Round five of the Portuguese Primeira Liga comes to an end at the Estadio Municipal Eng. Manuel Branco Teixeira where Chaves and Rio Ave go head to head on Monday.
This will be the first meeting between two of the three newly-promoted sides this season and we anticipate an end-to-end contest with both teams taking the game to each other in search of the bragging rights.
Chaves continued their run of impressive results in the Primeira Liga as they stunned Sporting Lisbon to a 2-0 victory when the sides squared off at the Estadio Jose Alvalade last Saturday.
In a game where Patrick Fernandes received his marching orders, Steven Vitoria scored against the run of play to put the visitors ahead in the 60th minute before former Estoril Praia man Juninho made sure of the result with a 63rd-minute strike.
Vitor Campelos’s side are now unbeaten in each of their last three games, picking up two wins and one draw while scoring five goals and conceding twice since a 1-0 loss against Vitoria de Guimaraes in their league opener on August 7.
While Chaves will look to pick up their first set of consecutive wins this season, next up is an opposing side who are unbeaten in 12 of the last 14 meetings between the teams, claiming seven wins and five draws.
On the other hand, Rio Ave could not have hoped for a bigger stage to grab their first win since their return to the top flight as they cruised to a surprise 3-1 victory over reigning champions Porto last Sunday.
The newly-promoted side turned in a superb first-half performance to go into half time with a 3-0 lead thanks to a brace from Aziz and Pedro Amaral’s 33rd-minute strike before Porto grabbed one back in the 93rd minutes courtesy of substitute Toni Martinez.
Prior to that, Rio Ave failed to taste victory in their opening three games of the season, suffering consecutive defeats against Vizela and Sporting Lisbon in their first two games before holding out for a 2-2 draw at Estoril Praia on August 19.
While Luis Freire’s men will look to build on last week’s performance and put together a fine run of form, they have struggled to get going away from home, where they are winless in four of their last five games since the start of April, losing twice and picking up two draws.
Rio Ave follow Monday’s game with a thrilling clash against Braga, who are currently on a four-game winning streak in the league, while Chaves will take a trip to the Estadio do Dragao to face league champions Porto on September 10.
Off the back of a stunning victory over Sporting Lisbon, Campelos could name a similar side on Monday, meaning that we could see a back four of Joao Correia, Vitoria, Nelson Monte and Bruno Langa shielding Vitor in goal.
However, Chaves will take to the pitch without Fernandes, who is currently suspended after picking up a late red card in the game against Sporting Lisbon last time out.
On the injury front, the Flavienses will have to make do without new signing Luther Singh, who awaits his debut as he continues his spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury while in action for Copenhagen in June.
As far as Rio Ave are concerned, Freire will be unable to call upon the services of Brazilian defender Junio Rocha, who is out of contention for Monday’s matchup through a severe leg injury.
Aziz scored a first-half brace to put the reigning champions to the sword last time out and the Ghanaian forward should spearhead the visitors’ attack, alongside Fabio Ronaldo and 26-year-old Joca.
Chaves possible starting lineup:
Fagundes; Correia, Vitoria, Monte, Langa; Arriba, Guimaraes, Mendes; Batxi, Hernandez, Sousa
Rio Ave possible starting lineup:
Jhonatan; Nobrega, Santos, Pantalon; Costinha, Guga, Gomes, Amaral; Ronaldo, Joca, Aziz