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Copa Libertadores | Semi-Finals | 1st Leg
Sep 28, 2023 at 1.30am UK
Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho

2 - 2

Cano (10', 78')
Xavier (40'), Alexsander (90+3')
Xavier (45')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Mallo (45+5'), Patrick (64')
Cardoso (43'), Lucca (80')

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

:Headline: Preview: Fluminense vs. Internacional - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa Libertadores clash between Fluminense and Internacional, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Internacional will look to keep their unbeaten record in the Copa Libertadores intact when they head to Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho (Maracana) to take on Fluminense in the first leg of the semi-final on Thursday.

Both sides come into this match following solid performances in the previous round of the competition, and the winner of this two-legged tie will go on to face either Palmeiras or Boca Juniors in the final on November 4.

Match preview

Despite losing back-to-back games in the group stages, Fluminense still managed to clinch the top spot with 10 points, which was the lowest tally of any group winner earlier in the competition.

In the knockout stages, they overcame Argentinos Juniors 3-1 on aggregate and followed up with a very convincing performance in the last round, beating Paraguayan side Olimpia 5-1 over two legs.

German Cano scored two goals in the last match against Olimpia, taking his total to nine, and he is now the out-and-out leading goal scorer in the competition, two clear of Atletico Mineiro's Paulinho.

Fernando Diniz's side are also right in the thick of a heated race for the top four places in the Serie A, currently in fifth spot with 41 points after 24 games, just one point behind Bragantino in fourth.

The last time these sides met, the hosts won the match 2-0 back in July at this venue, and if they can manage a similar performance, it will put them in a very strong position to reach their first Copa Libertadores final since 2008.

Meanwhile, 2010 champions Internacional were impressive during the round-robin stages, winning Group B with 12 points, including three wins and three draws, scoring 10 and conceding six in that time.

Since then, they finished level with the heavily fancied River Plate after two legs and managed to get by them 9-8 on penalties in the last 16 before knocking out Bolivar 3-0 in the quarter-final.

While their cup form has been solid, Internacional's league form has taken a major dip, falling from second place last season to 13th at present, and they are the first side below the Copa Sudamericana qualification places as it stands.

Eduardo Coudet's side have only managed 29 points in 24 matches this season and have only won one of their last 12 league games, which included a 2-1 defeat to Athletico Paranaense last weekend.

Based on their recent league form, the visitors may struggle here, especially considering that they will be facing a Fluminense side that have not lost a match on their home patch in their last 25 matches in all competitions.

Fluminense Copa Libertadores form:

Fluminense form (all competitions):

Internacional Copa Libertadores form:

Internacional form (all competitions):

Team News

Ganso has three assists and scored four goals this season but has picked up a knee injury and is expected to remain on the treatment table for a few weeks.

Jhon Arias will also miss this match as he is still recovering from an ankle injury, and he will be joined on the sidelines by Gustavo Apis, who is out with an ACL injury.

Vitao has been a first-team regular this season but will miss this match with a knee injury, while Johnny will also sit this one out with a sprained ankle.

Longer-term absentees are Pedro Henrique (arm) and Lucas Ramos (knee), although they are both expected to return for the final few weeks of the campaign.

Fluminense possible starting lineup:
Fabio; Xavier, Nino, Melo, Barbosa; Keno, Andre, Gomes, Lima; Kennedy, Cano

Internacional possible starting lineup:
Rochet; Bustos, Mallo, Mercado, Rene; Aranguiz, Gabriel, Mauricio, Wanderson; Henrique, Adriano

We say: Fluminense 2-0 Internacional

With seven home wins in a row and having kept five clean sheets in that time, it is difficult to back against O Flu taking a first-leg lead here. Internacional have failed to win any of their last six games on the road, and we feel they will see that record extended to seven in this one.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data

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