Goias v Atletico Goianiense
This will be the sixth meeting of 2022 between the two Goiana rivals, the previous five have seen three wins for Atletico Goianiense, one win for Goias and a 0-0 draw. The last meeting between the pair was back in July, with Atletico GO enjoying a 3-0 victory away from home, something they will be desperate to emulate here.
Goias have been doing fairly ok recently and only have lost two of their last seven matches, however, they will be hoping to start winning more games as they have only won twice during this period. One of those wins came last time out, against champions Atletico Mineiro, away from home. Goias were huge underdogs and leaked 28 shots at their goal, but managed to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win thanks to a second-half strike from Pedro Raul. Galo put up an XG of 3.55 compared to Goias’ 0.63, which shows it was a true smash and grab performance from Jair Ventura’s boys, something they have done on several occasions this season. Goias have been outperformed on XG in their last three matches and they’ll be hoping to be tighter at the back. Savio can return to the side here, he missed the win over Atletico Mineiro due to suspension.
After starting August with three wins in a row in all competitions, Atlético Goianiense are now three without winning after two draws and a defeat. They currently sit 19th in the league, two points adrift of safety. Manager Jorginho is under pressure but was given a vote of confidence in a board meeting on Monday. With an important Copa Sudamericana Semi-Final coming up in midweek, Atletico-GO will be hoping to build momentum and a victory over their rivals would be the perfect morale-booster. Last time out, they took on Cuiaba and after going down to ten men early on, Atletico managed to earn a point out of the game with a solid defensive display. Ronaldo and Ramon miss out due to injury, whilst Diego Churin, Willian Maranhao and Lucas Gazal are suspended.
Over their last five home games, Goias have scored seven and conceded five whereas, Dragao have only found the net three times and shipped in ten, over their last five away matches. With that in mind, over 1.5 goals is a likely outcome in this game, something which has happened in the last three matches between these sides when playing at the Estádio da Serrinha.
Palmeiras v Fluminense
Fluminense are unbeaten in their last three outings. Last weekend, they enjoyed a 5-2 victory over Coritiba in another exciting affair. They put up an XG of 1.87 and kept Coritiba to an XG of just 0.94, which will please manager Fernando Diniz. In midweek, they put in a wonderful display but will feel disappointed that they could only manage a 2-2 draw with Corinthians in the Copa do Brasil, after conceding in the games dying embers. They will be hoping to sharpen up defensively and hope German Cano can be the difference maker as he has been several times this season. So far in 2022 the Argentine forward has 31 goals in all competitions. Fluminense will be without Luan Freitas due to a knee issue.
It’s the third top-of-the-table clash in a row for Palmeiras who face the league’s 2nd placed side once again. First, they beat Corinthians 1-0, which dropped Timão down the table, Flamengo took their place and took on Palmeiras, drawing 1-1, which allowed Fluminense to take advantage and move up to second place. They come into this game, having had another week to prepare, something they will be hoping to use to their advantage. As aforementioned earlier, Verdão took on Flamengo last weekend and after falling 1-0 down in the first half, a second-half goal from Raphael Veiga ensured the spoils were shared. Abel Ferreira’s men are unbeaten in their last 12 matches and sit top of the league by eight points. There’s only one absentee for Palmeiras, Jailson, who is recovering from knee surgery.
The result of this game is difficult to determine. Fluminense will hope to keep the ball, as well as, be progressive in their attacks, something they have done well this season. Palmeiras will sit back and keep things tight and try to hit Flu on the break, they do have a huge gap at the top of the league and can afford a draw here. Despite Palmeiras being involved in a low-scoring game scoring games recently, Fluminense have seen over 1.5 goals in eight of their last ten matches, which is likely to happen here due to Fluminense’s great attacking style and Palmeiras’ ability on the counter.
Botafogo RJ v Flamengo
One of Sunday’s top games in Brazil sees an intriguing Rio de Janeiro battle, as Botafogo host rivals Flamengo. The two previous league matches at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos have been won 1-0 by the Rubro Negro, However, in the meeting earlier on in the season, it was Botafogo who enjoyed success in a single-goal victory at the Maracanã, thanks to striker Erison. Since that outing, plenty has changed for both sides.
Botafogo have become frustrated in recent months, the results have not been the greatest and the performances have been below par and some fans are becoming frustrated with manager Luis Castro. Fogo are without a victory in their last four games and have only won one of their last nine matches. Last time out, they took on the league’s bottom club Juventude and drew 2-2 in an exciting affair. Botafogo twice fell behind but managed to get back on level terms through Junior Santos and Gabriel. On a more positive note, Botafogo were the better of the two sides, they had slightly more chances and put up an XG of 2.72 compared to Juve’s 1.10. It was the first time in three matches that Fogo had an XG above 1.0. They will be displeased with conceding twice in the game and must improve here or else face a long afternoon. Philipe Sampaio can return to the side after being suspended last weekend.
Their opponents, Flamengo, have continued to look stronger and stronger in all competitions. Dorival Junior has an array of options available to him and is reaping the benefits of it. With matches every three or four days, Junior has often rotated his side in large numbers and the performances and results have been flawless. Flamengo are unbeaten in their last 13 matches, a run of form which has seen them win 11. Last week, they drew 1-1 with league leaders Palmeiras away from home. Then on Wednesday, Junior made seven changes against Sao Paulo as they enjoyed a 3-1 victory in the Copa do Brasil.
Coming into this game, Botafogo have been terrible, and they don’t look like they stand a chance of beating a Flamengo side who look unstoppable at the moment, no matter which 11 play. After their 1-0 loss to Botafogo last time out, they will be eager for revenge in this outing.
Cuiaba v Santos
Cuiaba host Santos on Saturday evening at the Arena Pantanal in the state of Mato Grosso. When the sides met back in May, it was Santos who enjoyed a 4-1 home victory, but since then, António Oliveira’, has come in and improved Cuiaba’s defence.
The hosts come into this match knowing they will want to improve on recent results, in order to steer away from the bottom four. Cuiaba currently sit in 16th place, just one point above the drop zone. Last time out, they drew 1-1 with Atletico Goianiense, a result they will be slightly displeased with after Atletico-GO played the second half with ten men, following Lucas Gazal’s red card. Cuiaba’s XG was at 1.57 compared to Atletico’s 0.38, this was the second match in a row that Dourado had outperformed their opponents on XG. This will mark Oliveira’s 15th match in charge, during this period, Cuiaba have won four, drawn four and lost six, scoring eight times and conceding eleven. Alan Empereur can return from a ban here, meaning Cuiaba will likely go back to a back-three formation.
Santos have been in ok form recently, they have only lost one of their last six matches with: three wins, two draws and a loss. They currently sit in eighth place and are in the hunt for a Copa Libertadores place. Last weekend, they took on state rivals Sao Paulo and enjoyed a 1-0 victory thanks to a first-half goal from Lucas Braga. Santos’ counter-attacking game plan worked perfectly, as they only had 29% of the ball, but their XG of 1.82 was slightly similar to Sao Paulo’s XG of 1.88. Peixe will be without three players’ here; Carlos Sanchez misses due to an injury, whilst Marcos Leonardo and Rodrigo Fernandez are suspended.
Cuiaba have seen under 2.5 goals in their last eight games, something which has happened in five out of the last seven Santos matches. With that in mind, under 2.5 goals is a likely outcome in this one.
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