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Sep 20, 2021 at 12.30am UK

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Preview: Flamengo vs. Gremio - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Flamengo vs. Gremio - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Brasileiro clash between Flamengo and Gremio, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Third-placed Flamengo and 18th-placed Gremio will clash on Sunday, in a crucial game at both ends of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A table.

The sides met in Copa do Brasil action on Thursday, with Flamengo coming out as 2-0 winners, and the visitors will be desperate to gain instant revenge on their opponents in the league.

Match preview

After a difficult start to the season, Flamengo have enjoyed an eye-catching rise to the top end of the table, having now collected 22 points from their last nine outings.

Renato Gaucho's men put a run of four straight victories together before it was brought to an abrupt end by a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Internacional, but they quickly bounced back, and now head into Sunday's clash on the back of consecutive league wins.

After a somewhat disappointing draw with Ceara, the Rubro-Negro thrashed Santos 4-0 away from home, as Gabriel Barbosa netted a hat-trick before Andreas Pereira capped off a great showing by adding a fourth.

They followed that up with an impressive 3-1 away win over second-placed Palmeiras, with a Michael brace and a Pedro goal sealing the victory to close the gap between the sides to just one point.

Gaucho now leads the Rubro-Negro into a clash with his former side for the second time in quick succession, after a Pedro brace fired them to a 2-0 win in the Copa do Brasil quarter-final on Thursday, and they will look for a similar result on Sunday to increase the pressure on the league's top two sides.

Gremio also find themselves in a relatively impressive run of form, and will be desperate to get one over on Flamengo to continue building momentum in the league.

After only winning one of their opening 11 Brasileiro games, Sunday's visitors have been stuck in the relegation zone for the entirety of the season, but are now pushing towards an escape.

Former Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari took charge in July, and has overseen somewhat of a reversal of fortunes at the Arena do Gremio, with the Imortal Tricolor collecting 14 points from their last nine league outings.

A 2-0 victory over Bahia briefly lifted them out of the bottom four, but a defeat to Corinthians saw them crash back down, before Scolari's side produced an immediate reaction in their last league game, with Diego Souza and Ferreira firing them to a vital 2-0 home win over Ceara.

While they will have been somewhat disheartened by the cup defeat on Thursday, the Imortal Tricolor will be far more focussed on league football, given their situation.

Gremio currently find themselves three points adrift of safety in 18th spot, with a superior goal difference to 16th-placed Sao Paulo, meaning they stand a chance of breaking out of the drop zone with what would be an eye-catching victory on Sunday.

Flamengo Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Flamengo form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Gremio Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Gremio form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Flamengo have several injuries to deal with, as midfielder Robert Piris and experienced left-back Filipe Luis will miss out, while Bruno Henrique and Diego are doubts.

However, they were recently boosted by the return of dangerous frontman Gabriel Barbosa, adding to their abundance of attacking options.

He should lead the line with the support of the likes of Everton Ribeiro and Uruguayan star Giorgian de Arrascaeta, while Pablo has also staked his claim for a starting spot with three goals in the last two games.

Andreas Pereira has impressed in midfield since arriving on loan from Manchester United, and he should continue to partner Willian Arao in the centre.

Gremio's only absentee should be experienced winger Douglas Costa, who continues to miss out through injury.

Their line will be led by Colombian international Miguel Borja, who has netted three goals in six appearances in the Brazilian top flight so far this season, and recently returned to the side after going away on international duty.

Former Barcelona right-back Rafinha brings vital experience to the back four and the right-hand side, while Walter Kannemann and Paulo Miranda should partner up at the heart of the defensive line.

Flamengo possible starting lineup:
Alves; Isla, Henrique, Viana, Ramon; Pereira, Arao; Ribeiro, Pedro, De Arrascaeta; Barbosa

Gremio possible starting lineup:
Brenno; Rafinha, Miranda, Kannemann, Goiano; Silva, Santos; Ferreira, Alisson, Souza; Borja

We say: Flamengo 3-1 Gremio

While Gremio have experienced a major upturn in form and will continue to battle to climb away from the relegation places, we see Sunday being a step too far, and expect them to be outclassed.

Flamengo's attacking ranks boast the ability to punish any side in the league, and they should have too much for the visitors.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Brasileiro Table
1Atletico Mineiro20143332131945
10Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR208392524127
11Atletico GoianienseAtletico GO206861720-326
12Sao Paulo206771823-525
18America MineiroAmerica Mineiro205781823-522
19Sport RecifeSport213810818-1017
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