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Nov 14, 2021 at 9.15pm UK at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange
2 - 1
Yago (46', 88')
Fred (45+1'), Yago (61'), Xavier (90+4'), Muriel (90+6'), Braz (90+6')
Fred (90+7')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Dudu (28')
Luis (36'), Dudu (45+3'), Melo (60'), Garcia (67'), Weverton (90+4'), Deyverson (90+5')
Dudu (90+4')

Preview: Fluminense vs. Palmeiras - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Time is running out for Palmeiras to try and catch Atletico Mineiro in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A standings, sitting 10 points back of them heading into their match on Sunday at home to Fluminense from the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Tricolor come into this contest having lost three of their previous four fixtures, dropping a 1-0 decision to Gremio on Tuesday, while Palestra are in second place following an emphatic 4-0 win over Atletico Goianiense.

Match preview

Lately, it has been one step forward and two steps back for Marcao and his team, who followed up a dramatic last gasp victory over Sport Recife with a disappointing performance in Porto Alegre.

Ultimately, their movement on and off the ball was lacking earlier this week as Flu did not have an answer for the strong midfield play of Gremio, who got to more loose balls and created their share of good scoring opportunities, firing seven efforts on target.

Despite not being able to string together anything more than a two-game winning streak domestically with their current coach, they have only lost consecutive matches once since Marcao took the reins from Roger Machado.

In 2020, they earned a place in the qualifying phase of the Copa Libertadores with some good results down the stretch of the season, and they are certainly within reach of claiming another spot in that tournament next year, but they have some ground to make up, trailing Corinthians by five points for one of those positions.

They can have very few complaints about their schedule down the stretch as four of their remaining seven matches are against teams below them in the table.

Back in July, they had perhaps their strongest performance at Allianz Parque in quite some time and were unfortunate to come away with nothing, as an own goal from Manoel ruined what a solid defensive performance by Flu, who held Verdao to only a single shot on target and had a pass accuracy of 90%.

Palmeiras are starting to make a move to challenge for the title, unbeaten in seven successive games, with six victories in a row.

It could be too little too late as the gap between themselves and first place remains at double digits, but Abel Ferreira and his team have done everything possible to put some pressure on Mineiro to keep winning.

A 4-2 defeat to Bragantino in early October did not sit well with the finalists of the 2021 Copa Libertadores, and they have been on a tear since then, conceding only three goals on the last 24 targeted efforts fired against them.

On Wednesday, they put on one of their most complete performances of the domestic season, scoring more goals (four) than they had in any other league fixture this year and also not allowing a single shot on target, despite having slightly less of the ball.

It has been three years since they last triumphed domestically in this competition, but given their form, in recent weeks, Mineiro may still have some work to do before they can end their lengthy Brasileiro Serie A championship drought.

The free-flowing football put forth by Ferreira has been a delight to watch over the past couple of months, and with the quality that they possess up and down their roster, you can see why they are such a difficult team to stop offensively and an even harder one to break down defensively with their very effective low blocking system.

Fluminense Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Palmeiras Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Fred, the Fluminense skipper who moved past Romario into second in all-time goals scored in Serie A earlier this year (155), has seven goals in his career versus Palestra but has only tallied three times this season, one fewer than their leading goalscorer Luiz Henrique.

Marcos Felipe has two clean sheets in his last three matches played at their famous stadium in Rio, as he has nine so far this year, the same amount as Richard, Cassio and Diego Alves.

They left it late in their previous home fixture, but a lovely ball by Marlon Xavier was finished off by his defensive partner David Braz in the 96th minute, his first goal of the year.

Gustavo Scarpa had a splendid outing this week for Palestra, scoring from the penalty spot and assisting on the opening two goals from Raphael Veiga and Rony, as the 27-year-old midfielder leads the league in assists with 13.

Weverton has only had to make four saves in his last two games to pick up consecutive shutouts for Palmeiras as he has been rock solid in goal for this team throughout the year.

Danilo will not be available following his booking late in their first half versus Goianiense, while Ze Rafael and Wesley are one caution away from being suspended themselves.

Fluminense possible starting lineup:
Felipe; S. Xavier, Nino, Braz, M. Xavier; Andre, Martinelli; Henrique, Nonato, Lucca; Fred

Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Rocha, Renan, Luan, Luis; De Paula, Ze Rafael; Scarpa, Veiga, Wesley; Rony

We say: Fluminense 0-2 Palmeiras

Flu are unbeaten versus Verdao in their three previous home fixtures against them, but at the moment, Palmeiras are the hottest team in the league, doing everything right both in the attacking zone and at the back and when they are executing at such a high level, there is virtually no team in Brazil who can beat them.

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