Preview: Vasco da Gama vs. Fortaleza – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Brasileiro clash between Vasco da Gama and Fortaleza, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fortaleza will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Brasileiro Serie A when they travel to out-of-form Vasco da Gama at the Estadio Sao Januario on Thursday.

Vasco could find themselves in the relegation zone if results do not go their way, while their opponents are hoping to break into the Copa Libertadores spots.

Match preview

© Reuters

Since their impressive win over Sao Paulo, Vasco da Gama are winless in their last two league matches, leaving them just above the relegation zone on goal difference, as they sit level on 11 points with 17th-placed Atletico Goianiense.

After a narrow defeat against high-flying Bahia, Alvaro Pacheco‘s men held another top side, Botafogo, to a 1-1 draw in their last league outing.

The Cruzmaltino have only one win in their last seven Serie A matches, but are unbeaten in their last three home games, which could provide them with some much-needed confidence heading into Thursday’s clash.

Vasco hold the upper hand in the head-to-head record against Fortaleza, with six wins, seven draws, and three defeats, while they are also unbeaten in the last three meetings between the two sides, including back-to-back home victories.

However, they face an in-form Fortaleza side and Pacheco must find a way to shore up his defence, having already conceded a league-high 25 goals.

Meanwhile, Fortaleza extended their unbeaten run in Serie A to four matches after a 2-1 victory over Juventude at the Estadio Governador Placido Aderaldo Castelo on Sunday.

Leao do Pici were comfortably ahead by half-time with a penalty converted by Juan Martin Lucero and a goal from Yago Pikachu, and they held on for the win despite Ewerton pulling one back for Juve in the second half.

The result saw Juan Pablo Vojvoda‘s side climb to eighth in the Serie A table, having amassed 20 points from 12 matches, which leaves them just one point off a Copa Libertadores playoff spot.

However, with both of their league defeats this season coming away from home, and having not won in four straight away matches, Fortaleza will be wary of potentially losing their four-game unbeaten run against Thursday’s opposition.

The Ceara-based club have conceded eight goals in five away matches, while scoring just three times – this is a stark contrast to their home performance, where they have scored 10 times while conceding just four goals.

Vasco da Gama Brasileiro form:

Fortaleza Brasileiro form:

Team News

© Reuters

Vasco will remain without Bruno Praxedes who is out with a thigh injury while Paulinho Paula will also miss out with a knee issue.

Guilherme Estrella went off injured in the draw with Botafogo, leaving his availability as a doubt for this clash.

Former West Ham attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet came in for him after returning to the matchday squad, and could feature from the start this time.

Fortaleza are set to remain without Kervin Andrade and Benjamin Kuscevic, with both players currently away on international duty for their nations at the Copa America.

For injuries, Moises and Marinho are ruled out until the end of July with thigh problems while Emmanuel Martinez has a knee problem.

Brazilian midfielder Calebe has a muscle injury but is expected to return in a few days, while Ze Welison is a doubt.

Vasco da Gama possible starting lineup:
Jardim; Paulo, Maicon, Victor, Luis; Moura, JP; Piton, Payet, Adson; Vegetti

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Ricardo; Tinga, Britez, Titi, Jonatan; Sasha Hercules; Lopes, Pochettino, Pikachu; Lucero

We say: Vasco da Gama 1-1 Fortaleza

While Vasco have lost every single away game, they have looked a better team on home soil, and their chances of getting something in this game is increased by Fortaleza’s poor away record – considering these factors, we have settled for a score draw in this one.

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

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