Tip Sporting Lisbon - Rio Ave
Liga Nos leaders Sporting Lisbon are at home on Friday night when they welcome Rio Ave to the Estádio José Alvalade. Sporting are top of the table after 13 games, amassing 35 points in that time, which leaves them four points ahead of rivals Porto and Benfica. Rio Ave are ninth in the table with 14 points. Reaching the European spots is unlikely for Rio Ave - Pacos, in the final Europa League spot, are nine points away - so securing their place in the Portuguese top-flight will be a higher priority. Rio Ave are only three points clear of the relegation zone. The fight to avoid the drop has been unusually competitive in the top tier thus far, with only four points separating the bottom 11 teams. Rio Ave ended a six-game winless streak in their last league outing, a 3-0 home win over Portimonense. Away from home, they have failed to win six of their seven league games before this capital trip. It makes the prospect of an away win unlikely.
Sporting are the only unbeaten team left in Liga Nos. They have won 11 of their 13 games this season, including their last four. Sporting are a top side that thrives in familiar surroundings, as their 15-game unbeaten run at home in the league shows. Curiously, despite 13 of those games ending in victory, Sporting only scored more than twice in two matches on that run. Their last two home matches featured fewer than three goals. They have the best defensive in the league after only conceding eight goals - the next best is 11 by Belenenses in 14th - and the division's best attacker. Pote is the league's top scorer with 11 goals, six of which came at home. We see Sporting winning in a low-scoring match. Back a 2-0 win.
Key points Sporting Lisbon - Rio Ave
Sporting are unbeaten in their last 15 home league matches, winning 13 times.
Rio Ave failed to win six of their seven away matches in the league this season.
Sporting have the best defensive record in the league, conceding eight goals in 13 matches.
Conclusion Sporting Lisbon - Rio Ave
Sporting are a formidable team at home, if not a prolific one in front of goal. Back the home side to win this game 2-0.
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Sporting Lisbon Rio Ave Prediction published on January 13, 2021