Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18h56

League Cup: Rio Ave's x-ray


Benfica’s opponent in the opening round of the 2018/19 edition of the competition privileges the ball possession and the high-pressure. The Official Site shows you the main characteristics of the team led by José Gomes.

It is a rebuilt Rio Ave the one that visits the Estádio da Luz, this Saturday, at 6 pm, in a match from the opening round of the League Cup group A.

Starting with the man at the helm… José Gomes, 48-year-old, returns to Portugal after an adventure in the Middle East – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – which started in 2014/15.

Predominantly playing in 4x2x3x1, Rio Ave fielded eight new signing in the starting XI in the last encounter, with Portimonense (V 2-1), for gameweek 4 of the Liga NOS. Léo; Júnio Rocha, Buatu, Borevkovic, Matheus; Tarantini (79’ Diego Lopes), Leandrinho (46’ Nikola Jambor); Gabrielzinho, Gelson Dala, Galeno; Bruno Moreira (70’ Vinícius): this was the starting XI used against Portimonense, with the new signings appearing in bold.

Even so, the players under José Gomes are doing a good season. In fact, the early elimination from the Europa League, still in the qualifying round, against the Poles of Jagiellonia Bialystok, had an impact, but the team knew how to respond in the National Championship and in the League Cup. In the Liga NOS they are in the 7th place, with seven points, fruit of two triumphsone draw and one loss; in the competition in which they will lock horns with Benfica, they eliminated Portimonense in Algarve and sealed the passport to the group stage. So far, the record in official competitions is seven matches, three wins, two draws, two losses, 12 goals scored and 10 conceded.

Rio Ave-Portimonense

Ball possession and attacking mentality

Rio Ave is a historic club of Portuguese football. José Gomes was to live up to the club’s history by trying to implement a football with an offensive mentality for 2018/19. The “vila-condenses” made, in average, 13 shots per match and they only di not reach the two figures in shots in one match, according to data from the platform Wyscout.

But, more than just shoot, the offensive dynamics can be analyzed by the way a team presents itself in the pitch or how it feels with ball possession. In this two aspects, Rio Ave shows itself to be a team that privileges the ball possession.

They have an average of 55% in the seven matches, they make around 420 passes per encounter  (the opponents they faced did not reach 300) and registers an efficacy of 85%. They don’t usually use long passes, but they have a success rate around 50% ins this particular aspect. Always ready to launch the attack, the “vila-condenses” have an average of 146 front passes (efficacy of  79%).

Rio Ave-Portimonense

Rio Ave's transfers

IN Position OUT Position
Paulo Vítor goalkeeper  Marcelo defender
Léo goalkeeper  Guedes forward
Matheus defender João Novais midfielder
Borevkovic defender Yuri Ribeiro defender
Fábio Coentrão defender Cássio goalkeeper 
Afonso Figueiredo defender Yazalde forward
Miguel Rodrigues defender Bruno Teles defender
Buatu defender Carlos Alves goalkeeper 
Júnio Rocha defender Rui Vieira goalkeeper 
João Schmidt midfielder Lionn defender
Furtado forward Pelé midfielder
Bruno Moreira forward Marcão defender
Murilo forward Kalechi John defender
Galeno forward Francisco Geraldes midfielder
Gelson Dala forward Barreto midfielder
Joca midfielder Vitó midfielder
Vinícius forward Silvério defender
Nikola Jambor midfielder André Silva forward


Text: Marco Rebelo

Pics: Liga Portugal

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