense): Kieszek; Costinha, Borevkovic, Santos, Amaral; Geraldes, Augusto, Guga; Coentrao, Brandao, Gelson.
- Sporting CP (vs Nacional): Maximiano; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Braganca, Palhinha, Mendes; Goncalves, Santos; Paulinho.
Junio, Nikola Jambor and Andre Pereira are all sidelined for the hosts, but Ivo Pinto is free to return from suspension.
Antonio Adan and Tiago Tomas both return from suspension, but Goncalo Inacio remains on the naughty step. Bruno Tabata is injured.
Player to watch: Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP)
Behind every great title-winning team is an inspirational captain to lead the charge and Sebastian Coates has been just that for Sporting CP.
The former Liverpool man has been a colossus as the back for the Lions and illustrated his skillset perfectly during a 2-0 win over Nacional upon his return from suspension last time out. Coates won a remarkable eight aerial duels on the night, at least three more than any other player, while he made three tackles, completed the second-highest number of passes (59) and even created one chance.
With and without the ball, Coates has been the perfect leader for Amorim’s side and will be fully deserving of lifting the Primeira Liga trophy once the title is finally sealed.
Primeira Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Rio Ave: DDLDD
- Sporting CP: WWDWD
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