Rio Ave Braces for 90 Minutes Siege in Lisbon Against SportingPublished February 8, 2016 by Florin P
Tough test for the leaders against defensive minded team (7:00 p.m UK Time).
Sporting Lisbon is dominating the domestic championship, but its advantage over the main rivals has been reduced to just a couple of points. Porto is still five points behind them, but Benfica is within striking distance and this makes the match against Rio Ave even more important. The visitors are highly motivated ahead of this fixture, since they are still chasing a Europa League berth and need as many points as they can get on the road.
Fatigue Catches up with Sporting Lisbon
The home side is riding a three-game winning streak, but these victories were narrow margin ones and many goals were scored in the final minutes of the game. Compared to the manner in which they won matches in 2015, this new routine suggests that they are vulnerable against defensive minded teams. Way too often, Sporting was unable to find its way to the opposing net even when playing at home.
The head to head record is crushing and the fact that the hosts won 21 games out of a total of 33 speaks volumes. Furthermore, Sporting won the last four games against Rio Ave, yet on three occasions the victories were decided by the odd goal.
Rio Ave Ends Winless Run
The visitors managed to win their first game in 2016 and even though they are hoping for back-to-back victories, Rio Ave would gladly settle for one point. The starting formation features a single striker, while the backline has been reinforced to accommodate five footballers.
Guedes is expected to be the only forward player, after he managed to score 4 goals this season, but Rio Ave has a potent midfield. In fact, these players have scored more goals combined than the strikers, so Sporting defensemen should watch out. Punters should mitigate the risks by betting at even odds on fewer than 3 goals to be scored, knowing that bet365 Sports will refund the stakes if we have exactly 3 goals.