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Jan 22, 2022 at 3.30pm UK
Santa ClaraSanta Clara

Vitoria (60')
Vitoria (84')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Antonio (45+2'), Mohebi (85')
Mansur (63'), Mohebi (89')

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

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

Separated by just one point and one place in the Primeira Liga standings, Moreirense and Santa Clara do battle at the Parque de Jogos Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas on Saturday.

The hosts head into the game without a win in any of the last four meetings between the sides in all competitions and will be looking to end this dry spell.

Match preview

Moreirense maintained their recent string of impressive results as they put on a resilient performance to hold Benfica to a 1-1 draw away from home last Saturday.

Despite seeing over 70% of the ball possession, Benfica were guilty of wasteful finishing at the attacking end of the pitch as Gilberto scored a 65th-minute own goal before Darwin Nunez restored parity less than five minutes later.

Os verdes e brancos have now picked up an impressive seven points from their last four games, claiming two wins and one draw, while losing 2-1 against Tondela when they met on January 3.

While Ricardo Sa Pinto's men will look to keep the juggernaut rolling and pull clear of the relegation places, next up is an opposing side whom they have failed to defeat in each of the last four meetings between the sides, losing twice and claiming two draws in that time.

Santa Clara, on the other hand, failed to pick up their first successive league victory this season when they bottled a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw against Tondela on home turf last Sunday.

After taking a commanding two-goal lead into half time courtesy of Rui Costa and Ricardinho, they imploded in the final quarter of an hour as Juan Manuel Boselli struck twice off the bench to force a share of the spoils.

This followed a shock 3-2 victory over Sporting Lisbon on January 7, when Jean Patric, Lincoln and Ricardinho were on target to condemn the reigning champions to their first league defeat of the season.

After stumbling into the new season with one win from their opening 11 games which left them languishing in the relegation places, manager Mario Silva will be impressed with his side's turnaround in recent weeks.

Os Acoreanos head into Saturday's game with just two defeats in their last seven league outings, claiming three wins and two draws in that time to steer clear of the drop zone.

With 17 points from 18 games, Santa Clara are currently 13th in the Primeira Liga standings, level on points with Tondela and one point above Saturday's hosts.

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

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

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

Team News

Following Guinea-Bissau's group-stage exit from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, 25-year-old Sori Mane could make an immediate return to the XI and team up with Filipe Soares at the heart of the park.

On the injury front, Moreirense will once again have to make do without the services of 22-year-old full-back Godfried Frimpong, who has been out of action since September through a severe injury.

Meanwhile, Santa Clara will remain without Brazilian forward Costinha, who has been out of action since August's game against Moreirense where he sustained an Achilles tendon injury.

Despite the result against Tondela last time out, we expect an unchanged attacking unit from Silva, meaning we could see Crysan, Lincoln and Ricardinho behind lone striker Rui Costa.

Moreirense possible starting lineup:
Kewin; Conceicao, Rosic, Vitoria, Conte; Santos, Mane; Pires, Soares, Walterson; Luis

Santa Clara possible starting lineup:
Pereira; Sagna, Afonso, Villanueva, Boateng; Carvalho, Morita; Crysan, Lincoln, Ricardinho; Costa

We say: Moreirense 1-1 Santa Clara

With just one point and one place separating the sides in the table, we can expect a thrilling contest with both sides going all out for all three points. On paper, they are evenly matched heading into the game, and we are tipping a share of the spoils at the sound of the full-time whistle.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data

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Primeira Liga Table
2Sporting Lisbon21172241132853
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6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes218673226630
7Estoril PraiaEstoril216962524127
10Santa ClaraSanta Clara216692539-1424
12Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira214981524-921
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