Maritimo vs Santa Clara
Portugal – Primeira Liga
Date: Sunday, 12 August 2018
Kick-Off at 16:00 UK / 17:00 CET
Venue: Estadio dos Barreiros, Funchal.
Santa Clara returned to the elite class of the Portuguese football after 15 years. They’ll certainly enjoy the occasion of a trip to Funchal on Sunday afternoon when the league newcomers are set to take on Maritimo in the opening fixture of the new Primeira Liga season.
O Maior das Ilhas are very tough to beat at their Estadio dos Barreiros and the visitors will have quite a challenging task to leave Funchal undefeated on the return to the top flight football.
Joao Henriques is mostly worried about his troops’ defensive efforts as Santa Clara lacked the meticulousness at the back during pre-season outings. They shipped five goals in last two games against Pacos de Ferreira and Varzim.
Maritimo vs Santa Clara: Head-to-head
The two sides will meet each other for the first time since January 2012 when they battled it out in the Taca da Liga clash.
Maritimo won 2-0 back then to pick up only their second victory in seventh meeting with Santa Clara.
The visitors snatched only a single win along the way, meaning the draw has been by far the most common of outcomes in a short history of their head to head rivalry.
Maritimo vs Santa Clara: Prediction
Maritimo clinched four straight wins in pre-season before falling narrowly 0-1 to Las Palmas on Saturday.
They made their way to the group phase of Taca da Liga by beating Mafra 3-0 at home two weeks ago. Joel stole the show bagging a brace and the Cameroonian forward is our top suggestion for the anytime goalscorer pick here.
Also, Claudio Braga’s men were very tight at the back in aforementioned victories. They only conceded two goals in last five matches, including the 0-1 loss to Spanish Las Palmas.
We thus have to recognize the value in backing the home win as the main betting option at the 1.80 odds here. Maritimo had a superb home record of 10 wins, 4 draws and only 3 losses in 17 games in the previous term of Primeira Liga.
Maritimo vs Santa Clara: Bet Tips
Maritimo to win @ 1.80
Maritimo to keep a clean sheet @ 2.20.