BRAZIL: Serie A
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro)
One of the picks of the games in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A this week takes place in Rio de Janeiro as Fluminense and Athletico Paranaense square off on Wednesday.
With both sides having had a slight dip in form, the hosts now occupy ninth place while their visitors sit second, and this game will undoubtedly change the landscape in the top half of the Brazilian top flight.
After a strong start to the campaign, with eight points from their first four games, Fluminense have started to slip down the table due to a disappointing run of results in recent weeks, collecting two points from their last three games.
That started with a fairly commendable 1-1 draw away against Fortaleza, who led the division at the time, as Robson equalised for the hosts after Caio Paulista had put Fluminense ahead.
They were then defeated 1-0 on their travels against Atletico Goianiense, with a Nathan Sliva goal in the final 10 minutes settling the encounter and sending Roger Machado’s men home empty-handed.
The Tricolor stopped a losing run from building last time out, though, as they drew 1-1 with Corinthians.
Jo put their hosts ahead from the penalty spot late in the first half and the task looked even tougher when Abel Hernandez was sent off in the 50th minute, but Juan Cazares levelled the game in the 70th minute to earn a useful point for his side.
While they have dropped to ninth spot, Fluminense remain within touching distance of the top four, and they would go level on points with their opponents with a victory on Wednesday.
Athletico Paranaense will be desperate to ensure that does not happen, instead looking to cement themselves in the top four with a return to winning ways.
Similarly to their opponents, the visitors have seen their form dip slightly in recent weeks, having won their first four games of the season to briefly go top of the table.
That run was broken by a 2-1 defeat to Bahia, as El Paranaense played with 10 men for the majority of the clash following Richard’s red card in the 13th minute.
They eventually succumbed to defeat as Rossi put the hosts back ahead in the 70th minute after David Teranshad drawn the 10-man visitors’ level in the first half.
They then played out a somewhat disappointing draw with strugglers Chapecoense last time out, as they looked set to see out a 2-1 win on home turf.
Ignacio put the hosts ahead in the first half, but goals from Khellven and Thiago Heleno saw El Paranaense lead until added time, only for Geuvanio to net the equaliser in the 94th minute to force the hosts to share the points.
They will now aim to make a quick return to winning ways to ensure they remain at the top end of the division after seven games of the campaign.
- Fluminense’s form in last 5 matches: DLDWD.
- Athletico-PR’s form in last 5 matches: DLWDW
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Over 1.5