Preview: Estoril Praia vs. Gil Vicente 

Preview: Estoril Praia vs. Gil Vicente 

The Primeira Liga is back in action this weekend as Estoril Praia and Gil Vicente go head to head at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota on Friday evening.

While the home side set out to snap their run of six consecutive defeats, the Gilistas will be looking to pick up a third win in four away matches since the start of February.

Following a solid start to the 2022-23 Primeira Liga campaign, when they lost just two of their opening nine matches, Estoril Praia have imploded in the business end of the campaign.

The Lisbon outfit have managed just two wins since their 3-2 Taca de Portugal victory over Amora FC on October 14, a run which saw manager Nelson Verissimo relieved of his role at the helm of affairs.

Hired to salvage the club’s season, former Gil Vicente head coach Ricardo Soares has struggled to turn Estoril’s fortune around, losing each of the three matches since his appointment in February.

The most recent defeat, a 2-0 home loss against Chaves just before the international break, summed up the club’s woes as they gave away two penalties, with club captain Joaozinho receiving his marching orders.

Estoril Praia have now lost six consecutive league matches, scoring three goals and shipping 15 in that time, while they have picked up just six points from a possible 36 since the turn of the year.

With 22 points from 25 matches, the Canarinhos are currently 15th in the Primeira League table, just six points above 16th-placed Pacos de Ferreira in the relegation playoff spot.

Gil Vicente, on the other hand, were denied a third win on the bounce for the first time since April 2021 as they fell to a 2-1 loss against 10-man Rio Ave at the Estadio dos Arcos last time out.

With the last significant kick of the game, Spanish forward Fran Navarro fluffed a game-levelling penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time as goalkeeper Jhonatan made a vital stop to hand Rio Ave all three points.

Prior to that, Gil Vicente were unbeaten in five consecutive matches, picking up two draws and three wins, including an impressive 2-1 victory over defending champion Porto at the Estadio do Dragao on February 26.

While the Gilistas will be looking to return to winning ways and resume their quest for a top-half finish, Friday’s game pits them against an Estoril Praia side who are unbeaten in their last nine meetings, claiming four wins and five draws since a 2-1 loss in January 2011.

With a game in hand, Daniel Sousa’s men are currently 13th in the Primeira League standings and could potentially move level on 32 points with 10th-placed Vizela should they pick up all three points this weekend.

Estoril Praia Primeira Liga form:

Gil Vicente Primeira Liga form:

We say: Estoril Praia 1-2 Gil Vicente
Estoril Praia have endured an underwhelming campaign so far and find themselves scrambling for points at the wrong end of the table. Barring their last outing against Rio Ave, the Gilistas have been solid in recent weeks and will be looking to find their feet. We predict a cagey affair at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota, with the Gilistas claiming a slender victory.

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