Sports Mole previews Friday’s Primeira Liga clash between Estoril Praia and Casa Pia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Estoril Praia will be hoping to record back-to-back Primeira Liga wins for the first time this season when they take on a stuttering Casa Pia side at Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota on Friday evening.
Both sides have experienced fairly poor starts to the league season, with the hosts currently occupying the relegation playoff spot after 10 matches, while the visitors are just three places above them in 13th. ...Click Here To Continue Reading>>
After spending a large chunk of last season involved in the relegation scrap, this season looks to be shaping up to be another dogfight for Estoril, who have already lost seven of their first 10 league fixtures.
Their performances over the early stages of the campaign contributed heavily to the sacking of Alvaro Pacheco after just eight matches in charge, with Vasco Seabra emerging as his replacement.
Unfortunately, the new boss was unable to make an immediate impact, losing each of his first three matches in the hot seat, but after pulling off a huge upset last week, Pacheco will be hoping his side have reached something of a turning point in the season.
The Canaries secured an against-the-odds 1-0 victory over Porto last weekend, with Jordan Holsgrove scoring the only goal of the match in the second half to snap up a seven-match winless run that included six losses.
Notably, though, the hosts relied heavily on the counter-attack against the Dragons, registering just 30% possession with two shots on target, and it will be interesting to see how they fare here on their home patch, where they will need to rely on their creativity in order to find gaps in behind the opposing defence.
Meanwhile, Casa Pia enjoyed a very successful first season in the top flight last term when they finished 10th, and while the current campaign has not gone exactly according to plan just yet, a win here could propel them into the top 11, with the mid-table still being fairly compact.
For now, though, the Casapianos are closer to the wrong end of the table with just 10 points taken in as many games, which leaves them three points above the drop zone and with a tricky run of fixtures to come on either side of the next international break.
Felipe Martins’s side come into this match off the back of a 1-0 home defeat to 14th-placed Vizela, marking their fifth consecutive league match without a win, including three losses and two draws.
Nevertheless, these are the types of matches that Os Gansos have to win in order to open up some daylight between themselves and the relegation candidates and based on their away record this term, it would not be a total surprise if they take the points here.
The visitors have earned eight of their 10 points on the road this season with victories over Farense and Arouca, while they also held Benfica to a well-deserved 1-1 draw in their last outing.
Estoril Praia Primeira Liga form:
Estoril Praia form (all competitions):
Casa Pia Primeira Liga form:
Casa Pia form (all competitions):
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Seabra will be without the services of central defensive duo Eliaquim Mangala (muscle) and Erick Cabaco (knee), with both players still on the treatment table for at least another few weeks.
Pedro Alvaro and Bernardo Vital should continue as the starting partnership in their absence, with Volnei and Tiago Araujo expected to make up the full-back pairing.
Joao Marques and Alejandro Marques are the side’s top scorers with three apiece and are almost certain to keep their places at the top end of the pitch.
The visitors also have two absentees for this crucial encounter, with Kiki Silva and Rafael Brito both ruled out due to muscle injuries.
With his side only scoring one goal in their last five league games, Martins may be tempted to return top-scorer Clayton to the starting lineup, potentially in place of Felippe Cardoso or Jaja.
Estoril Praia possible starting lineup:Carne; Volnei, Alvaro, Vital, Araujo; Holsgrove, Fernandes; Gomes, Guitane, J Marques; A Marques
Casa Pia possible starting lineup:Batista; Varela, Zolotic, Nunes; Larrazabal, Pablo, Neto, Lelo; Jaja, Clayton, Soma
We say: Estoril Praia 1-1 Casa Pia
The hosts will be brimming with confidence heading into this match after claiming a massive three points last week, which saw them move off the foot of the table. However, they now face a Casa Pia side that have earned the majority of their points on the road and possess the best defensive record outside of the top three teams in the league.
This looks like a very even contest in the making, and we feel these sides will end up sharing the spoils at the full-time whistle.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data
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Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘hoping Manchester United deal will be completed by Christmas’
Sir Jim Ratcliffe hopes that his 25% purchase of Manchester United will be completed by Christmas, according to a report.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly hopeful that his 25% purchase of Manchester United will be completed by Christmas.
An announcement on the 71-year-old’s arrival as a minority shareholder was expected to be made during the November international break, but there was a delay due to the complex nature of the deal.
According to The Mirror, the process is now reaching its final stages, and Ratcliffe is hopeful that he will be able to take over football operations at Old Trafford before Christmas....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
The report claims that INEOS performance director Sir Dave Brailsford is set to make the move to the club, and he will play a leading role in the changes that will be made to the sporting department.
Richard Arnold’s departure as CEO has already been confirmed, with Jean-Claude Blanc widely expected to arrive in that position once Ratcliffe’s deal has been announced.
Blanc worked for the French Tennis Federation as a chief executive before switching to football, and he has previously been the Juventus CEO and marketing executive of Paris Saint-Germain.
The 60-year-old is currently the chief executive of INEOS Sport, and it is believed that he will be Arnold’s permanent replacement in the senior position.
John Murtough could remain as football director for now, but it is understood that a change will also be made in that position, with Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman regarded by many to be the frontrunner.
The role of director of football operations David Harrison is also in severe doubt, with Ratcliffe seemingly preparing to make a number of changes to what he views to be a failing department.
Ratcliffe is said to be taking advice from Man United’s legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson when it comes to his overhaul of the football side of the business.
At one stage, it appeared that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani would be completing a 100% takeover of Man United from the Glazer family.
However, the Qatari banker recently withdrew his offer due to his frustrations in dealing with the Glazers, who signalled last November that they were open to discussing a potential sale of the club.
Ratcliffe is coming in at initial 25%, but it is understood that the Brit wants to complete a staggered takeover in the coming years.
Man United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday evening following their 3-3 draw with Galatasaray in the Champions League, facing a trip to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle United.
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Marcus Rashford’s record vs. Newcastle United
Sports Mole looks at Marcus Rashford’s record against Newcastle United ahead of Manchester United’s trip to St James’ Park in the Premier League.
Marcus Rashford will be bidding to score in back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time this season when Manchester United face Newcastle United on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old registered a penalty in his side’s 3-0 win over Everton in the league last weekend, but he missed out on Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Galatasaray due to a Champions League suspension.
Rashford is back in the squad for Man United’s return to league action, and he is expected to feature in the starting side, as Erik ten Hag’s side look to make it five wins from their last six league matches....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
With that in mind, Sports Mole looks at how the forward has performed against Newcastle during his professional career.
Rashford has faced the Magpies on 12 occasions at first-team level, boasting a record of seven wins, two draws and three defeats against them, scoring four goals and registering five assists in the process.
As expected, the bulk of those matches (10) have taken place in the Premier League, with Rashford winning six, drawing two and losing two of his previous league encounters with Newcastle.
Rashford has also tackled the Magpies twice in the EFL Cup, scoring once, with his goal coming in the final earlier this year, but he was also a part of the side that suffered a 3-0 defeat to Eddie Howe’s side in this season’s tournament, coming off the bench in the second period.
The attacker has managed four goals and five assists against Newcastle in the Premier League, and he has previous when it comes to impressing at St James’ Park.
Indeed, he scored and provided an assist in a 2-0 Man United victory at the famous stadium during the second half of the 2018-19 campaign.
Arguably Rashford’s best performance against Newcastle also came at St James’ Park, with the Englishman scoring once and providing two assists in a 4-1 success for the Red Devils in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.
The forward has not managed to score in his last three Premier League games with the Magpies, though, which includes a 2-0 loss at St James’ Park last term.
Rashford’s penalty against Everton last weekend could potentially have kickstarted his campaign from a goal point of view, and he will now be bidding to help Man United move closer to the top four in the Premier League table.
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Team News: Wolverhampton Wanderers make four changes for Arsenal clash
Gary O’Neil makes four changes to his Wolverhampton Wanderers XI for the Premier League fixture against Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.
Gary O’Neil has made four changes to his Wolverhampton Wanderers XI for Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Arsenal.
For the first time this season, O’Neil has started to encounter injury and suspension issues, the one benefit from the defeat at Fulham earlier this week being Craig Dawson able to return from a one-match ban for the game at the Emirates Stadium.
However, Mario Lemina and Joao Gomes both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the campaign at Craven Cottage, while Rayan Ait-Nouri sustained an ankle injury....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Dawson has taken the place of Santiago Bueno in the back three, while Hugo Bueno has been brought in to deputise for Ait-Nouri at left wing-back.
Tommy Doyle and Boubacar Traore are given the nod in the centre of midfield, with Jean-Ricner Bellegarde potentially being given licence to roam between that pair and a front two of Matheus Cunha and Hwang Hee-chan.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has made just the one alteration to the Arsenal side that breezed past Lens in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Kai Havertz has dropped down to the substitutes’ bench with Leandro Trossard being preferred in his place, the Belgian seemingly being deployed in a central role.
Gabriel Jesus starts in attack for the third game in succession after recovering from a hamstring injury during the international break.
Arsenal: Raya; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Trossard, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Jesus, MartinelliSubs: Ramsdale, White, Cedric, Kiwior, Jorginho, Elneny, Nelson, Havertz, Nketiah
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa; Semedo, Kilman, Dawson, Toti, H.Bueno; Doyle, Traore; Bellegarde, Cunha, HwangSubs: Bentley, Doherty, S.Bueno, Silva, Kalajdzic, Sarabia, Chirewa, Whittingham, Hubner
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