Thursday, October 28
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Jul 7, 2021 at 10pm UK
Bahia (79')
Thaciano (38'), Danielzinho (73')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Paulinho (39'), Wescley (87'), Henrique (90+3')

Preview: Bahia vs. Juventude - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bahia vs. Juventude - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Brasileiro clash between Bahia and Juventude, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Defying pre-season expectations, Bahia remain inside the top half of the Campeonato Brasileiro table ahead of their Wednesday evening clash with promoted Juventude.

Their visitors have made a bright start to life in the top flight but lost their first game in five at the weekend to fall two points behind the hosts.

Match preview

Having finished 14th and 11th in the past two seasons, modest Bahia have started out strongly in their quest to breach the upper echelons of the Serie A standings.

They bounced back from successive defeats - losing 3-2 and 4-3 to Palmeiras and America MG respectively - to win at Chapecoense on Sunday, taking them as high as sixth in the table.

Dado Cavalcanti's team found themselves indebted to striker Gilberto again, as he opened the scoring in the 67th-minute after coming on from the sidelines, having netted an injury-time double last time out.

On Wednesday, the Copa do Nordeste winners will be in the rare position of favourites, against a recent arrival to the Brazilian top flight, and will also be keen to capitalise on home advantage - particularly as they have picked up only one win at Arena Fonte Nova from their past four games there.

With a pair of tough fixtures versus Flamengo and Atletico Mineiro to come in their next three outings - before they meet Atletico again in the Copa do Brasil - the Tricolor are hoping to continue a fine start in front of goal, as their tally of 17 strikes so far has them among the division's top scoring sides.

Juventude returned to the top division of Brazilian football after a 13-year absence by finishing third in Serie B last term, having sunk as low as the fourth tier during the last decade.

So far, they have taken to life back at the elite level with relative ease - having picked up 12 points from their opening nine games to sit just outside the top half of the early-season standings.

Successive wins over big-name clubs Flamengo and Gremio - both featuring clean sheets - saw Juve head into the weekend on a run of four games unbeaten, but they fell to a 2-0 defeat at fellow mid-table side Ceara on Sunday evening. Two second half goals for the home side were followed by a red card for midfielder Guilherme Castilho, which effectively ended any prospect of a late comeback at Castelao.

On loan from Red Bull-backed Bragantino, striker Matheus Peixoto has heaped Juventude to pick up a number of points against the odds - scoring in four successive games of late - but drew a blank last time out.

His coach, Marquinhos Santos, will be pinning hope on Peixoto to get back on the goal trail in midweek, as he leads an attack which has been light on goals but still been clinical enough to make the most of the few chances they have had.

Santos will take his team to Salvador, then, targeting all three points to leapfrog Bahia in the Serie A standings.

Bahia Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Juventude Brasileiro form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Bahia's leading scorer Gilberto - who has bagged three goals in his last two games and eight in all - will expect to be brought back into the first XI, after starting as a substitute against Chapecoense. The 32-year-old striker should lead the line, aided by chief creator Rossi, but Rodriguinho also found the net after being given the nod on Sunday.

The hosts' only injury absentees are set to be long-term casualty Juan Pablo Ramirez - who suffered a cruciate ligament injury earlier this year and could be out for another two months - and Argentine defender German Conti.

Marquinhos Santos, meanwhile, is set to keep his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation which has served Juventude so well in recent weeks, and their forward line will again be led by Matheus Peixoto, who has netted in four of his last five games.

The in-form striker should be supported by Paulinho from out wide, with Guilherme Castilho set to serve a suspension after being sent off at the weekend and therefore likely to be replaced by Bruninho - a second-half substitute on Sunday.

Bahia possible starting lineup:
Teixeira; Paraiba, Juninho, Otavio, Bahia; Daniel, Jonas; Thaciano, Araujo, Rossi; Gilberto

Juventude possible starting lineup:
Carne; Michel, Mendes, Forster, Matheus; Kim, Jesus; Wescley, Bruninho, Paulinho; Peixoto

We say: Bahia 3-1 Juventude

A confident Bahia side come into this fixture among the league's top scorers and should have enough firepower to dispense with modest opponents on home turf.

Juventude have given a good account of themselves since being promoted to the top flight, but are not a team packed with goalscoring prowess, so are set to suffer back-to-back defeats within the space of a week.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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