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Jan 12, 2022 at 8.45pm UK
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Preview: Vizela vs. Porto - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Vizela vs. Porto - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Taca de Portugal clash between Vizela and Porto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fresh off the back of overturning a two-goal deficit to claim an impressive victory over Estoril Praia last time out, Porto turn to the Taca de Portugal on Wednesday when they face Vizela at the Estadio do FC Vizela.

The hosts, who have enjoyed a fine cup run, proved they are one to keep an eye out for when they sent reigning champions Braga packing back in December and will look to keep the juggernaut rolling.

Match preview

Vizela were denied their first successive wins in the Primeira Liga this season last Saturday when they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Moreirense.

In a cagey affair at the Estadio do FC Vizela, Brazilian forward Rafael Martins maintained his fine form in front of goal as he netted for the third game on the bounce shortly before the hour mark to hand the visitors all three points.

This followed a 2-0 victory over rock-bottom Belenenses on January 2, when Kiko Bondoso and Cassiano scored first-half goals to end their run of two straight defeats in the league.

Vizela, who are currently 12th in the Primeira Liga table, two points above the relegation places, turn their sights to the Taca de Portugal, where they have enjoyed a thrilling run, claiming three wins from three games, including a 1-0 victory over reigning champions Braga back in December.

Wednesday's game will be their second meeting with the 29-time Primeira Liga champions this season after suffering a humbling 4-0 defeat when the sides met on December 19.

Porto, on the other hand, maintained their unbeaten run in the Primeira Liga last time out when they fought back from two goals down to claim a thrilling 3-2 victory over Estoril Praia.

After Arthur Gomes and Andre Franco put the hosts two goals up, the Dragoes rallied in the second half as Mehdi Taremi, Luis Diaz and Francisco Conceicao netted to turn the tie on its head in dramatic fashion.

Sergio Conceicao's men have won each of their last six games on the trot since a 3-1 defeat against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League Group B finale, including successive victories over rivals Benfica, where they scored six and conceded one goal over both games.

Porto currently sit at the summit of the Primeira Liga standings with 47 points from 17 games and will look to carry on the momentum to the Taca de Portugal where they seek their 18th title win.

Their most recent triumph came back in 2020, when they claimed a comfortable 2-1 victory over Benfica in the final on August 1, when Chancel Mbemba scored a second-half brace before Carlos Vinicius pulled one back for As Aguias six minutes away from time.

Vizela Taca de Portugal form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

Porto Taca de Portugal form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Porto form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Veteran midfielder Claudemir will play no part in Wednesday's game after the 33-year-old sustained a muscle problem back in November's game against Estoril Praia.

Portuguese defender Ivanildo Fernandes misses out after picking up a groin problem against Braga back in November while Koffi Kouao is suspended after picking up a straight red against Moreirense last time out.

As for Porto, the defensive pair of Nanu and Zaidu Sanusi are out of contention as they are currently representing Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations.

On the injury front, Wilson Manafa and Joao Mario both continue their spells on the sidelines through muscle injuries, while veteran defender Pepe is a major doubt having missed each of the last five games.

Another name on the Drageos' injury table is Spanish defender Ivan Marcano, who has been sidelined since October when he sustained a severe foot problem.

Vizela possible starting lineup:
Charles; Kouao, Wilson, Aidara, Ofori; Zagbayou, Paulo; Mendez, Samu, Moreira; Cassiano

Porto possible starting lineup:
Ramos; Nanu, Cardoso, Mbemba, Wendell; Oliviera, Costa; Vieta, Diaz, Corona; Martinez

We say: Vizela 0-2 Porto

Vizela have enjoyed a solid cup run this season, scoring five goals and keeping clean sheets in each of their three wins so far. However, they face the stern test of going up against a rampant Porto side who have won eight of their last nine games in all competitions. Looking at the gulf in class and quality between the two sides, we are tipping Porto to comfortably wrap up the win within 90 minutes.

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