Leao do Pici are clinging to sixth place in the table despite losing their previous match 2-0 to Santos, while Juve put on a brilliant defensive performance to shut out Bragantino 1-0.
An impressive run of results in the summer continues to be the saving grace for Fortaleza, who are lacking consistency, but it has not impacted their standing all that much.
Last Thursday, they were shut down by Santos, who did a great job of cutting off the passing lanes in the middle of the field and did not allow Clube da Garotada to get into many favourable shooting positions, limiting them to two targeted efforts.
From the beginning of June until the end of August, Fortaleza lost only three of their 17 league matches, a sharp contrast from their form since the fall as they have dropped 10 of their last 17 Serie A contests, only coming away victorious on six occasions.
Even though their play has been relatively up and down in recent matches, it seems like they made a coaching change at the right time, as we saw this team play above their level and earn results when Juan Pablo Vojvoda arrived in the summer, something which is quite common when a new boss takes over initially.
They are a team that like to press and play very aggressively, but in doing so, they can leave themselves vulnerable in transition, conceding the fifth-most goals in the league (43) at the moment.
When an opportunity presents itself, particularly this late in a season, you have to make the most of it, and that is what Juventude were able to do on Tuesday, winning for a second successive time at home to move above Bahia, who lost to Atletico Goianiense over the weekend.
With their destiny now in their hands, Jair Ventura should have a simple message to his team, win, that is in reality all that they need to do from here on out.
Three matches remain, so winning is imperative if they are to maintain their spot in the top flight (currently 14th) for a second successive campaign, which of course will be easier said than done.
On Tuesday, they looked like a desperate team who needed a result badly, which is true as they were behind the relegation line heading into that fixture.
When they are aggressive, moving up the field quickly in transition and running at opposing defences, they can be very effective, and they did a lot of that well in their previous match as Bragantino fouled them 25 times.
There was only one change made to the Fortaleza starting 11 in their defeat to Santos from the side who began their match versus Palmeiras as Ederson was inserted as a central midfielder rather than Jussa.
In their previous meeting versus Juve back in August, Leao do Pici got off to a great start thanks to a goal from Marcelo Benevenuto, who has four for his club, putting him one back of David for third on the team, while Lucas Crispim collected an assist on that goal and has been a superb provider as an attacking midfielder with seven assists on the year, as he is currently the joint team leader along with Yago Pikachu in that category and is tied for third in the league, alongside Edenilson, Hulk and David Terans.
Ricardo Bueno notched the equaliser for Juve in the second half of that encounter earlier this year, and he was the hero on Tuesday, scoring his seventh of the campaign, as he drew even with Matheus Peixoto for the team lead, though Peixoto will no longer be contributing as he transferred a while ago to Metalist Kharkiv.
Michel Macedo has been a valuable member of this team, as the defender on loan from Corinthians assisted on their winning goal earlier this week, his third of the year second only to Guilherme Castilho, who is also on loan from Atletico Mineiro.
Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Boeck; Titi, Benevenuto, Tinga; Melo, Edinho, Ederson, Pikachu; Vargas; David, Robson
Juventude possible starting lineup:
Friedrich; Macedo, Mendes, Forster, Matheus; Jadson, Ricardinho, Castilho, Capixaba; Wescley, Bueno
We say: Fortaleza 1-1 Juventude
Juve have only won one of their last 10 road fixtures in Serie A, but we anticipate that they will be able to come away with a point in this one because they need this game a lot more than their opponents do, so we expect more urgency on their part.
Fortaleza seem pretty content with their place in the standings as they have not appeared too interested in climbing up the table, but at the same time they have some outstanding individuals who can carry their team, and we expect that to be the case in this one.
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