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Sep 19, 2021 at 3pm UK
InternacionalInternacional
1-0
FortalezaFortaleza
Edenilson (90+2')
Dourado (59'), Mendez (59')
Saravia (72')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Marcelo (48')
David (72')

Preview: Internacional vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Fortaleza will continue their pursuit of an automatic spot in next season's Copa Libertadores, when they travel to face mid-table Internacional on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions of the Pici currently occupy the final automatic Libertadores spot, whilst their hosts remain hopeful of a place in the Copa Sudamericana group stage.


Match preview

Having started the campaign in emphatic fashion, winning their first three Serie A encounters, Juan Pablo Vojvoda's side have fallen off a cliff in recent weeks, picking up just one victory in their last seven matches.

Already in the midst of their worst winless run all season, Fortaleza will have to be wary of the sides below them, if they are to secure a first-ever Libertadores spot.

A second-tier club as recently as 2017-18, a place in South America's premium continental competition would represent an emphatic achievement for the side from North-Eastern Brazil.

An achievement made all the greater, considering they lost their manager midway through the season, after Rogerio Ceni left his post to take up the vacant managerial spot at Flamengo.

The legendary goalscoring goalkeeper had led Fortaleza to their fourth state championship earlier in the season, yet left the side for the two-time Libertadores winners in November, where he has since been sacked.

They may be rookies on the Libertadores scene, however Fortaleza do have some continental experience, having competed in the 2020 Sudamericana.

Knocked out at the first stage on away goals by Argentine club, Independiente, Fortaleza will be looking for better performances on the continent next year, whichever competition it is in.

One team with plenty of experience in the Libertadores are their hosts, Internacional, who have competed in the competition for the last three consecutive seasons.

After a quarter-final appearance in 2019, the Colorado have suffered back-to-back round-of-16 defeats, this season succumbing to Paraguayan side, Olimpia on penalties.

However, they are unlikely to be making a return to the competition next season, given their inconsistent form in the 2020-21 campaign so far.

Whilst Diego Aguirre's men boast the league's joint-lowest number of defeats with five, they have struggled to break teams down at times and only Cuiabá have drawn more matches Internacional.

That being said, Internacional are currently enjoying their longest unbeaten run of the season, after avoiding defeat in their last six matches and a gentle-looking run of fixtures follows the tricky test against Fortaleza.

In their next five fixtures, Internacional will face four of the division's bottom half, making a second half of the season push for a Libertadores spot an unlikely but not impossible task.

It is probably just as well Internacional have an easier run, given their performance against Fortaleza earlier in the campaign.

Comprehensively beaten 5-1 by the Lions of the Pici in the second match of the season, it was a torrid day for the Internacional backline, with Ze Gabriel netting an own goal.

Furthermore, Internacional were shown two red cards in the meeting, firstly to defender, Pedro Henrique and then to substitute goalkeeper Vitor Hugo, who has been sent off more times this season than he has played Serie A games.

With just one victory in their last four matches against Sunday's opponents, Internacional could have their work cut out when Fortaleza travel to the Estadio Beira-Rio.

Internacional Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

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

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

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

Team News

Having suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage during Internacional's 2-0 victory over Ceara in January, Rodrigo Moledo has been out ever since.

However, after recently returning to training, the 33-year-old defender may not be too far away from a comeback.

Former Shakhtar Donetsk winger Taison has failed to excite since returning to his boyhood club earlier this year and the 33-year-old could miss the visit of Fortaleza after sitting out the previous two fixtures.

Similarly, Gabriel Mercado has hardly featured for the Colorado since joining from Qatari side Al-Rayyan in June, but the Argentine right-back could be involved for Internacional.

Patrick got the only goal of the game as Internacional squeezed past Recife in their last match and the forward will likely retain his spot in the starting lineup against Fortaleza.

Backup goalkeeper Max Walef is yet to feature for Fortaleza this season, and the 27-year-old will not travel to Porto Alegre either, having been missing since early August.

Ederson has played all but one of Fortaleza's Serie A matches since coming in from Corinthians on loan and the 22-year-old midfielder will likely feature heavily once again.

Former Manchester United man, Angelo Henriquez netted his first goal for Fortaleza in their recent 3-1 Copa do Brasil quarter-final win over Sao Paulo and the forward could be in contention for only his second Serie A start.

Internacional possible starting lineup:
Daniel; Saravia, Mendez, Cuesta, Moises; Edenilson, Lindoso; Vidal, Mauricio, Patrick; Alberto

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Alves; Titi, Benevenuto, Tinga; Crispim, Jussa, Ederson, Pikachu; Lima, David, Fernandes


We say: Internacional 1-2 Fortaleza

Fortaleza are chasing history this season and as an underdog in Serie A, it is easy to underestimate how big of an achievement it would be for them to qualify for the Libertadores.

It will not be easy for them against Internacional, who have continental dreams of their own, yet expect the Lions of the Pici to put up a strong fight.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw 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.Home/Draw:data



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6Corinthians217952018230
7InternacionalInternacional207852422229
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9Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR208392524127
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17Gremio196491518-322
18America MineiroAmerica Mineiro205781823-522
19Sport RecifeSport213810818-1017
20ChapecoenseChapecoense2117131734-1710
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