Athletico Paranaense v Fortaleza
Athletico Paranaense will look to continue to build momentum for the Copa Libertadores final at the end of the month. After securing their spot in Guayaquil, Athletico had failed to win any of their four games, until they finally returned to winning ways in their most recent outing against Juventude at home. Vitinho opened the scoring for the hosts before a second-half goal from Fernandinho ensured the three points. Their XG of 1.53 was far greater than Juve’s lowly 0.21, showing it was a good display all round for Furacão. They’ll be hoping for something similar here, as they seek back-to-back wins for the first time since July. They will be without Pedro Henrique and Vitor Roque who are banned. Pablo is expected to replace Roque in attack.
After two defeats in a row, Fortaleza are now unbeaten in their last three matches, a run of form which has moved them up to ninth in the league, great for a side who had relegation worries not too long ago. At the weekend, they took on Goias away from home and enjoyed a 1-0 victory, after a first-half goal from Lucas Sasha. Fortaleza’s XG of 1.02 was greater than Goias’ 0.82 and the second time in a row they’ve had the better of their opposition on expected goals. They’ll be hoping for something similar, as they look to make it three wins in a row. Valentin Depietri is injured, whilst Juninho Capixaba misses after an accumulation of yellow cards.
Although the last game was a boring 0-0, that is unlikely to be the case this time. Before that, in the previous five meetings between the pair, there had been over 1.5 goals, which is something that has happened four times in the last five matches involving Fortaleza. Athletico have seen over 1.5 goals in their last five outings.
Flamengo v Internacional
One of the games of matchweek 29, sees Flamengo take on Internacional in what promises to be an exciting affair, in Rio de Janeiro.
Flamengo’s poor run of form in recent weeks has all but ended their league title aspirations and their attention has now turned to building momentum for their upcoming Copa Libertadores and Copa do Brasil finals. Their last league outing, saw them end a run of four matches without a win in style. They took on Red Bull Bragantino and enjoyed a 4-1 victory with a dominant display. It took Pedro just 5 minutes and 46 seconds to score a hat-trick and he’ll be eager to cause the Internacional back-line some havoc, as he seeks a place in the Brazilian National team for the upcoming world cup. Flamengo’s XG of 4.44 was far greater than Bragantino’s 1.00, showing the host were well worth their victory. The Rubro Negro will be hoping for the same in this outing.
Internacional are in amazing form at the moment, since their shock loss to Melgar in the Copa Sudamericana, they are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions and will feel confident that they can earn something against a strong Flamengo side. They currently sit second in the league and trail Palmeiras by ten points. On Saturday, Inter took on Santos at home and ran out 1-0 winners, thanks to a first-half goal from Carlos de Pena. For the fourth match in a row, Inter had a better XG than their opponents with 1.24 compared to Peixe’s 0.39. They’ll be hoping to be just as creative in this matchup. Gabriel picked up a season-ending injury last time out and Johnny will be suspended for this duel. Centre-back Gabriel Mercado will return to the side following suspension. Edenilson is expected to replace Johnny, whilst Lizeiro is expected to fill Gabriel’s void.
Flamengo have scored 31 times at home in the league this season and Inter average just over a goal per game on the road… goals are to be expected in this one!
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