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Preview: Arouca vs. Maritimo – prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Monday’s Primeira Liga clash between Arouca and Maritimo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Round 22 of the Portuguese Primeira Liga comes to an end on Monday when Arouca and Maritimo go head to head for three points at the Estadio Municipal de Arouca.

The hosts, who could move clear of the relegation places with the win, will be seeking to get one over O Maior das Ilhas having failed to win any of the last three meetings between the sides since 2016.

Match preview

Arouca were sent crashing back down to earth in the Primeira Liga as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of high-flying Porto on home turf last Sunday.

After holding the league leaders scoreless in the first half, Vitinha broke the deadlock nine minutes after the interval before defender Chancel Mbemba made sure of the results three minutes later.

Prior to that, Armando Evangelista‘s men claimed a 2-1 victory over Estoril Praia on January 27 which saw their six-game winless run come to an end, before playing out an uneventful goalless draw with Famalicao four days later.

With 18 points from 21 games so far, Arouca are currently 16th in the Primeira Liga standings, six points above rock-bottom Belenenses and one adrift of Moreirense just outside the relegation zone.

The Arouquenses’ struggles this season has been owing to their lack of firepower up top, where they have scored the third-fewest goals in the division with 19, while shipping 38 at the opposite end of the pitch.

Maritimo, on the other hand, continue to struggle for form in the Primeira Liga as they were held to a goalless draw at the Estadio do Maritimo by Estoril Praia last time out.

Despite controlling proceedings and seeing over 60% of the ball possession, Vasco Seabra‘s men were guilty of a wasteful display in attack as they were constantly repelled by a spirited Daniel Figueira in goal.

Maritimo have now failed to win any of their most recent three outings, claiming two draws and losing one since going on a three-game winning streak back in January.

With 25 points from 21 games, O Maior das Ilhas are currently ninth on the log, nine points behind Gil Vincete in the final Conference League qualification spot.

Arouca Primeira Liga form:

Maritimo Primeira Liga form:

Team News

Arouca head into the game with several injury concerns down the spine of the team as the likes of goalkeeper Fernando Augusto and midfielder Moses Yaw continue their spells on the sidelines.

Another name on the Arouquenses’ injury table is Jose Manuel Velazquez, who has been out of action since last September, while new signing Alan Ruiz awaits his debut after picking up an injury back in October.

David Simao, who also completed a move to the club in January, came off injured 33 minutes into the game against Porto last time out and is a major doubt for Arouca.

Meanwhile, Ricardinho returned from his injury lay-off in the game against Estoril Praia last time out, but Swedish forward Tim Soderstrom remains out of contention for Maritimo after picking up an injury back in November.

Despite failing to come away with all three points in the aforementioned game, Seabra will be impressed by his side’s defensive display and the Portuguese manager could opt for a similar starting lineup on Monday.

Should that be the case, Vitor Costa, Zainadine Junior, Matheus Costa and Claudio Winck should all start in defence, shielding veteran goalkeeper Paulo Victor between the sticks.

Arouca possible starting lineup:
Braga; Thales, Basso, Ba, Quaresma; Eboue, Moreira, L Silva, Bukia; Nunes, A Silva

Maritimo possible starting lineup:
Victor; Winck, M Costa, Junior, V Costa; Henrique, Mendes, Guitane, Beltrame; Alipour, Costa

We say: Arouca 1-2 Maritimo

Looking at past meetings between the sides, Arouca boasts a superior record in the history of this fixture, claiming four wins and two draws from their last seven league games. We are tipping Maritimo to take the positives from their loss against Porto and claim all three points on Monday, albeit by the odd goal.

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