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

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

In a heated race to beat the drop, Famalicao and Belenenses go head to head in an exciting relegation six-pointer at the Estadio Municipal de Famalicao on Thursday.

With both sides separated by just one point at the bottom of the Primeira Liga standings, this game has all the makings of a proper contest.

Match preview

Famalicao were denied their first Primeira Liga win in three months last Sunday when they bottled a one-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw with Braga at the Estadio Municipal de Braga.

In a game where Os Arcebispos played with 10 men for most part due to Bruno Rodrigues's 24th-minute red card, Ricardo Horta and Ruben Lima scored for either side to end the first half level, and after Ivo Rodrigues netted what seemed to be the winner nine minutes away from time, substitute Mario Gonzalez came up trumps for the hosts as he levelled matters once again in the 90th minute.

This followed their exit from the Taca de Portugal on December 21, when they lost on penalties to Portimonense at the Estadio Municipal de Famalicao following a 1-1 draw at the end of 120 minutes.

Famalica have now failed to taste victory in any of their most recent six games in all competitions, picking up two draws and losing four since November's 2-1 win over Alverca in the Taca de Portugal.

Belenenses, on the other hand, finally gave their fans something to cheer about as they fought back from behind to claim a dramatic 2-1 victory over Arouca last Sunday.

Filipe Candido's men appeared headed for yet another defeat after Oday Dabbagh put the Arouquenses one goal up in the 37th minute, but substitute Nilton Varela restored parity in the 73rd minute before Abel Camara completed the comeback in the third minute of stoppage time.

Prior to that, Belenenses were on a disappointing five-game losing streak in all competitions, a run which saw them bow out of the Taca de Portugal after losing on penalties to Segunda Liga outfit Rio Ave on December 23.

While the result brought no change to their position in the Primeira Liga table, as they sit bottom of the pile with 11 points from 16 games, O Belem are now one point behind Thursday's hosts and three behind Arouca in the relegation playoff spot, and victory over the Vila Nova will be a huge boost to their relegation battle.

However, standing in their way is an opposing side who are unbeaten in each of the last four meetings between the teams since 2019, claiming two wins and playing out two goalless draws in that time.

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

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

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

Manager Rui Silva will be unable to call upon the services of 24-year-old forward Heriberto Tavares, who fractured his right toe in the game against Benfica back in December.

He is joined in the Famalicao injury table by Diogo Figueiras, who has been out of action since early December when he picked up a muscle injury.

Meanwhile, Belenenses remain without Portuguese midfielder Chico Teixeira, who continues his spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee problem against Pacos de Ferreira back in September.

Fellow countryman and Sporting Lisbon loanee Rafael Camacho is also out of contention for O Belem after picking up a muscle problem in December's game against Estoril Praia.

Thibang Phete is currently suspended after picking up a red card against Arouca last time out, while Sandro remains out with an injury he sustained in November's Taca de Portugal win over Caldas.

Twenty-one-year-old Cesar Sousa adds to the visitors' growing injury crisis after coming off with an ankle problem against Vizela two Sundays ago.

Famalicao possible starting lineup:
Junior; Figueiras, Ricceli, Batubinsika; Marin, Pepe, Pickel, Rodrigues; Brazao, Jaime; Banza

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Felipe; Varela, Ribeiro, Tavares; Sithole, Calila, Sousa, Lukovic, Akas; Safira, Camara

We say: Famalicao 1-2 Belenenses

Thursday's game sees two relegation contenders do battle and we expect them to take the game to each other in search of a vital win. Belenenses head into the game in sky-high spirits following their win at the weekend and we predict they will build on that result and claim all three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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