Preview: Athletico Paranaense vs. Corinthians – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Brasileiro clash between Athletico Paranaense and Corinthians, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Athletico Paranaense play host to Corinthians on Saturday evening looking to get back to winning ways having seen their title charge halted in recent games.

While the home side sit in fourth position in the Brasileiro standings, Corinthians are third from bottom after a prolonged run of fixtures without success.

Match preview

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When Athletico PR won 10 of 11 games in all competitions earlier in the year, it felt that Cuca had the potential to deliver a side capable of challenging for the top-flight crown.

That perception has since proven correct, last season’s eighth-placed side currently in fourth with 18 points coming from their opening 10 matches.

Perhaps most impressively, just seven goals have been conceded during those fixtures, although they have now gone four league fixtures without keeping a clean sheet.

Despite draws being recorded in their last two fixtures, some perspective is required with those stalemates coming against the top two teams in the division in Flamengo and Botafogo.

Cuca will be satisfied that both clubs remain within touching distance ahead of facing one of his many former clubs, albeit just a two-match stint last year before issues away from football led to his resignation.

Antonio Oliveira is also a relatively-new manager at Corinthians, the Portuguese being appointed in February in the hope that he could replicate his stint at Cuiaba.

While progress has been made in the Copa Sudamericana, things have gone less swimmingly in the league with just seven points being recorded in 10 outings.

Their solitary success came against a team in Fluminense who are now bottom of the league, highlighting that the Great Team have been well off the pace on the domestic scene.

One positive is their defensive record. Oliveira’s side have shipped just the 11 strikes, yet they have failed to score in seven outings, with all of their goals coming across three fixtures.

Athletico Paranaense Brasileiro form:

Athletico Paranaense form (all competitions):

Corinthians Brasileiro form:

Corinthians form (all competitions):

Team News

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Athletico PR will again have to make do without Bento and Agustin Canobbio who are away with their nations at the Copa America.

With Botafogo having dramatically denied Athletico PR all three points with a 97th-minute equaliser last time out, Oliveira may insist on selecting the same starting lineup.

Gonzalo Mastriani made it three goals in as many games in that match, taking him to nine strikes in league and continental fixtures this season.

While Felix Torres and Angel Romero remain absent due to being on international duty, Corinthians are boosted by the return of Caetano after suspension.

Carlos Miguel is also back in contention after a ban, yet the goalkeeper may be left out ahead of a transfer elsewhere.

Pedro Raul could start down the centre of the attack with Yuri Alberto serving a suspension.

Athletico Paranaense possible starting lineup:
Linck; Godoy, Rocha, Heleno, Esquivel; Erick, Fernandinho; Nikao, Christian, Cuello; Mastriani

Corinthians possible starting lineup:
Donelli; Franca, Caca, Henrique, Hugo; Bidon, Raniele; Garro, Coronado, Wesley; Raul

We say: Athletico Paranaense 2-1 Corinthians

Having at least stopped the rot in recent weeks, Corinthians will back themselves to upset the odds with the pressure rising on their opponents. However, Athletico PR should have enough quality in their ranks to negotiate what may be more competitive than many people are anticipating.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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