Ceara v Bragantino
Ceará enjoyed an amazing start to their Brazilian Serie A campaign with a 3-2 away victory over South American Champions Palmeiras, but in the second game of the campaign, they failed to back it up, instead suffering a 1-3 loss to newly promoted Botafogo at home. Last weekend Ceará had time to focus on training – a rarity in Brazil, after their opponents and bitter rivals, Fortaleza were in state championship action. In midweek, they faced a trip to Paraguay to take on General Caballero in the Copa Sudamericana. Ceará put in a solid display with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Erick and Messias. The only downside from the match was that Lucas Ribeiro picked up a red card, therefore he will not be available for Ceara’s next continental battle. They created an XG of (1.96) during the game, showing they are capable of getting into good scoring positions, something they will be aiming to do against a Bragantino side who likes to be adventurous going forward, which is likely to suit Ceara’s counter-attacking style.
Bragantino have enjoyed a decent start to the 2022 Brazilian Serie A and after three games remain unbeaten with two wins and a draw. Last time out in the league, they took an early lead against state rivals Sao Paulo thanks to a goal inside two minutes from Alerrandro who pounced on the rebound following a good save from Jandrei. Bragantino did their best to hang on to their lead but came unstuck 20 minutes from time after a lovely header from Eder. Despite having fewer shots and less possession, Bragantino still managed to come away with a point, something they will be pleased with. In midweek, the Red-Bull club suffered a 2-0 loss to Argentine outfit Estudiantes in the Copa Libertadores.
With both sides in action in midweek, there will likely be some fatigue in the legs, which will lead to goals from both sides in this game. The last meeting between these sides saw four goals and 42 shots in an exciting 2-2 draw, which is definitely on the cards here.
Goias v Atletico Mineiro
Goias’s start to life back in Brazil’s top-flight has not gone how they would have planned… They are currently winless and sit in 18th place with one point. Last time out, was a real disappointment for Verdão. They travelled to Florianópolis to take on Avai on Monday evening and were immediately on the back foot as Avai took an early lead. A red card to Morato offered Goias an opportunity to get back into the game, but instead, things got even worse as they found themselves three goals down after 62 minutes. Two goals in the final stages of the game proved to be consolation goals as Goias suffered a disappointing defeat. Things do not get any easier for the out of form side, who host champions, Atletico Mineiro this Saturday. Goias have the highest XG against them at (6.70) in the division. This is (1.20) more than any other side.
Atletico Mineiro are slowly adjusting to life under new manager Antonio Mohamed, but they will be disappointed with their recent run of form.
After a solid 1-0 victory away at Athletico Paranaense and a 3-0 cup win over Brasiliense, Galo have drawn their last two games in frustrating circumstances. First, on Saturday evening, they hosted Coritiba and raced into a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from their Venezuelan International Jefferson Savarino. Not many would have predicted a fightback from Coritiba but that’s exactly what occurred, two clever counterattacks saw both Igor Paixao and Adrian Martinez get on the scoresheet and earn a huge point away from home. Then in midweek, in the Copa Libertadores, Atletico travelled to Ecuador to take on Independiente del Valle. Guilherme Arana played a wonderful ball for Hulk who wasted no time in giving the away side the lead. However, Atletico were unable to hang on as Junior Sornoza drew the sides level just after the restart. Both sides went looking for a winner but couldn’t find a way to do so, meaning the points were shared as Atlético made it a second draw in a row.
Despite going two games without victory, Atletico will be confident of getting the job done here, Goias have the worst XG against in the league and Galo have the third-highest expected goals for. Surely, there can only be one winner here.
Internacional v Avai
After three games without a win in all competitions, Internacional are slowly starting to turn a corner. Alexandre Alemao’s 90th Minute winner against Fortaleza back in match week two has seemed to spark Inter into life. Last weekend, they took on Fluminense, a game they were seen as underdogs. Manager, Mano Menezes, was appointed on the 19th of April and took charge of his first game in Brazilian football since 2020. He and his new Inter side made a bright start to the match and should have really taken the lead in the opening stages through Rodrigo Moledo but his header was way off the mark. Menezes’s men did not panic, however, early in the second half, after some nice build-up play, halftime substitute, Alemao got on the end of Carlos De Pena’s cross to fire Inter into the lead. In their response, Fluminense failed to register a shot on target in the second half, meaning an Alemao goal had given Colorado the three points. Then in midweek, Inter faced a tough trip to Medellin to take on Independiente Medellin and just like their other two victories, a goal from Alemao was enough to give Inter victory.
Avai have started life back in the Brazilian Serie A in a decent fashion, with two wins and a defeat from their opening three games. Last time out, they faced Goias where the hosts made a bright start, which paid off as Morato fired Avai into an early lead. However, it was a hero to zero moment for the goal scorer, who was shown a red card with only 26 minutes on the clock after accidentally stamping on an opponent. Avai managed to regroup and went into the half-time interval still one goal to the good. Rather than sitting back and protecting what they had, Avai went at Goias and raced into a three-goal lead thanks to Guilherme Bissoli and a spot-kick from Muriqui. Goias finally woke up in the final stages with Pedro Raul and a penalty from Elvis, putting them within one goal of Avai, but Leão da Ilha’s ten men hung on for an important three points.
Inter put up an XG of (1.70) in their encounter with Fluminense and Avai managed the second highest of the match week with an XG of (2.62) against Goias. With both sides playing well and creating chances, there should be goals in this one.
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