Preview: Athletico Paranaense vs. Sao Paulo – prediction, team news, lineups – Football News

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

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Brasileiro clash between Athletico Paranaense and Sao Paulo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to secure back-to-back Serie A wins for the first time since May, Athletico Paranaense play host to Sao Paulo at the Arena da Baixada on Wednesday.

The Tricolor Paulista have failed to win each of their last three games on the road since May and will head into the midweek clash looking to end this dry spell as they continue their surge into the upper echelons of the table.

Match preview

Sao Paulo's Robert Arboleda celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on May 13, 2024© Reuters

Athletico Paranaense returned to winning ways on Sunday as they dug deep to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over a resilient Vitoria side when the two teams squared off on Sunday.  

Following a goalless first half at the Estadio Manoel Barradas, former Criciuma striker Julimar came up clutch for the visitors as he broke the deadlock on the 80-minute mark to hand them all three points.

Athletico Paranaense had failed to win their previous four games leading up to last weekend’s victory, playing out three consecutive stalemates before suffering a 2-0 loss against Cruzeiro at the Mineirao Stadium on June 26.

Juliano Antonello‘s men have now picked up six wins and four draws in their 13 Serie A games to collect 22 points and sit fifth in the league table but could move into second place with all three points on Wednesday.

After two games on the road, the Rubro-Negro now return home where they are one of just five unbeaten sides in the league this season, claiming four wins and two draws in their six matches so far.

However, this record will come under threat on Wednesday as they take on an opposing side who are unbeaten in six of their most recent seven meetings, including both home and away encounters last season.

Sao Paulo's Pablo Maia celebrates scoring their second goal on May 7, 2023© Reuters

Sao Paulo, on the other hand, turned in an attacking show of clash on Sunday as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over Bahia when the sides met at the Estadio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo.

Jonathan Calleri and Ferreira scored first-half goals to put the hosts in a comfortable lead, and after Gilberto pulled one back for Bahia in the 49th minute, Luciano found the back of the net to make sure of the result and hand the visitors their third league defeat of the season.

Prior to that, the Tricolor Paulista snapped their run of four consecutive games without a win on June 28, when they edged out Criciuma 2-1 at home thanks to first-half goals from Alisson and Luciano.

With 21 points from 13 matches, Luis Zubeldia‘s men are currently sixth in the Serie A standings, one point above seventh-placed Cruzeiro who have one game in hand.

Sao Paulo head into the midweek clash unbeaten in seven of their last eight away games across all competitions — picking up five wins and two draws — with a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Vasco da Gama on June 23 being the exception.

Athletico Paranaense Brasileiro form:

Sao Paulo Brasileiro form:

Team News

Sao Paulo head coach Luis Zubeldia before the match on May 13, 2024© Reuters

Athletico Paranaense will take to the pitch without several players down the spine of the team as Tomas Cuello (knee), Nikao (thigh) and Gonzalo Mastriani (muscle) continue their spells on the sidelines.

Goalkeeper Bento Krepski and midfielder Agustin Canobbio are away at the ongoing Copa America with Brazil and Uruguay respectively and will play no part in Wednesday’s game.

As for Sao Paulo, Zubeldia will be unable to name Rafael (Brazil), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Nahuel Ferraresi (Venezuela) and Damian Bobadilla (Paraguay), who are all on duty at the Copa America.

On the injury front, the visitors will have to cope without the defensive duo of Joao Moreira and 38-year-old defender Rafinha, who are currently recuperating from thigh and leg injuries respectively.

Pablo Maia has been sidelined since May through a thigh injury while Luciano is currently suspended after crossing the yellow card threshold with his booking against Bahia on Sunday.

Athletico Paranaense possible starting lineup:
Linck; Godoy, Rocha, Heleno, Esquivel; Fernandinho, Gabriel, Zapelli, Cardoso, Julimar; Pablo

Sao Paulo possible starting lineup:
Jandrei; Vinicius, Arboleda, Franco, Welington; Gustavo, Alisson, Moura, Rato, Calleri; Ferreira

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We say: Athletico Paranaense 1-1 Sao Paulo

Off the back of winning their last two matches, Sao Paulo will head into Wednesday with confidence as they look to leapfrog the home side in the table. However, Paranaense have been rock-solid at home this season and we predict that they will do just enough to force a share of the spoils.

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

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