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Oct 31, 2021 at 6pm UK
Santa ClaraSanta Clara
Safira (42'), Nuno (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Allano (90' pen.)

Preview: Belenenses vs. Santa Clara - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Belenenses vs. Santa Clara - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Primeira Liga clash between Belenenses and Santa Clara, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

It is a bottom-of-the-table clash in the Portuguese Primeira Liga as Belenenses and Santa Clara square off at the Estadio Nacional do Jamor on Sunday.

The hosts will be desperate to pick up their first win of the season and get one over the visitors after suffering defeat in both home and away fixtures last season.

Match preview

Belenenses failed to move off the bottom of the Primeira Liga standings as they were held to an uneventful goalless draw by Boavista last weekend.

In a game where clear-cut chances were at a premium, O Belem posed little or no threat at the attacking end of the pitch as they failed to register a single shot on target.

Prior to that, Filipe Candido's men secured their place in the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal courtesy of a 2-1 win over bottom-tier Berco when the sides met three Saturdays ago.

Belenenses remain the only side yet to taste victory in the division, picking up five draws and losing four, and this has been in no small part down to their poor performance on home turf, where they boast the division's joint-worst record with two points from four games.

While they will be seeking to secure their first win of the season, they face the tough task of going up against an opposing side who they have failed to defeat in any of the last five meetings between the teams, losing four and picking up two draws.

Meanwhile, Santa Clara returned to winning ways in emphatic style as they edged out high-flying Porto 3-1 in Group D of the Taca da Liga last Tuesday.

In a thrilling contest at the Estadio de Sao Miguel, Mehdi Taremi pulled one back for the Dragoes after Andrei Chindris and Ricardinho put the hosts two goals up, but Nene scored in the 96th minute to restore Os Acoreanos' two-goal advantage.

This followed a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Famalicao where Simon Banza put on a superb individual performance as he netted his fourth and fifth goals of the season.

Santa Clara head into Sunday's game in rejuvenated form as they are unbeaten in all but one of their last six games across all competitions, picking up two wins and three draws.

However, Nuno Campos's side find themselves in 17th place in the Primeira Liga standings, one point above rock-bottom Belenenses, after claiming six points from the opening nine outings.

This has been down to their frailties at the defensive end of the pitch, where they have shipped 18 goals already, with only Tondela conceding more.

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Belenenses form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Santa Clara Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Santa Clara form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Chico Teixeira is set to sit out his fourth straight game after the Portuguese midfielder sustained a knee problem in the game versus Pacos de Ferreira back on September 29.

He is joined on the Belenenses injury table by Sporting Lisbon loanee Rafael Camacho, who picked up an injury 32 minutes into the cup game against Berco two weeks back.

Santa Clara, on the other hand, will take to the pitch without Portuguese midfielder Ruben Oliveira, who continues his long road to full fitness after sustaining a severe injury back in May.

Twenty-nine-year-old midfielder Costinha is also out of contention for Os Acoreano having sustained an Achilles' tendon injury back in August's game against Moreirense.

Following his side's superb performance against Porto in the cup last time out, Campos could stick to his new-found 4-4-2 formation with Luiz Phellype and Rui Costa spearheading the attack.

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Felipe; Tavares, Danny, Ribeiro; Akas; Varela, Phete, Lukovic, Sousa, Carraca; Safira, Ndour

Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Pereira; Rodrigues, Gonzalez, Henrique, Mansur; Carvalho, Morita, Nene, Ricardinho, Phellype, Costa

We say: Belenenses 0-1 Santa Clara

Both Belenenses and Santa Clara find themselves at the wrong end of the Primeira Liga table after an underwhelming start to the season. However, Santa Clara have enjoyed more success in the recent history of this fixture and we predict they will extend their dominance over the hosts and claim all three points, albeit by a slender margin.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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