In good condition in the three other competitions that he contests, Porto have this Thursday, December 21, the chance to improve their position in the fight for the Portuguese League Cup title. At the Estádio das Antes, he will receive Rio Ave. The match is part of the schedule for the second round of the group stage. The start is scheduled for 19:15 (Brasilia time).
Porto’s recent performance
At this stage of the competition, the 16 clubs, which were divided into four brackets, make three matches and, in the end, only the first place survives in the title race. Porto, which has a point, is in third place. The second stand is Rio Ave, who also has one more point, but takes advantage of the tiebreaker criteria (highest number of goals scored). The leader is Leixões, who have played two matches and scored four points.
Thus, Thursday’s match is considered essential if Porto is to reverse this situation. A defeat would mean early elimination. Even the draw would not be a good result, since with equality even a visitor’s victory against Paços de Ferreira in the third and final round of the group stage may be enough to keep the team in contention.
This scenario is an exception in the excellent campaign that Porto does in the 2017/2018 season. The club managed to reach the classification for the last 16 of the Champions League. Now, it will have in front, in February, Liverpool.
In the Portuguese Cup, their situation is also good. He secured his place in the quarterfinals and will face Moreirense, away from home, on January 9, seeking the classification for the semifinals.
However, the great pride of its fans is the performance in the Portuguese Championship. In the fight to end Benfica’s hegemony, Porto defeated Marítimo, 3-1, also at the Estádio do Dragão on Monday, December 18, reaching 39 points (12 wins and three draws). The score is the same as Sporting, who finishes in second place when the tiebreaker criteria are taken into account.
Porto have good advantage in the goal difference (33 to 23). After all, it has the best attack of the tournament (39 goals scored), as well as the less leaked defense (six goals). In the Estádio do Dragão, he added 22 (seven wins and one draw) out of 24 possible. Considering all the competitions, it still presents an undefeated series of 13 matches (nine wins and four draws).
The current form of Rio Ave
Although their numbers are well below those presented by Porto, Rio Ave is campaigning above expectations in the Portuguese Championship. On Sunday, December 17, he tied with Chaves, 1 to 1, away from home, scoring 24 points (seven wins, three draws and five losses). It occupies the sixth place with seven points of disadvantage in comparison with the Braga, that closes the zone of classification for European tournaments in the fourth position.
The draw away from home was considered a point earned mainly by having Rio Ave stayed with one athlete within 28 minutes of the second half. Marcelo was given a red card when the game was all set on 1 – 1. The teams went for the home team for the final moment and did not get a chance to take the lead.
However, it was in the Portuguese Cup the most expressive result of Rio Ave in the current season. Playing at home on December 13, eliminated Benfica. After a 2-2 draw in regular time, he won the 1-0 overtime draw. He will cross the Aves in the quarterfinals, allowing his fans to hope to reach the semi-finals.
History of matches Porto and Rio Ave
There are already 29 consecutive games in which Porto is not beaten by Rio Ave. The long series was opened in 2005 and had 23 Porto wins and six draws. Rio Ave’s most recent success came at the Portuguese Championship when, in April 2004, it scored 1-0 at home.
Although Rio Ave has a great season, Porto’s performance leaves no room for risky guessing in this match. The owners of the house are the best option bet with a price of 1.28 in Rivalo. Draw shows return of 5.00 and successful visitor multiplies the investment by 10.00.