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Jun 27, 2021 at 3pm UK
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Preview: Juventude vs. Flamengo - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Reigning Campeonato Brasileiro champions Flamengo will seek back-to-back wins on Sunday, as they travel to meet Juventude in Rio Grande do Sul.

Having recovered from a rare defeat last weekend with victory over Fortaleza in midweek, Rogerio Ceni's men are now in search of a sixth success in seven.

Match preview

Currently eighth in the league, having won three out of four games so far, Flamengo's cup commitments have affected their capacity to fulfil league fixtures since the season started last month.

They are, therefore, slightly off the pace of the current leaders, particularly after their winning streak since the start of the new campaign was brought to an end by table-toppers RB Bragantino a week ago.

The 2019 Serie B champions delivered a bitter blow to Fla in the final minute of a clash between old and new powers of the Brazilian game at the Maracana - after Rodrigo Muniz had scored either side of half time to seemingly secure victory.

The Rio giants, however, immediately bounced back on Wednesday, with star striker Bruno Henrique's first-half double putting the Rubo-Negro into an ultimately unassailable two-goal lead against Fortaleza, who had been among the early-season pacesetters.

That 2-1 success means that they are five points off the summit with two games in hand, so can remain confident of keeping their title defence on track while going deep into both the Copa do Brasil and the Copa Libertadores - which resumes next month.

Having only claimed their first league victory of the 2021 campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Sport Recife last Monday, newly-promoted Juventude must welcome a powerful Flamengo side to Estadio Alfredo Jaconi, still sitting in the lower reaches of the Serie A standings.

Manager Marquinhos Santos has seen his team pick up four points from a possible six in the past week, as they claimed a point away to ten-man America on Thursday with a 1-1 draw.

Juve were, though, frustrated to concede a late Juninho penalty against the Belo Horizonte outfit, who are winless so far and sit below them in the table.

In the coming days, they can look forward to successive home fixtures, with the second of which coming against bottom side Gremio next Thursday. However, their first game of the pair should prove a far stiffer test of their top-flight credentials - versus a club they last defeated in August 2006.

A famous win over Flamengo would, nonetheless, take Juventude level on points with their more illustrious rivals and offer a significant morale boost for the rest of the season.

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

Flamengo Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

Flamengo will continue to cope without some of their star names on Sunday, as Mauricio Isla, Robert Piris da Motta, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Everton Ribeiro and 'Gabigol' Gabriel Barbosa are still on Copa America duty for their respective nations.

Additionally, goalkeeper Cesar is continuing his recovery from knee surgery so will miss out once more, with former Valencia stopper Diego Alves providing the visitors' last line of defence.

Midfielder Thiago Maia returned to the bench last time out after recovering from ligament damage, while striker Pedro should be available for selection after overcoming his COVID-19 infection.

As Gerson played his final game for the club in a tearful farewell to the Maracana during midweek - he now leaves for French side Marseille - coach Rogerio Ceni may bring Maia into the starting side.

The hosts, meanwhile, are almost at full strength this weekend, but experienced forward Roberson is again doubtful due to injury.

As a result, Marquinhos Santos should elect to keep Wescley and on-loan Matheus Peixoto as his front pair in a possible 4-4-2 formation.

Juventude possible starting lineup:
Carne; Michel, Mendes, Forster, Matheus; Kim, Elton, Castilho, Paulinho; Wescley, Peixoto

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

We say: Juventude 1-2 Flamengo

Flamengo will be keen to continue their comeback from last weekend's defeat, so can deal with a host of absentees to take advantage of top-flight new boys Juventude.

Shouldering much of the final third responsibility without the inimitable presence of 'Gabigol' alongside him, Bruno Henrique can deliver the goods again to inch Fla a little closer to the top of the standings.

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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