Palestra are currently sitting in third, having gone unbeaten in their previous three league fixtures, while Sport are third from the bottom, as they are winless in back-to-back games.
With just over a month to go before they attempt to repeat as Copa Libertadores champions, Abel Ferreira and his team have plenty of opportunities to make up some ground on the league leaders, Atletico Mineiro, who they trail by 10 points as of Saturday, with Galo having played one match fewer.
They have eight games in Serie A before facing the reigning Brazilian champions Flamengo for South American glory, so there is still time for them to potentially move up the table and claim their first league title since 2018.
Around this stage of the domestic campaign in 2020, Verdao began to falter, winning only three of their final 12 league games, ending the year in seventh, their lowest finish in the top flight since coming in ninth in 2015.
The former 10-time league champions employ an effective low block system defensively that can burn you on the counter, as they have a ton of speed and are very effective in transition.
Palmeiras have been uncharacteristically poor on their home field this year, winning only two of their last seven encounters at Allianz Parque, a venue that was nearly impossible to earn a point in a couple of years ago.
Their subsequent three encounters provide them with a perfect opportunity to make a move up the table as they face three sides (Sport Recife, Gremio and Santos), who are hovering either in or just above the relegation line.
With 27 games played this year, not much has changed for Sport Recife, who are 18th in the league standings with 27 points.
Recife have been shut out of 17 games this season, scoring only 14 times so far, and it could be tough going for them in terms of avoiding a drop into the second tier of Brazilian football.
In 2020 they narrowly escaped relegation, earning points in three of their last five games, but it may take more than that to keep them in Serie A beyond this season.
This team began the month with plenty of promise, winning three in a row and looking a lot more creative than we are used to seeing, firing 17 shots on target.
They come into this contest with only one win in their previous five road matches, and the last time that they faced Palmeiras, they barely troubled the Palestra reserve goalkeeper Jailson, forcing him to make only one save over the 90 minutes.
Gabriel Menino, who led Palmeiras with six assists a year ago, has not been able to set up a single goal this season, but Gustavo Scarpa has stepped up his game as a playmaker, leading the team with nine helpers, four more than he had in the 2020 domestic campaign.
Mailson collected his 11th clean sheet of the year for Recife last week, saving the only two shots that Santos threw at him as he is tied for second in shutouts in the league with Fernando Miguel and just one back of Everson.
Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Jorge, Luan, Gomez, Rocha; Ze Rafael, Melo; Scarpa, Veiga, Rony; Adriano
Sport Recife possible starting lineup:
Mailson; Ewerthon, Thyere, Sabino, Sander; Ze Welison, Marcao; Paulinho, Gustavo, Hernanes; Mikael
We say: Palmeiras 2-0 Sport Recife
Recife tend to hang back in the hopes of catching opposing sides on the counter, which has worked well for other teams in this league. However, Recife do not have the quality to consistently make those chances count, and Palmeiras do, so we expect Palestra to win quite comfortably as they defend well and are very patient.
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