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Primeira Liga | Gameweek 34
May 18, 2024 at 3.30pm UK
Estadio Municipal de Arouca
Vitoria de Guimaraes

1 - 3

Cristo (39' pen.)
Kouassi (45+2'), Simao (64'), Borevkovic (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Oliveira (50'), Thiago (53' og.), Silva (62')
Silva (33'), Silva (45+3'), Andre (72'), Lawal (82'), Ribeiro (90+2')

Preview: Arouca vs. Vitoria de Guimaraes - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Arouca and Vitoria de Guimaraes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Arouca and Vitoria de Guimaraes draw the curtains on the 2023-24 Primeira Liga campaign when they go head to head on Saturday evening.

Os Vimaranenses are unbeaten in each of their last eight visits to the Estadio Municipal de Arouca since December 2013 and head into the weekend looking to extend this impressive run.

Match preview

Arouca's Antony celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 24, 2023© Reuters

Arouca were simply outplayed and outclassed by a clinical Benfica side as they suffered a 5-0 hammering when the teams squared off at Estadio da Luz last Sunday.

In a one-sided affair, goals from Angel Di Maria, Orkun Kokcu, Casper Tengstedt and a brace from 30-year-old midfielder Rafa Silva inspired As Aguias to their 18th league victory of the season.  

Prior to that, the Arouquenses were on a run of six consecutive games without defeat, picking up three wins and three draws while scoring 10 goals and keeping two clean sheets since late March.  

Daniel Sousa's men have picked up 13 wins, seven draws and lost 13 of their 33 Primeira Liga matches to collect 46 points and sit seventh in the league table, four points above fifth-placed Famalicao.

Arouca will end the season on home turf, where they are unbeaten in nine of their last 11 matches across all competitions, picking up seven wins and two draws since November.  

Vitoria de Guimaraes's Andre Silva celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 12, 2023© Reuters

On the other hand, Vitoria de Guimaraes' bid for a place in Europe came to a disappointing end last weekend as they suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Braga on home turf.

In a back-and-forth affair at the Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques, former Sevilla man Rony Lopes grabbed the headlines as he netted a 93rd-minute winner to hand Braga a vital victory in their push for a top-three finish.

Alvaro Pacheco's men have now lost four of their last five matches across all competitions — with a 1-0 victory over 10-man Boavista on April 27 being the exception — a run which has derailed their push for a return to Europe.

This poor late-season form has also seen Vitoria de Guimaraes' dreams of reaching the Taca de Portugal final came to an end in April as they fell to a 4-1 aggregate defeat against Porto in the semi-finals.

With 60 points from 33 matches, Os Vimaranenses are currently fifth in the Primeira table, eight points off fourth-placed Braga in the Europa Conference League qualification spot and eight points above sixth-placed Moreirense.

Pacheco will hope that his side can end the season on a high and build on what is their highest-ever league position since the 2016-17 campaign while they finished fourth with 62 points.

Arouca Primeira Liga form:

Vitoria de Guimaraes Primeira Liga form:

Vitoria de Guimaraes form (all competitions):

Team News

Vitoria de Guimares's Tiago Silva celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on December 9, 2023© Reuters

Barring any late fitness issues, Arouca head into the weekend with a clean bill of health and no suspension concerns, giving Sousa the luxury of a full-strength squad at his disposal.

January signing Vladislav Morozov should lead the Arouquenses attack once again, alongside Jason and 26-year-old Cristo Gonzalez, who has 14 goals and nine assists in 33 league appearances.

Meanwhile, Pacheco will be unable to name 25-year-old midfielder Nuno Santos, who is currently suspended after crossing the yellow card threshold with his booking against Braga last weekend.

On the injury front, Vitoria de Guimaraes will be without the services of Cape Verde midfielder Telmo Arcanjo, who continues his lengthy spell on the sidelines through a cruciate ligament tear.

He is joined on Os Vimaranenses' injury table by midfielder Joao Mendes, who has been out of action since coming off with an ankle injury against Farense on April 13.

Arouca possible starting lineup:
Arruabarrena; Esgaio, Bambu, Montero, Weverson; Santos, Simao; Jason, Gonzalez, Sylla; Morozov

Vitoria de Guimaraes possible starting lineup:
Varela; Fernandes, Borevkovic, Ribeiro; Gaspar, Andre, Jorge Silva, T Silva, Mangas; Jota Silva, Oliveira

SM words green background

We say: Arouca 1-1 Vitoria de Guimaraes

Still licking their wounds from their defeat against Braga, Vitoria de Guimaraes will head into the weekend looking to pick up a morale-boosting result and end the season on a high. However, Arouca have rock-solid at home of late and we predict that they will do just enough to force a share of the spoils.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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