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Aug 8, 2021 at 8pm UK
JuventudeJuventude
1-2
Atletico MineiroAtletico Mineiro
Paulinho (45+1')
Forster (61')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Hulk (77'), Silva (90+1')
Borrero (52'), Rodrigues de Souza (72'), Jair (90+5')

Preview: Juventude vs. Atletico Mineiro - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Title-chasing Atletico Mineiro continue their quest for Brasileiro glory on Sunday, as they meet mid-table Juventude at Estadio Alfredo Jaconi.

Having won seven league games on the spin - and dramatically progressed in the Copa Libertadores - the visitors are in scintillating form and will expect to return to Belo Horizonte with maximum points.


Match preview

Stretching their winning run to seven Serie A matches last Sunday, Atletico Mineiro's home win over Athletico Paranaense still sees them one point adrift of Palmeiras at the top of the standings, having won ten of their 14 fixtures to date.

Cuca's side have risen to second spot, surpassing last week's visitors in the process, and are seemingly set to mount a strong title challenge this year.

As the unstoppable Alvinegro accumulated victories against Cuiaba, Flamengo, Corinthians and America Mineiro - before defeating Boca Juniors in a penalty shootout to advance to the last eight of the Copa Libertadores - a talented team are full of confidence before the trip to Caxias do Sul.

Most recently, they posted back-to-back wins over Bahia in league and cup, before suffering their first loss since the end of June, when they were beaten in the return leg of their Copa do Brasil tie. However, the Belo Horizonte-based outfit still progressed to the quarter-finals on aggregate; rendering Bahia's brief taste of revenge irrelevant in the final analysis.

Having left behind a sluggish start to the season, it is unlikely Cuca and company will rest until they reach the Serie A summit, and after taking on a depleted Juventude side on Sunday, Atletico will then travel to meet another Argentinian giant in midweek - when they clash with River Plate at El Monumental in their Copa Libertadores last-eight tie.

Not only are promoted Juventude already considered outsiders ahead of Atletico's visit this week, but coach Marquinhos Santos will need to solve a significant selection puzzle in order to field a competitive team.

With a growing series of COVID-19 cases in the camp and contractual clauses affecting the availability of others, the Juve supremo has had to summon youth players to the top-flight new boys' training base during the build up.

The side from Rio Grande do Sul at least ended their four-game winless run last time out, as they overturned fellow Serie B graduates Chapecoense through Matheus Peixoto's early goal, despite surrendering two-thirds of possession.

After a 13-year absence from the top division, Juventude have made Estadio Alfredo Jaconi a stronghold this term. As they attempt to prolong their stay among the elite, they are now unbeaten in their last five league matches there and currently sit 13th in the table, above several bigger clubs.

They have struggled in the final third all season long, though, scoring just nine times in their 13 matches so far, while Sunday's opponents are fairly frugal at the back - conceding just ten league goals and shutting out Boca entirely over the course of two intense legs.

Therefore, a repeat of the result last time these clubs met - back in 2016, when Atletico were defeated 1-0 in the cup (though ultimately progressed on penalties) - would be a dream scenario for Marquinhos Santos and his young side.

Juventude Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Atletico Mineiro Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Atletico Mineiro form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Atletico Mineiro remain without several players through injury, with Rafael (dislocated shoulder), Marrony (knee) and Keno (thigh) all expected to continue spells on the sidelines, while Chile striker Eduardo Vargas must serve a suspension after being sent off in the dying minutes last weekend.

However, Guilherme Arana could be back in contention, as he has returned from international duty in Tokyo, with the Brazilian Olympic squad.

In the absence of Vargas, well-travelled forward Hulk will continue to lead the visitors' attack - having previously posted six goals and four assists this season - with the former Porto man set to be joined by Jefferson Savarino and Matias Zaracho up front.

Juventude are struggling with a lengthening list of absentees, meanwhile, as they will not be able to count on defender Vitor Mendes and midfield pair of Guilherme Castilho and Bruninho, as Atletico is their parent club.

In addition to his on-loan trio, coach Marquinhos Santos has been severely hampered by an outbreak of COVID-19 in the camp. To date, six players have returned a positive test for the virus: wingers Michel Macedo and William Matheus, midfield duo Elton and Jadson, plus Wagner and first-choice centre-back Rafael Forster.

While Forster and Macedo could yet make the lineup if they test negative before the game, Santos has his hands full to improvise a starting XI for Sunday.

Star striker Matheus Peixoto is fit to play, though, and leads the line with seven goals so far - five of which have come on home soil.

Juventude possible starting lineup:
Carne; Henrique, Didi, Cleberson, Alysson; Dawhan, Ricardinho, Jesus, Wescley; Paulinho, Roberson

Atletico Mineiro possible starting lineup:
Everson; Mariano, Nathan, Alonso, Dodo; Allan, Fernandez, Tche Tche; Savarino, Hulk, Zaracho


We say: Juventude 0-2 Atletico Mineiro

While Juventude have found a means of keeping things tight and picking up the occasional win through the finishing of Matheus Peixoto, they are stepping up in class this weekend - with Atletico more than capable of breaching their back line on several occasions.

With their recent cup defeat only a blip on the radar - as progress was sealed in any case - the Alvinegro's soaring confidence should see them past a home side who are troubled by a number of missing men.



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
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico Mineiro27185444202459
2PalmeirasPalmeiras2815494234849
3FortalezaFortaleza2814683830848
4FlamengoFlamengo25144747242346
5BragantinoBragantino281113444321246
6InternacionalInternacional28101173730741
7Corinthians28101173026441
8Fluminense2810992830-239
9Atletico GoianienseAtletico GO2791082424037
10America MineiroAmerica Mineiro2881192729-235
11Cuiaba2871472728-135
12Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR27104133236-434
13Sao Paulo2871382227-534
14CearaCeara2861572630-433
15Bahia2888123239-732
16SantosSantos28711102534-932
17JuventudeJuventude28611112736-929
18Sport RecifeSport2869131524-927
19Gremio2675142332-926
20ChapecoenseChapecoense28110172449-2513
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