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Aug 22, 2021 at 1am UK
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Preview: Juventude vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Juventude and Fortaleza will square off in Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A action on Sunday, as both sides look to extend impressive runs of form.

The hosts pulled off an impressive victory over former league leaders Bragantino last time out, while their visitors played out a 1-1 draw after defeating Palmeiras 3-2.

Match preview

After winning promotion last season, Juventude had a difficult start to life in the top flight, immediately dropping into the relegation zone after two draws and two 3-0 defeats from their opening four games.

Marquinhos Santos's men quickly adjusted though, collecting three wins from their next four games to quickly rise into the top half before suffering three defeats in a season defined by inconsistency.

Juve again bounced back recently, picking up a crucial 2-1 victory over fellow promoted side Chapecoense before battling hard against league leaders Atletico Mineiro in a narrow 2-1 defeat.

Santos's side made a return to winning ways last time out, as a second-half brace from Wagner saw them overturn a one-goal deficit to defeat title-chasing Bragantino away from home.

Having risen back to 12th spot, Juve will now look to build on that eye-catching result with what would be another impressive win as they look to construct a more consistent run of results to ensure they steer clear of the drop zone for the remainder of the campaign.

They face a particularly tough test though, as they take on a Fortaleza side who have had a strong campaign.

Sunday's visitors immediately established themselves at the top end of the Brazilian top flight with three straight victories to start the season, and have managed to maintain their top-six status with eye-catching consistency, including a run of four consecutive wins in July as they defeated America Mineiro, Corinthians, Sao Paulo and Bragantino.

While that run was broken by a 3-1 defeat to Ceara, Juan Pablo Vojvoda's side quickly bounced back recently with an impressive 3-2 away win over Palmeiras, as goals from Robson and Marcelo Benevenuto saw the game level heading into injury time, before Igor Torres netted a dramatic winner in the 95th minute.

Although they were only able to take a point from their recent clash with Santos, eventually drawing 1-1 as Carlos Sanchez equalised for their opponents immediately after Lucas Crispim's 23rd-minute opener, they do come in on a high given their strong form this campaign, and with just one point between themselves and second-placed Palmeiras a spot above, they will be keen to add another victory on Sunday.

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

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

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

Team News

Juventude remain without midfielders Yago and Elton for Sunday's game, as they continue to recover from injuries, although attacking midfielder Wescley returned to action last time out, and he should again play a key role going forward.

Centre-back Rafael Forster will also be out of contention, as he serves a one-game suspension after picking up his third yellow card of the season last time out.

Wagner's brace off the bench to fire them to a win over Bragantino should be enough to earn him a starting spot on Sunday.

Fortaleza will be boosted by the return of midfielder Felipe, who served a suspension last time out for a red card shown in the victory over Palmeiras.

However, they will be without winger Yago Pikachu, who picked up his third league yellow card of the season in the last game and will serve a one-game suspension as a result.

Robson will lead the line, having hit seven league goals so far this campaign.

Juventude possible starting lineup:
Carne; Michel, Mendes, Didi, Matheus; Dawhan, Jesus; Capixaba, Wescley, Paulinho; Wagner

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Boeck; Tinga, Titi, Benevenuto; Guedes, Vargas, Felipe, Jussa, Crispim; Romarinho, Robson

We say: Juventude 1-2 Fortaleza

Juventude have quickly improved to climb the league table, but we expect them to fall just short on Sunday.

Their visitors have consistently looked strong this season, and with the requirement to stay within touching distance of the top two, they should make a quick return to winning ways.

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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