Santa Clara vs Rio Ave
Portuguese Primeira Liga
Date: Saturday, 22 September 2018
Kick-Off at 16:30 UK / 17:30 CET
Venue: Estadio de Sao Miguel (Ponta Delgada).
Portuguese Primeira Liga is back in action after a three-week break as Santa Clara will be looking to back up a thrilling showing from the 4-2 victory over Boavista in the previous round. It was team’s maiden victory since 2003 when they last featured the top flight.
Os Acoreanos are going into this unbeaten in three. However, they have been fairly easy to break down at the start of the season shipping as many as seven goals in past three outings. It’s way too many if we know they grabbed five points from these ties.
Rio Ave began with a disappointing 2-0 loss to Feirense away from home. They bounced back instantly, though, winning two and drawing one of following three games to climb up to seventh place in the league ladder.
Santa Clara vs Rio Ave: Head-to-head
The two sides will meet each other for the first time since 2016 when Santa Clara eliminated Vilacondenses from Taca da Portugal (1-1, on penalties).
Interestingly, Os Acoreanos have a positive head to head record against Rio Ave (five wins and three defeats in ten games).
Trips to Estadio de Sao Miguel have never gone well for Rio Ave who lost four and drew one of five matches there.
None of past five head to head affairs saw three or more goals scored.
Santa Clara vs Rio Ave: Prediction
Joao Henriques will hardly see defensive improvements form his men here given Rio Ave have been quite prolific up front in recent games.
However, the hosts will rely on the red-hot attacking line which bagged nine goals in past three league games. Midfielders Osama Rashid and Thiago Santana notched two goals apiece after four rounds for Santa Clara and they’ll represent the biggest threat to Rio Ave’s goal on the occasion.
Since the visitors also played attacking football at the beginning of the new campaign, we just have to take the BTTS option at the odds of 1.80 here.
The value is with Santa Clara to keep the splendid attacking form going and bag two or more goals at the 2.40 odds.
Santa Clara vs Rio Ave: Bet Tips
• BTTS @ 1.80 (4/5)
• Santa Clara Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 2.40 (7/5).