The small club from the Southern region of Brazil have dropped their previous three league fixtures, losing their last one 3-1 to Gremio, while America have points in three of their last four games, drawing Bragantino 1-1 over the weekend.
Coelho have put themselves in a solid position to remain in the top flight for a second successive campaign with a chance to earn a place in the Copa Sudamericana next year.
This team have been under the radar, for the most part, this season, never being in great danger of relegation but by no means a contending side either.
That is perhaps a good thing for Marquinhos Santos, who has been able to bring a more precise identity to this club since taking over from Vagner Mancini in October, losing just two of his eight matches in charge.
They are unbeaten in their previous eight home fixtures, which is a significant achievement for a newly promoted side, and by no means have those matches been easy as they drew Flamengo and beat Palmeiras, among others, over that streak.
Another victory could almost seal their place in Serie A for next season, currently six points clear of the relegation line but with several teams below them in the league standings.
With relegation already assured, the Chape players can only hope to show the management team that they deserve to remain with the club next season or convince other teams who will be staying in the top flight to sign them for the next campaign.
Felipe Paiva Endres had to be encouraged with what he saw from his side at the beginning of this month, narrowly losing 1-0 to Corinthians before drawing Cuiaba and Flamengo, but he has not had a lot to smile about lately as his players have failed to pick up any points over their past three games.
In those defeats, this team have reverted to old habits, making it too easy for their opponents to enter into the final third, which is disastrous when you have a defensive shape as poor as they have been all year, allowing a league-high 59 goals this season and conceding seven in their last three games with their only goal during that stretch being an own goal from Gremio defender Bruno Cortez.
Four matches remain for them to try and give their fans something to cheer about, and the last time that they faced America, they were three minutes away from victory before crumbling in injury time and eventually playing to a 1-1 draw.
Their 59 goals conceded is the highest total in the Brasileiro Serie A before 2003, but they can rest assured that barring a complete breakdown defensively, they will not come anywhere near the record for goals allowed in the Brazilian top-flight post-2003, as Bahia and Paysandu each gave up 92 goals in the 2003 and 2005 domestic campaigns.
Vagner remains sidelined for Chape with a ruptured knee ligament, while Tiepo has a knee injury and Anderson Leite, who scored the only goal in their draw with America earlier this year, will be out with a yellow card suspension.
America Mineiro possible starting lineup:
Cavichioli; Marlon, Eduardo, Silva, Patric; Kal; Azevedo, Juninho, Ademir, Egea; Zarate
Chapecoense possible starting lineup:
Paulo; Ezequiel, Coser, Ignacio, Busanello; Mike, Santos, Ribeiro, Lima, Nunes; Geuvanio
We say: America Mineiro 2-0 Chapecoense
Chape do not possess nearly enough quality to compete in Serie A, and that has been evident for quite some time, while America, who finished behind them in the second tier in 2020, are far more intelligent both on and off the ball and deserve to be where they are in the standings.
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