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Aug 2, 2021 at 12.30am UK
Kelvyn (37'), Cleber (81'), Rick (86')
Marlon (55'), Lacerda (90+6')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Tinga (11')
de Vargas (53'), David (60'), Titi (75')

Preview: Ceara vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Ceara vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Brasileiro clash between Ceara and Fortaleza, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fortaleza will aim to continue their strong early season form in Brasileiro against state rivals Ceara on Sunday.

This fixture, between the two most prominent teams on Brazil's north east coast who share a stadium, is commonly referred to as 'The King Derby'.

Match preview

Having led the league table after the first four games, Fortaleza now find themselves third and four points behind leaders Palmeiras, who they face next weekend.

It has been an impressive debut campaign at the helm so far for Juan Pablo Vojvoda, who took over after the club finished 16th in 2020.

Leao do Pici have conceded the fewest goals in Brasileiro (nine) and have won their last four league matches, keeping clean sheets in all of them.

Thursday saw them carry their good form into the Copa do Brasil, as they won 2-1 in the first leg of their round of 16 tie against Clube de Regatas Brasil, coming from behind courtesy of two penalties in the space of six minutes from Wellington Paulista.

Fortaleza knocked Ceara out of the same competition in June, winning 4-1 on aggregate, and are unbeaten in their last five matches against their rivals.

However, Vojvoda's men have faltered away from home at times this year and have won just one of their last five matches on the road.

All four of Ceara's league wins this season have come at home, and they are unbeaten in their last nine games – although six of those have been draws.

That includes a 0-0 stalemate against struggling Sport Recife last time out, which was Richard's sixth clean sheet of the season – no other Brasileiro goalkeeper has more in 2021.

At the other end of the pitch, Ceara's attacking output has been shared around. Their 14 goals have been scored by nine different players and no one has more than two.

Currently in seventh, all of Guto Ferreira's side's next six fixtures (including this one) come against teams currently in the top 10.

Ceara Brasileiro form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D

Fortaleza Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Fortaleza form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Ceara will be boosted by Buiu, Marlon and Stiven Mendoza all returning from suspension for the derby.

Gabriel Dias is on the verge of being back available having been out injured for the last month, but this game might come just too soon for him.

Striker Cleber has not scored since the beginning of June, but he should continue upfront with Jael still suspended.

Former Manchester United youngster Angelo Henriquez could make his Fortaleza debut after being ineligible since signing in early July as the transfer does not officially go through until the day of the game.

Robson has scored in his last three league matches and only two players have netted more Brasileiro goals this season than the 30-year-old (six).

Ceara possible starting lineup:
Richard; Buiu, Lacerda, Messias, Pacheco; Sobral, Marlon; Rick, Jorginho, Mendoza; Cleber

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Boeck; Tinga, Benevenuto, Titi; Pikachu, Ronald, Felipe, Crispim; Vargas; Robson, David

We say: Ceara 1-1 Fortaleza

Both teams have proven hard to beat this season so this game would have been a naturally tense affair anyway, but throw into the equation that they are fierce rivals and the match should be a fascinating watch; we think it is too tight to call so are predicting a draw.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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Brasileiro Table
1Atletico Mineiro20143332131945
10Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR208392524127
11Atletico GoianienseAtletico GO206861720-326
12Sao Paulo216871823-526
16America MineiroAmerica Mineiro215881823-523
19Sport RecifeSport213810818-1017
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