Fluminense v Corinthians
It’s sixth versus second in the Brazilian Serie A, as Fluminense host Corinthians at the iconic Maracana Stadium. Both sides come into this game in decent form, which should make for an exciting encounter.
Fluminense are unbeaten in their last four matches, following their 1-0 victory away from home against fellow Rio de Janeiro side Botafogo last weekend. A goal late into the second half from Manoel was enough to give Flu the three points. Fluminense dominated the possession, having 79% of the ball and they limited Botafogo to an XG of 0.81, as well as, having an XG of 1.11.
They will expect a similar game here, with Corinthians likely sitting back and hoping to hit Fluminense on the counterattack. Flu said goodbye to Luiz Henrique last week, he moves on to Spanish club Real Betis. They will also be without Nonato and John Kennedy, who are suspended.
Corinthians are also on a decent run themselves, they are unbeaten in their last six games, but will be looking to improve on their last two performances, First, they took on Santos after enjoying a 4-0 victory in the cup, Corinthians couldn’t replicate their success and could only manage a point in a 0-0 draw. They only managed one shot on target in the 90 minutes. The XG for Corinthians was at 0.45, slightly ahead of Santos’ 0.30.
Then in midweek, Timao hosted Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores, where they once again were involved in a goalless draw. In truth, it was a game of limited chances at goal. The biggest moment of the game saw Boca keeper Rossi deny Roger Guedes from the spot.
With Fluminense having had a week to prepare for the game with no midweek distractions, they will feel confident that they can get the victory here. Corinthians face a tough trip to Argentina on Wednesday in the second leg of their Copa Libertadores tie. With that in mind, Vitor Pereira may rotate some of his players around which will further increase Fluminense’s confidence.
Juventude v Atletico MG
Juventude will be hoping to cause an upset when they take on champions, Atletico Mineiro on Saturday evening. They currently sit second from bottom in the league standings. Last time out, Juve picked up their first point in five matches, with a 0-0 draw away from home against Sao Paulo, something they will be pleased with.
Juve allowed Sao Paulo to have 29 shots in the game and nine on target, they will have to sharpen up defensively here, as if they put in a similar display against Galo, they could find themselves on the end of a battering. Juve’s XG against Sao Paulo was below one for the second game in a row at 0.11. They will need to be more creative in the coming matches. They know that a draw in this game wouldn’t be the worst result in the world.
It’s been a busy week for Atletico Mineiro, first, they took on Fortaleza at home. After going 2-0 down early on, it looked like their four-match unbeaten run was going to come to an end. However, Galo had other ideas, goals from Rubens and Rever pulled Atletico level, before a stoppage-time own-goal from Jussa, saw Antonino Mohamed’s men complete a superb comeback.
Then in midweek, Galo travelled to Guayaquil to take on Emelec and earned a decent 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores match. Their XG was at 1.54 compared to Emelec’s 0.98, this was the fourth game in a row that Atletico outperformed their opponents on expected goals, giving them a solid platform to build from.
Juventude have been poor of late, their only victory came on an almost unplayable pitch after a heavy downpour. Their last win against Galo in the league came way back in 2003. With no rain expected in Caxias do Sul on Saturday, Atletico should have too much firepower for Juve, even if Mohamed tinkers with his lineup, they should still pick up the three points.
Avai v Cuiaba
Avaí host Cuiabá at the Estádio da Ressacada, in which could be an important point in the season for both sides. The last meeting between the pair was back in 2020, when Cuiaba enjoyed a 2-1 victory, but coming into this match, the situation is very different.
After an away defeat to Fluminense, Avai faced the daunting task of Palmeiras who had won their last four games. The side from Florianópolis put in a great effort and earned a 2-2 draw, in a match they were expected to taste defeat. The expected goals for Avai was at 1.11 compared to Palmeiras’ 2.72, which Avai won’t be fussed about and will see as a positive that they managed to score twice against the league leaders, despite not creating as many scoring chances as they would’ve liked.
Cuiaba have been going through a rough patch in recent weeks, they are without a win in their last five matches and must improve. Last time out, they suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Goias. For the third game in a row, their XG was lower than their opponents at 1.29 compared to Goias’ 1.39. The side from Mato Grosso have not scored in their last three games and must refine going forward if they want anything out of this match.
Despite having lost to Cuiaba in their two previous encounters, Avai have been exciting to watch and will look to dominate the ball and try to break Cuiaba down. Avai’s home record is the sixth-best in the league, which has seen them win four, draw two and lose only one. Away from home, Cuiaba have lost five out of their seven matches. With that in mind, Leão da Ilha should pick up the three points here, in what would be their first victory of any kind over Cuiaba.
Coritiba v Fortaleza
With Coritiba in 16th place and Fortaleza at the foot of the table, this weekend’s match at the Couto Pereira Stadium has a real six-pointer feel to it. Both sides will be desperate to win and can’t afford to lose.
Coach Gustavo Moringo is under pressure to get a result after his Coritiba side are now without a win in their last six matches, a run which has seen them lose their last four matches, the most recent, being a 3-0 battering at the hands of Internacional away from home last Friday. Inter’s XG of 3.14 was way superior to Coritiba’s 0.88, showing they must improve in both attack and defence if they want to improve results.
Coxa have conceded 22 times this season, the second-highest in the division. On a positive note, Coritiba have had a full week to prepare for the game here, whereas Fortaleza were in action on Thursday, which could give them a slight advantage. The hosts will be without two key players in Igor Paixao and Guilherme Biro who are both suspended.
It’s been quite the week for Fortaleza, first, they took on Champions Atletico Mineiro away from home and raced into a two-goal lead thanks to a first-half brace from Romarinho. It looked like Fortaleza were going to earn an important three points, but goals from Rubens and Rever ensured the sides were level going into second-half stoppage time. A 96th-minute own goal from Jussa saw Fortaleza suffer a heartbreaking 3-2 loss, which could turn out to be pivotal at the end of the season.
Then on Thursday evening, Fortaleza hosted Estudiantes in the Copa Libertadores and drew 1-1 at home, giving them a tough task next week to get a result in Argentina. Their XG was at 0.55 which was slightly less than Estudiantes’ 0.63. The Copa do Nordeste champions will be hoping to be more creative in this game as they seek to rise from the foot of the table. Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s men have scored eight times in six away games this season in the league.
The away side have suffered 3-2 defeats in their last two away games, showing they are always likely to score, but their attacking style leaves them vulnerable at the back. Coritiba average just over a goal in every game, but with their leaky defence, they are also likely to concede, meaning both sides scoring is a likely outcome in this match.
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