Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Primeira Liga clash between Boavista and Estoril Praia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Both sides head into the weekend off the back of contrasting results, with the Canarinhos beating Estrela Amadora to pick up their first league victory since the turn of the year.
With a little under half of the season left to be played, Boavista find themselves scrambling for points in the bottom half of the Primeira Liga table in what has been a disappointing campaign.
Ricardo Paiva‘s men failed to find their feet last Monday as they played out a goalless draw with Casa Pia when the sides squared off at the Estadio Pina Manique.
The two sides were guilty of a lack of cutting edge at the attacking end of the pitch, where they both failed to register a shot on target before settling for a share of the spoils in a drab contest.
Boavista have now gone three consecutive matches without a win — picking up one point from a possible 12 — and have won just one of their last 14 matches across all competitions, losing 10 and claiming three draws since late October.
However, Os Axadrezados will be backing themselves to stop the rot this weekend as they take on an opposing side who have failed to win their last five visits to the Estadio do Bessa, losing twice and picking up three draws since a 2-1 victory in January 2015.
Estoril Praia, on the other hand, picked up three huge points in their battle for survival as they scraped a 1-0 victory over Estrela Amadora when the sides squared off last Sunday.
Teenage midfielder Mateus Fernandes grabbed the headlines at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota as he netted the only goal of the game with a neat finish three minutes shy of the hour mark.
Since their penalty-shootout defeat against Braga in the Taca da Liga final on January 27, Estoril have picked up four points from two Primeira Liga matches, having lost each of the previous three league outings preceding this run.
This upturn in form has seen Vasco Seabra‘s men rise to 11th place in the league standings, level on 11 points with Saturday’s hosts and Portimonense, and three points above the relegation playoff spot.
While Estoril will be looking to pick up where they left off against Estrela, results on the road offer little optimism as they have won just one away game in the league and currently hold the division’s joint-second worst point tally away from home so far (5).
Boavista Primeira Liga form:
Estoril Praia Primeira Liga form:
Estoril Praia form (all competitions):
On the injury front, Pedro Malheiro is currently recuperating from a muscle problem and is out of contention for Os Axadrezados, while veteran goalkeeper Cesar Dutra has been ruled out through an ACL injury.
Teenage defender Augusto Dabo will also play no part in this weekend’s matchup as he continues his long road to full fitness having suffered a severe injury in July 2023.
As for Estoril, Seabra will be unable to call upon the service of Uruguayan defender Erick Cabaco, who has been sidelined since suffering a severe muscle injury against Vizela last September.
Portuguese forward Joao Marques will also play no rot in Saturday’s game as he is set to serve a one-game suspension after crossing the yellow card threshold with his booking against Estrela.
Fernandes opened his account for the season with his winner against Estrela and the Sporting Lisbon loanee should retain his role at the centre of the park, teaming up with Senegalese midfielder Mor Ndiaye.
Boavista possible starting lineup:
Goncalves; Malheiro, Abascal, Sasso, Ferreira; Makouta, Perez, Reisinho; Agra, Tavares, Lourenco
Estoril Praia possible starting lineup:
Carne; Parra, Volnei, Vital; Pina, Fernandes, Ndiaye, Araujo; Guitane, A Marques, Cassiano
We say: Boavista 1-2 Estoril Praia
Estoril Praia have turned a corner in recent weeks and will head into the weekend with renewed confidence. Boavista have failed to win their last seven games at the Estadio do Bessa and we see them struggling for results in front of their home supporters once again.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.