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Nov 10, 2021 at 9.30pm UK
Athletico PRAthletico Paranaense
Kayzer (44'), Henrique (68')
Christian (7'), Vinicius (23'), Kayzer (57'), Santos (90+6')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Rick (52')
Ricardo (28'), Richard (69'), Vinicius (90+8')
Sobral (85')

Preview: Athletico Paranaense vs. Ceara - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Athletico Paranaense vs. Ceara - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Brasileiro clash between Athletico Paranaense and Ceara, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

With eight games to go in the 2021 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A campaign, Athletico Paranaense have a chance to leapfrog above Ceara in the standings when they host the club from Fortaleza on Wednesday at Arena da Baixada.

El Paranaense trail 10th place Vozao by a single point in the table following a 2-0 win over Bragantino this past weekend, while Ceara hung on to an early second-half lead to beat Cuiaba 1-0.

Match preview

In what was a dress rehearsal of sorts on Sunday, Furacao got the better of Braga, less than two weeks before they will face them again in the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Montevideo.

Their performance in the Sao Paolo municipality should give them a psychological edge heading into that big match, as Athletico have an opportunity to win a historic double this year, currently in the final of the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa do Brasil.

Alberto Valentim has his players believing that they can beat anybody at this point, scoring a victory over fourth place Bragantino only a few days after this team had come back from 2-0 down to draw the two-time defending Brasileiro Serie A champions, Flamengo.

They missed a shot at a qualifying spot for the Copa Libertadores by a single point in 2020, and if they want to get near that mark this time around, they need to start earning more victories as they are nine points behind Corinthians for sixth in the table.

Winning this match would not only close that gap between themselves and the teams in the top half of the table, but it would also put them in a much better position to maintain a spot in the Copa Sudamericana for next year at the very least.

Not since 2011 have Furacao failed to finish in a position to make it to either the Copa Libertadores or the Copa Sudamericana the following season, but so far this year, they are teetering right near the edge of missing a chance at returning to either South American competition, only a point ahead of Atletico Goianiense, who are 13th.

It was another masterful defensive performance for Ceara, who brilliantly executed the game plan from Tiago Nunes over the weekend, maintaining clean sheets now in back-to-back league fixtures and holding Fluminense and Cuiaba to one shot on target combined.

The former Paranaense manager, who helped lead them to the Copa Sudamericana title in 2018, had a difficult start to his managerial career at Ceara, winning only one of his first 10 matches at the helm.

While they are not always coming away victorious, they have been able to earn some favourable results, with points in all but three games since the manager from Santa Maria took over, as the players are starting to buy into what he has been preaching, a solid defensive structure, and limiting the amount of passing from their opponents in the middle of the pitch.

Since getting promoted back into the top flight in 2018, Vovo were hovering dangerously close to relegation two years ago but have shown improvement since then, finishing 11th last year with 52 points and currently on pace to beat both of those feats in 2021.

On Sunday, they went up against one of the top defensive units in Cuiaba, and they showed a lot of poise and patience, rarely getting threatened while being able to create their fair share of chances the other way.

This team have lacked discipline in recent weeks, picking up a late red card in a 1-1 draw at Bahia and holding onto a 1-0 victory versus Flu, despite being reduced to 10 men after 29 minutes of action and only having 27% of the possession.

Athletico Paranaense Brasileiro form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Athletico Paranaense form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Ceara Brasileiro form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

A few changes were made to the starting 11 for Paranaense from the side who were in the lineup to begin the match against Flamengo as Jose Ivaldo replaced Nicolas Hernandez at the back, and on the forward line, Christian and Guilherme Bissoli started instead of Renato Kayzer and David Terans.

Marcinho and Pedro Rocha scored second-half goals on Sunday, the first of the campaign for either player, while Nikao moved into a tie with Marcinho and Abner for most assists with the club at two.

Matheus Babi remains on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament rupture, while Richard, Erick and Christian will have to be careful as another caution for either of them could earn them a suspension.

After putting home the winner on Halloween from the penalty spot, Ceara midfielder Vina set up the winning goal on Sunday, which came courtesy of Messias, his first of the campaign.

Ceara only changed one player to their starting 11 on Sunday from their previous match as Igor replaced Gabriel Dias on the backline after Dias had been suspended following his red card against Flu.

Jorginho, who is currently on loan from El Paranaense, has had himself a solid campaign for his temporary club, scoring twice, and he is now tied for the team lead in assists with Lima at three.

Athletico Paranaense possible starting lineup:
Santos; Ivaldo, Heleno, Henrique; Abner, Canesin, Erick, Marcinho; Christian, Nikao; Bissoli

Ceara possible starting lineup:
Ricardo; Igor, Messias, Otavio, Pacheco; Fabinho, Oliveira; Marlon, Vina, Mendoza; Jael

We say: Athletico Paranaense 2-0 Ceara

El Paranaense should be full of confidence, beating Flamengo and Bragantino over the past couple of weeks as they are looking like a much more formidable attacking side, scoring multiple goals in three of their previous four games in all competitions.

Ceara have never won away from home this year, nor have they ever triumphed when visiting the club from Curitiba despite showing some tremendous defensive prowess.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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