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Jul 2, 2022 at 11pm UK at Castelao
Ceara
1 - 1
Internacional
Lima (19' pen.)
Richardson (22'), Richard (25'), Castilho (66'), Paraiba (69')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Moises (23')
Moises (6'), Taison (69'), Heitor (80')
Cadorini (88')

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

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

After experiencing mixed fortunes in midweek, Ceara and Internacional clash in the Campeonato Brasileiro on Saturday, at Castelao.

Despite a setback in continental competition, Inter are riding high in the Serie A standings, while their hosts are only two points above the relegation zone after four consecutive league draws.


Match preview

Arriving in Chile for their Copa Sudamericana last-16 tie in midweek, Internacional had gone undefeated in their eight previous away games, and hoped to extend such a streak against Colo-Colo.

However, Inter came away from Santiago with a two-goal deficit, having fallen behind as early as the 12th minute, and their 2-0 defeat saw them manage just one shot on target from a paltry five attempts - putting them at serious risk of elimination.

By contrast, the Porto Alegre outfit, managed by former Brazil coach Mano Menezes, sit fourth in the Brasileiro ahead of the weekend, having lost only one of their last seven league matches.

A previous 16-game unbeaten run in all competitions had helped them rise towards the top of the table, in which they trail leaders Palmeiras by five points following last Saturday's 3-0 win over Coritiba.

Taison, Edenilson and Alexandre Zurawski were the scorers at Estadio Beira-Rio, where Inter have gleaned exactly half their points total this term, but they now seek three more points on the road, against a team that has fared well on home soil so far.

Much like their visitors this weekend, Ceara recently saw an impressive unbeaten streak ended - in their case at the hands of old foes Fortaleza in the first leg of their Copa do Brasil last-16 clash - but since that 12-game run came to a close, they have bounced back with a draw and a win.

The latter came in the Copa Sudamericana, with a late fightback helping the Alvinegro to a 2-1 away victory in their first-leg tie against The Strongest on Wednesday evening.

Now, new coach Marquinhos Santos will seek a first league success as Ceara boss, as since replacing Flamengo-bound Dorival Junior last month, his side have posted three successive draws in Serie A.

After restricting reigning champions Atletico Mineiro to a point, a goalless stalemate against Cuiaba was followed by last week's 1-1 draw versus Atletico Goianiense at Castelao.

While they may have dropped to within a couple of points of the drop zone as a result, Saturday's hosts remain only six adrift of the top six, amid a tightly-packed Serie A table.

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

Ceara form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Internacional Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Internacional form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L


Team News

Though defender Gabriel Mercado returns from a one-game ban, served in Internacional's 3-0 defeat of Coritiba last Saturday, the visitors have a lengthy injury list to concern them at Castelao.

Carlos de Pena is out of the squad, as the midfielder will be sidelined by a thigh problem and instead aims to return for the second leg clash with Colo-Colo next Tuesday.

Full-backs Fabricio Bustos and Rene also continue to receive treatment for thigh injuries, while Wanderson remains unavailable and is not expected to make his return until late July. In some rare positive news for Mano Menezes, captain Taison has recovered from flu-like symptoms and has participated in training.

Meanwhile, Ceara's top scorer Stiven Mendoza recently rejoined training, but the Colombian striker is not yet ready to return, while goalkeeper Richard and midfielder Rodrigo Lindoso remain absent too.

The Alvinegro could name Erick in their front three, after his goal in midweek, with Cleber also competing to feature in the absence of former Shakhtar Donetsk forward Dentinho through injury.

Ceara possible starting lineup:
Machado; Paraiba, Messias, Otavio, Luis; Richardson, Sobral, Vina; Lima, Peixoto, Erick

Internacional possible starting lineup:
Daniel; Heitor, Kaique, Mercado, Moises; Gabriel, Edenilson, Johnny; Taison, Zurawski, Edenilson


We say: Ceara 1-1 Internacional

Both sides sit near the top of the defensive rankings following the first 14 rounds, and there is every reason to suspect a close-fought encounter could be in store. Another league draw may frustrate Ceara, but would prove a valuable point against top-six challengers.


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


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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Brasileiro Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1PalmeirasPalmeiras21136236142245
2Corinthians2111642620639
3Fluminense21115532221038
4Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR2111462822637
5FlamengoFlamengo21113732191336
6InternacionalInternacional218943023733
7Atletico Mineiro218852926332
8BragantinoBragantino218673225730
9SantosSantos217952619730
10America MineiroAmerica Mineiro2183101723-627
11Sao Paulo2151152827126
12Botafogo2174102026-625
13GoiasGoias216782228-625
14CearaCeara2151062222025
15Coritiba2164112333-1022
16Avai2164112234-1222
17FortalezaFortaleza2156101923-421
18Cuiaba2155111422-820
19Atletico GoianienseAtletico GO2155112133-1220
20JuventudeJuventude2137111634-1816
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