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Nov 11, 2021 at 12.30am UK
Sao PauloSao Paulo
Robson (59')
Robson (39'), Paulista (90+1'), Jussa (90+7')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Benitez (90+3')
Sara (33'), Nestor (58'), Benitez (79'), Welington (86'), Eder (86'), Luciano (86')

Preview: Fortaleza vs. Sao Paulo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Fortaleza vs. Sao Paulo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Brasileiro clash between Fortaleza and Sao Paulo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fortaleza will look to bounce back from consecutive defeats and return to the top four of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A table on Thursday, when they play host to Sao Paulo.

Juan Pablo Vojvoda's side fell short against Corinthians on Saturday to remain in fifth spot, while the visitors were handed a narrow defeat of their own last time out at the hands of Bahia.

Match preview

Having not dropped below fifth at any point this campaign, Fortaleza now find themselves in a precarious position in their pursuit of a top-four finish after back-to-back defeats.

A run of three straight league wins was put to an end by a disappointing defeat to America Mineiro at the end of October, as an 84th-minute Felipe Azevedo goal saw their opponents come out with a 2-1 home win.

They were then handed a second straight loss last time out, as a trip to Corinthians looked set to end goalless until Victor Cantillo made the difference in the 87th minute to send Azevedo's men home empty-handed.

As a result, the Leao do Pici have failed to capitalise on fourth-placed Bragantino's difficult run, and they now find themselves in fifth spot with just a one-point lead over Corinthians, meaning their push for automatic entry into the Copa Libertadores is looking bleaker than ever.

Azevedo's side will certainly feel that is it not too late though, with the chance to move back into the top four if they can bounce back to winning ways on Thursday.

They meet a Sao Paulo side who will also look to rebound after a defeat, having fallen to Bahia last time out.

Following 1-0 victories over Corinthians and Internacional, separated by a narrow defeat to Bragantino, the Tricolor Paulista were involved in the same scoreline for the fourth straight time on Sunday, as a Rossi goal in the final 15 minutes proved the difference.

That saw Rogerio Ceni's side drop to 14th spot heading into the final eight games of the campaign, as they find themselves in a heated battle for continental qualification.

With 12th place guaranteeing a spot in the group stage of the Copa Sudamericana, Sao Paulo have just one point to make up, with Cuiaba, Ceara, Athletico Paranaense and America Mineiro all within touching distance, and they will hope to put a victory on board on their travels to stand a chance of climbing back into the top 12.

Fortaleza Brasileiro form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

Sao Paulo Brasileiro form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

After back-to-back defeats, Vojvoda may look to make changes to his Fortaleza side to trigger a reversal of fortunes, although David and Robson will likely continue to lead the line, having netted five and eight league goals respectively so far this campaign.

Matheus Jussa will return after a suspension, and the midfielder should slot straight back into the starting XI, with either Felipe or Matheus Vargas likely making way.

Defender Titi will also come back from a suspension, and he will battle with Jackson to feature in the back three.

Sao Paulo come into the game without forward Emiliano Rigoni, who will be suspended after he was shown his third yellow card of the season last time out.

He will likely be replaced by Pedro, who has netted 13 goals across all competitions this season.

Luan is the only other player likely to miss out, as he battles with an ongoing injury.

Former Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan defender Miranda will continue to lead a back three, with Ecuador international Robert Arboleda also offering protection.

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Boeck; Tinga, Benevenuto, Titi; Ronald, Vargas, Jussa, Melo; Lima; Robson, David

Sao Paulo possible starting lineup:
Volpi; Arboleda, Miranda, Leo; Orejuela, Gomes, Liziero, Sara, Reinaldo; Pedro, Luciano

We say: Fortaleza 1-1 Sao Paulo

With both sides desperate to bounce back to get closer to their respective aims, this is bound to be a cagey affair, and we see them cancelling one another out on Thursday.

While the hosts have enjoyed the better season, Sao Paulo also boast plenty of quality in their ranks, and we see them leaving the Castelao with a creditable point.

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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