Rio Ave vs Santa Clara
Portuguese Primeira Liga
Date: Friday, 15 February 2019
Kick-Off at 20:30 UK / 21:30 CET
Venue: Estadio do Rio Ave Futebol Clube (Vila do Conde).
Rio Ave endured a tough period from the start of December onwards when they were winless in eight successive matches across competitions. They look to have found the winning formula under the new head coach Daniel Ramos at the start of the New Year. Vilacondenses continued their fine spell of form last weekend when they saw off mid-table rivals Portimonense 0-1 on the road.
It was the fifth straight match without a loss for Rio Ave who moved up to 8th place in the Primeira Liga ladder. The hosts kept their net untouched in three of past four league affairs and they will head into Friday’s round opener against Santa Clara as clear form favourites.
Rio Ave vs Santa Clara: Head-to-head
Santa Clara have a positive head to head record as they lead the tie by one win coming into 12th encounter with Vilacondenses.
Nevertheless, Rio Ave were more successful in H2H games on the home patch where they won three, drew one and lost one of five ties against Os Acoreanos.
Rio Ave won each of last three home encounters with Santa Clara without conceding a single goal in the process.
Vilacondenses also came on top when two teams met each other in the first part of the season (1-3 away).
Rio Ave vs Santa Clara: Prediction
The hosts should really have a nice opportunity to keep their fine defensive form going here against Santa Clara. Os Acoreanos were struggling badly for goals of late. They failed to find the back of the net in four of past five league games. They lost each of these four outings, the 1-0 defeat away at Boavista being their most recent failure.
The home win to nil thus pops up as the most logical betting option based on everything written above. Rio Ave are 1.85 to win and 2.25 to keep a clean sheet on the evening.
Rio Ave vs Santa Clara: Bet Tips
Rio Ave to win @ 1.85 (17/20)
Rio Ave to keep a clean sheet @ 2.25 (5/4).