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Jun 23, 2021 at 11pm UK
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Preview: Flamengo vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A holders Flamengo will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Bragantino with a victory when they host Fortaleza on Wednesday.

The Scarlet-Black have won 14 of their 22 home games across all competitions in 2021, while the visitors are unbeaten in their last 12 matches on the road.

Match preview

Flamengo were unable to record their fifth successive win across all competitions as they were beaten 3-2 at home by Bragantino on Sunday.

Rodrigo Muniz scored a brace, with his second in the 64th minute giving the Scarlet-Black the lead. However, an equaliser from Eric Ramires three minutes later and then a dramatic 98th-minute winner from Chrigor snatched all three points away from the hosts.

That result has seen Rogerio Ceni's side slip down to 10th in the table, six points behind league leaders Athletico Paranaense and five points behind Wednesday's opponents Fortaleza in second place.

Flamengo, who have won three and drawn one of their last four matches against Fortaleza, will fancy their chances of securing a victory in midweek, which could see them climb as high as fifth in the standings.

Fortaleza extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 15 matches when they played out a 1-1 draw at home to Fluminense last weekend.

After a goalless first half, the deadlock was broken in the 56th minute when Caio Paulista's close-range finish from an in-swinging corner gave the visitors the lead.

However, Fortaleza – who dominated the match with 63% possession and 16 shots on goal – equalised 13 minutes later when Robson pounced brilliantly onto Yago Pikachu's low-driven cross into the six-yard box.

That draw was not enough to keep Juan Pablo Vojvoda's men at the summit of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, and they have now dropped to second, one point behind Athletico Paranaense, who they will face in just over a week's time.

The Lion of the Pici have only won two of their last eight meetings against Flamengo – both 2-1 victories in May 2016 – but they will be taking a strong run of form into Wednesday's fixture, so their hopes will be high and another positive result cannot be ruled out.

Flamengo Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • L

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

Fortaleza Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

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

Team News

Flamengo midfielder Thiago Maia is set to be ruled out for up to two months with ligament damage, while Pedro (coronavirus) and Cesar (knee) are also unavailable for selection.

Like many other Brasileiro teams, the Scarlet-Black are without a number of players because of their Copa America commitments, with the likes of Everton Ribeiro, Mauricio Isla and Gabi all set to be absent for at least the rest of this month.

Because of these absentees, Ceni could name the same starting lineup that lost to Bragantino, which may see wingers Vitinho and Michael support lone striker Muniz.

As for Fortaleza, they will be without Matheus Jussa (shoulder), Gustavo Blanco (thigh) and Jackson (knee) due to injury, while Isaque has tested positive for coronavirus.

A 3-4-1-2 formation is set to be used once again, which will likely see defenders Titi, Tinga and Marcelo Benevenuto play in the back three, although Luiz Henrique may drop to the bench at the expense of left wing-back Bruno Melo.

Attacking midfielder Matheus Vargas, who began the last match as a substitute, could return to the first XI and start ahead of Romarinho, while forwards Robson and David are set to lead the line up front.

Flamengo possible starting lineup:
Alves; Matheuzinho, Arao, Caio, Luis; Gerson, Diego; Vitinho, Henrique, Michael; Muniz

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Alves; Tinga, Benevenuto, Titi; Pikachu, Felipe, Ederson, Melo; Vargas; Robson, David

We say: Flamengo 1-1 Fortaleza

Fortaleza are strong defensively, conceding just four goals in their last 11 matches across all competitions, and they are set to make it a difficult afternoon for the hosts.

However, Flamengo will be keen to bounce back from last weekend's defeat and know that they have the quality in the final third to cause problems.

With little to separate the two sides, a closely-fought score draw could be on the cards at the Maracana.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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