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Jun 17, 2021 at 11pm UK
Nene (51')
Paulista (62'), Yago (69'), Kayky (82'), Hernandez (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Madson (16'), Alison (33'), Braga (62')

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

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

Fluminense are hoping to remain unbeaten in the Brasileiro Serie A this season when they host Santos on Thursday at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Tricolor overcame a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2 with Bragantino on Sunday, while Santos played to a 0-0 draw with Juventude on Saturday.

Match preview

After five seasons spent in the bottom half of the league standings, Fluminense improved dramatically in their last campaign, finishing in fifth with 64 points, which was an 18-point improvement from 2019.

Early on in 2021, Flu continue to grow in confidence, going unbeaten in their opening three matches, and sitting in seventh place, just four points behind the current league leaders, Fortaleza.

While manager Roger Machado will not be pleased that his side conceded their first two goals of this competition on Sunday, he will be happy with the resilience that his side showed in fighting back from two goals behind to earn a draw.

That was the first time since January that this team have earned a point after giving up the first two goals of a game in the domestic league.

This team, who have shown to be a sound defensive unit, have given up 14 shots on target and conceded four goals in their last two matches in all competitions, against albeit the highest-scoring side in the league at the moment in Bragantino.

They will face Santos, who have been shut out in two of their three matches this season but have in the past scored a lot, finishing in the top 10 in goals over the past three Brasileiro campaigns.

Now in their 62nd consecutive season in the top flight of Brazilian football, Santos have shown they belong here, however they have not created a lot of offence in their opening three league matches.

Peixe have had over 60% of the possession in two of their three league fixtures but have failed to make the most of it, firing only two shots on target in a 0-0 draw with Juventude on Saturday and only getting three shots on target in a 3-0 defeat last month to Bahia.

Manager Fernando Diniz and his Tiki-taka style of short passing and movement may not be the most appealing to watch as a fan, but so far it has successfully limited the number of quality scoring opportunities their opponents have received.

In each of their last five matches in all competitions, they have limited the opposition to three shots or fewer on target while allowing their opponents less than 40% of the possession in four of those encounters.

Diniz, who is nicknamed the "Brazilian Guardiola", will hope to restore some old glory into this iconic club, who have not won the Brasileiro Serie A since 2004 and have not captured a major trophy since winning the Campeonato Paulista in 2016.

Fluminense Brasileiro form:
  • D
  • W
  • D

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

Santos Brasileiro form:
  • L
  • W
  • D

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

Team News

After not allowing a goal in three straight matches in all competitions, goalkeeper Marcos Felipe has conceded four goals in his last two matches - but has faced 14 shots in that span.

Striker Abel Hernandez scored his first goal with Fluminense in their last match, and it was a valuable strike as his penalty in injury time earned his side a point against Bragantino.

Their top goalscorer from last season, Nene, has yet to find the back of the net in three league matches after netting eight times in Serie A in their previous campaign.

For Santos, midfielder Sandry has a ruptured knee ligament, Jobson has not played since January with a cruciate ligament rupture, and striker Raniel has an unknown injury that has kept him out of the lineup since October of 2020.

Since taking over from Joao Paulo, goalkeeper John has allowed just one goal in the last four matches in all competitions, picking up three clean sheets and making seven saves.

Fluminense possible starting lineup:
Felipe; Egidio, Braz, Nino, Xavier; Felipe, Wellington, Nene; Ganso, Paulista, Hernandez

Santos possible starting lineup:
John; Para, Madson, Peres, Jonatan; Pirani, Alison, Mota; Marinho, Jorge, Guilherme

We say: Fluminense 0-0 Santos

Both sides have a defensive-minded approach and can shut down the top offensively-gifted squads in Brazil, however neither team have created many quality chances, nor have they shown a lot of quality in front of goal.

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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