Trailing their hosts by five points in the Serie A standings, the Auriverde arrive in Santa Catarina having taken just two points from their last four games; meanwhile, their opponents held league leaders Palmeiras last time out.
After losing their most recent fixture against fellow strugglers Goias last week, Cuiaba remain mired in the Brasileiro's drop zone, amid a worrying barren run in front of goal.
Following their 1-0 loss at Estadio da Serrinha, the Mato Grasso outfit have failed to find the net in over 300 minutes of football, and they have still recorded only three league wins so far this term.
In all, Dourado have managed just nine goals from their opening 14 games of the season, so another battle against demotion seems to be on the cards this year, following a 15th-placed finish in 2021.
Former Benfica B coach Antonio Oliveira has already seen his side slump out of the Copa Sudamericana at the group stage and suffer an early exit from the Copa do Brasil, so pressure is starting to build on his shoulders.
Not only was Cuiaba's latest setback a further blow to morale, it represented their fifth consecutive away defeat in Serie A, which does not augur well for this weekend's visit to Ressacada.
The home side will be in buoyant mood as they await their ailing opponents, having taken a point off first-placed Palmeiras last Saturday.
Avai exceeded expectations again when taking on the league's top team, as Jean Pyerre's 73rd-minute equaliser secured a 2-2 draw for the Santa Catarina club.
Eduardo Barroca's promoted side have adapted to life in the Brazilian top flight admirably this term, with a 1-0 win away at Botafogo and an entertaining 3-2 victory over Fortaleza being among last month's highlights.
However, they find themselves still just three points above the bottom four, in a compressed mid-section of the table - they are also only three short of the top six.
In their first Serie A season since 2019, the club known as Leao da Ilha - 'Lion of the Island' - have won four of their seven home matches to date, so will certainly fancy their chances of taking maximum points on Sunday.
Avai coach Eduardo Barroca will be without winger William Pottker this weekend, after he received a third yellow card of the season against Palmeiras; earning the Cruzeiro loanee a one-match suspension.
After his first-half penalty last time out, centre-forward Guilherme Bissoli has netted seven goals in the top flight so far this season, and the 24-year-old will once again spearhead the hosts' attack.
Meanwhile, Cuiaba will have coach Antonio Oliveira back on the bench after their boss served a ban last time out, but he will not be able to count on either Pepe (head) or Andre Felipe (thigh) due to injury.
In addition to those laid low in the medical department, former Hellas Verona defender Alan Empereur is suspended after his late dismissal against Goias.
Avai possible starting lineup:
Douglas; Kevin, Bressan, Chaves, Cortez; Silva; Morato, Raniele, Biasi, Muriqui; Bissoli
Cuiaba possible starting lineup:
Walter; Lucas, Marllon, Joaquim, Uendel; Camilo, Gava, Osorio; Luis, Elton, Marques
We say: Avai 1-1 Cuiaba
Cuiaba's drought cannot continue for ever, and their hosts have one of the division's worst defensive records this season, so a low-scoring draw could be on the cards at Ressacada.
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