Fluminense v Juventude
After a disappointing performance in the Copa do Brasil semifinal, which saw Fluminense lose 3-0 to Corinthians, they needed a response when they took on rivals Flamengo in their most recent match and thankfully for Flu, they did just that. Goals from Ganso and Nathan gave Flu a 2-0 goal lead going into the final ten minutes. A late goal from Gabriel Barbosa gave them a scare, but Fernando Diniz’s men held out to pick up an important three points. It was the second match in a row where Fluminense had less expected goals than their opponents, but also the second game in a row that they had won, showing they are making the most of the chances they are creating. Flu currently sit in third place and are nine points adrift of league-leaders Palmeiras. They will be without David Braz, Caio Paulista and Manoel for this game due to suspension. David Duarte is expected to pair Nino at centre-back with Cris Silva coming in at left-back for Paulista.
Serie B football is looking more likely for Juventude with each passing matchweek. They are without a win in their last eight matches and will be desperate to get the winning feeling again. Juve are currently nine points adrift of safety and it’s going to take a miracle for them to remain in top-flight football. Last time out, Juve had more of the ball, the better chances, but failed to overcome Fortaleza in a 1-1 draw. Their XG of 2.57 was way greater than Fortaleza’s 0.76, something that will leave them frustrated. Moraes misses the duel here through injury, whilst Oscar Ruiz is a doubt with a muscle issue.
Although Juve won the meeting earlier in the season, that was more down to the horrendous conditions in Rio Grande do Sul which didn’t allow Flu to play their usual attractive possession-based football. On the road, Juventude have only won once this season and have shipped in 26 goals – scoring nine in return. On the flip side, Fluminense have the second-best home record in the division with; nine wins, two draws and three defeats. Flu come into the game as huge favourites here and should enjoy a comfortable afternoon, avenging the defeat earlier in the campaign.
Coritiba v Ceara
Coritiba host Ceara at the Estadio Nilton Pereira in a game that can be dubbed a real six-pointer, with just three points separating the sides heading into the clash.
Coritiba will be hoping for an improvement from their last outing, which saw them comfortably beaten by Botafogo away from home. Despite their loss, Coxa had slightly greater expected goals with an XG of 2.08 compared to Fogo’s 1.70. They will be hoping to be more clinical in this affair. Guto Ferreira will be hoping his boys can bounce back at the first time of asking. Ferreira has history with Ceará as he managed the club for over a year between March 2020 and August 2021. He led the Northeastern club to the Copa do Nordeste in 2020 and took charge of a total of 96 matches. Coxa come into this game knowing they have won their last two home games. Andrey will miss the clash here with an injury, Matias Galarza is suspended, whilst full-back Diego Porfirio is a doubt.
Also hoping to improve on a poor performance last time out are Ceará, who suffered a 2-0 home loss to Sao Paulo, in a game which saw them reduced to nine men. For the third time in a row, Ceará had an XG below their opponents, this time by a substantial amount with 0.94 compared to Tricolor’s 3.08. They will simply have to improve if they want anything out of this match. Vozão sit just three points above the relegation zone. For this duo, they will be without Luiz Otavio, Ze Roberto, Nino Paraiba and Gabriel Lacerda who are all suspended. Jael, Matheus Peixoto and Bruno Pacheco are ruled out through injury.
With both sides in mixed form, picking a winner in this battle is tough. In six of the last seven matches involving Ceará, there have been under 2.5 goals scored, which is similar to Coxa who have seen under 2.5 goals in five of their last six matches. With that in mind, under 2.5 goals is a likely outcome in this battle.
Internacional v Red Bull Bragantino
The inform Internacional, take on a Red Bull Bragantino side struggling for form at the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on Wednesday evening.
Over the past five matches, Internacional leads the form table in Brazil with; four wins and one draw. They will be keen on keeping up their good run as they sit second in the league table. They trail league leaders Palmeiras by eight points and will be hoping to maintain the pressure on them in case of any slip-ups. Last time out, Inter took on Atletico Goianiense away from home and went into the half-time break two goals to the good following a brace from Pedro Henrique. A second-half Diego Churin goal saw Inter have to dig deep to hang on for a 2-1 win. For the second game in a row, the Porto Alegre side had an XG greater than their opponents with; 3.09 compared to Atletico GO’s 2.26. Inter will be without Fabricio Bustos who is suspended, whilst Johnny is on International duty with the USA.
While Inter are in great form, the same can’t be said about Red Bull Bragantino, who sit 17th in the form table with; four draws and a defeat. Last time out, they took on Goias at home and after Alerrandro opened the scoring, Bragantino dominated the game… but failed to add a second goal, which saw Pedro Raul equalise from the spot as the pair drew 1-1. Their XG of 2.19 was far greater than Goias’ 1.01, which will add even more disappointment to the result. They will be hoping to be more clinical going forward. The goalscorer from the game against Goias, Alerrandro, will miss the match here due to a thigh issue.
With Internacional top of the form tree and Bragantino struggling, Inter will fancy their chances here as they look to make it six wins from seven matches. If they want to keep pressure on Palmeiras, they simply have to win here.
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