Can Rio Ave boost their hopes of recording a European place finish with a victory against Tondela on Monday night? They are riding high in fifth place coming in to the weekend, and they could well make their way in to the Europa League next term, providing that either Porto or Sporting lift the Portuguese Cup. They’re in a battle with Maritimo to be the best of the rest after the big four clubs in the Primeira Liga, so can they keep themselves on course for a potential continental finish with a victory?
Rio Ave are having a fantastic campaign, and they will be expecting to pick up three points in this clash. The hosts have a strong record at their own ground, having won nine of 14 home matches so far this season. They’ve picked up a huge 67% of their points so far at their own ground, while they’ve conceded 74% of their goals this season on the road. Meanwhile, Tondela come here having scored just 30% of their goals on their travels, so they aren’t in a great position to get a result here.
Rio Ave have managed to win an impressive 64% of their home matches, while Tondela have lost 48% of their league matches this season. Their record is even worse up against the top sides in the league, as they’ve lost every meeting with the top six. They’ve seen 10 of their 14 league defeats this season come against sides in the top six, so it’s hard to give Tondela much hope of getting a result on Monday.
Rio Ave also have a strong home record on further inspection, as they’ve failed to beat any of the top four at home this season, with their results coming against lower sides. They’ve won nine of their 11 at home to sides below them, while they’ve won seven of their eight against bottom half sides. With that in mind, it’s hard to see anything but a home victory in the final fixture in this round of Primeira Liga matches.
Rio Ave have won to nil in 36% of their home matches, while they face a Tondela side who have scored just 0.71 goals per game on the road. They’ve failed to find the net in 50% of their trips, losing to nil in 43%. Having scored in just two of their last six away trips, and after losing to nil away to all of the top six so far, we’re backing a win to nil for the hosts, which looks like great value here.
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