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Jan 31, 2022 at 9.15pm UK

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Preview: Famalicao vs. Arouca - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Famalicao vs. Arouca - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Primeira Liga clash between Famalicao and Arouca, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides separated by just one point in the relegation battle go head to head on Monday when Famalicao welcome Arouca to the Estadio Municipal de Famalicao.

This will be the second meeting between the sides this season after the Arouquenses came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory back in August's reverse fixture.

Match preview

Famalicao continue to struggle for form in the Portuguese Primeira Liga as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a rampant Porto side at the Estadio do Dragao last time out.

In a game where Matheus Uribe received his marching orders, the hosts took a commanding three-goal lead courtesy of Otavio, Luis Diaz and substitute Mehdi Taremi, before Brazilian defender Riccieli pulled one back in the 91st minute.

Prior to that, Rui Silva's side were on a three-game unbeaten run, playing out draws against Braga and Pacos de Ferreira either side of a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Belenenses on January 13.

Famalicao head into Monday's game on a run of just one win in their last nine games across all competitions, picking up three draws in that time, while suffering five defeats, including December's loss at the hands of Portimonense on penalties which saw them crash out of the Taca de Portugal.

Having secured a ninth-placed finish last season, the Vila Nova will feel disappointed by their performance so far as they currently sit bottom but one in the Primeira Liga standings, only above last-placed Belenenses, after picking up 16 points from 19 games.

This has been down to their struggles at the defensive end of the pitch, where they boast the division's fourth-poorest record with 35 goals conceded, and their woeful form on home turf, where they have picked up the fewest points so far with just seven.

Meanwhile, Arouca finally gave their fans something to cheer for as they fought back from one goal down to grind out a 2-1 victory at Estoril Praia last time out.

In a thrilling contest at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota, Abdoulaye Ba scored a sixth-minute own goal to hand the hosts a first-half lead, but Armando Evangelista's men upped the ante in the closing stages of the game as Andre Silva restored parity in the 89th minute before Kouassi Eboue grabbed a dramatic winner in the seventh minute of injury time.

Prior to that, the Arouquenses were on a run of six games without a victory in the Primeira Liga, managing just one draw and losing five since a 2-1 victory over Boavista back in November.

The win last time out, which was their first victory on enemy territory this season, has seen Arouca push one point clear of Moreirense in the relegation playoff spot after picking up 17 points from 19 games so far.

Sunday's visitors will feel confident in their chances of building on that performance and claiming the desired result on Monday as they go up against an opposing side who they have defeated in five of the most recent seven meetings between the teams since 2016.

Famalicao Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

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

Arouca Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Famalicao will take to the pitch without the services of Portuguese forward Heriberto Tavares, who is set to miss his seventh consecutive game after suffering a fractured toe versus Benfica on December 12.

He is joined on the club's injury table by Diogo Figueira, who has been out of action since picking up a muscle problem against Gil Vicente back in December.

Silva's men will be boosted by the return of defender Alexandre Penetra, who is available for selection after serving his one-match suspension for receiving his marching orders against Pacos de Ferreira two weeks ago.

Arouca, on the other hand, will have to make do with the absence of Brazilian goalkeeper Fernando Augusto and defender Jose Manuel Velazquez, who are both recuperating from injuries.

Twenty-three-year-old midfielder Moses Yaw will also play no part for the Arouquenses. as he continues his spell on the sidelines through a severe injury he sustained last April.

Mateus Quaresma, who has 17 appearances under his belt this season, is also a doubt for Arocua after he was forced off the pitch late in the game against Estoril Praia last time out, with Benfica loanee Tiago Araujo taking his place.

Following Cape Verde's exit from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, veteran midfielder Marco Soares is back in contention for the visitors and could be thrown into the mix on Monday.

Famalicao possible starting lineup:
Junior; Nascimento, Penetra, Ricceli, Batubinsika; Pepe, Pickel, I Rodrigues, Marquez, Jaime; Paulo

Arouca possible starting lineup:
Braga; Thales, Basso, Ba, Araujo; Eboue, Nunes, Moreira, Bukia; Dabbagh, Silva

We say: Famalicao 1-2 Arouca

Arouca will head into the game with renewed confidence after ending their winless run in midweek with what was their first away win of the season. They have won four of their last five games against the hosts and we are backing them to claim all three points once again.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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