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Brasileiro | Gameweek 8
Jun 13, 2024 at 11pm UK
Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto

2 - 1

Pereira (45+1'), Silva (67')
Silva (78'), Paixao (81'), Pereira (87'), Seabra (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Pitta (64' pen.)
Ramon (66'), Marllon (90+8')

Preview: Cruzeiro vs. Cuiaba - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Brasileiro clash between Cruzeiro and Cuiaba, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking a swift return to triumphant ways, Cruzeiro host Cuiaba at their Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto base in Thursday's Brasileiro battle.

The hosts' victorious run came to a bitter end in a 2-0 loss to Sao Paulo last time out, while their upcoming foes came up trumps in a seven-goal spectacular with Criciuma over the weekend.

Match preview

Cruzeiro's Nikao celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on May 30, 2024© Reuters

The month of May was indeed very merry for those of a Cruzeiro persuasion, as Fernando Seabra's troops excelled on the continent in the Copa Sudamericana, topping their group with no losses from their six games to earn a direct route into the last 16.

Two Brasileiro contests with Vitoria (3-1) and Atletico Goianiense (1-0) also went Cruzeiro's way between April and May, and Seabra's charges were also riding high on a four-game streak of clean sheets before pitting their wits against Sao Paulo.

However, the Foxes were subjected to a rude awakening against one of Brazil's most famed outfits, as either side of a first-half red card to left-back Marlon, ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lucas Moura and Jonathan Calleri struck for Sao Paulo.

On account of their first top-flight defeat since April 21, Cruzeiro are entrenched in mid-table in ninth position at this early stage - good enough for a Sudamericana berth - and Seabra's side would have enjoyed an extended 11-day break by the time Thursday's fixture commences.

In spite of their June 2 disappointment, the Foxes have an exceptional home record to fall back on this weekend, having come out on the correct end of the scoreline in their last four matches in front of their own fans, while only failing to score in one of their last 16.

Cuiaba's Deyverson celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 29, 2023© Reuters

Likewise, Cuiaba also came through their Copa Sudamericana group-stage campaign without suffering a single defeat, but a tally of 12 points was not enough to pip Argentinian outfit Lanus to top spot, forcing them to take on a demoted Copa Libertadores side in the knockout round playoffs.

Chilean outfit Palestino are lying in wait for that two-legged tie in July, prior to which Petit's men have a few wrongs to right in Brasileiro action, having only managed to accrue a paltry four points from their first seven games of the 2024 campaign.

However, three of those points - and therefore their first victory of the season - came at the home of Criciuma on June 9, where the Green-Gold from the Lowland, who had failed to score in each of their first six games of the season, suddenly found a prolific streak in a 5-2 romping.

Petit's men scoring five times in one game after going without a single strike in their opening six was a true turn up for the books, but they remain second from bottom in 19th spot - only two points above basement boys Vitoria - in spite of their weekend resurgence.

The fact that Cuiaba's five-goal battering of Criciuma came on the road is even more reason for Petit's men to travel to Cruzeiro with a spring in their step, but their four-game winless run against the Foxes is not, and the visitors are also still waiting for their first-ever goal against Thursday's hosts.

Cruzeiro Brasileiro form:

Cruzeiro form (all competitions):

Cuiaba Brasileiro form:

Cuiaba form (all competitions):

Team News

Cruzeiro's Henrique Dourado with teammates applauds fans after the match on May 27, 2023© Reuters

By virtue of his 38th-minute red card in the loss to Sao Paulo, Cruzeiro left-back Marlon has a one-match suspension to serve on Thursday, where Brazilian youth international Kaiki ought to deputise.

In addition to the banned Marlon, midfielder Jose Cifuentes is unavailable due to Copa America commitments with Ecuador, while neither Mateus Vital (shoulder) nor Juan Dinenno (groin) should feature either.

Arthur Gomes (thigh) and Rafael Bilu (Achilles) are both on the Foxes' touch-and-go list too, although the former missing out would benefit Porto loanee Gabriel Veron's chances of starting alongside ex-West Bromwich Albion man Matheus Pereira.

Cuiaba boss Petit can empathise with his opposite number when it comes to banned full-backs, as Matheus Alexandre picked up his third yellow card of the campaign in the thrashing of Criciuma and is also suspended for one match.

Railan is the only other recognised right-back in the visitors' squad and should therefore be the first port of call, while strikers Deyverson (discomfort) and Derik Lacerda (knee) are sidelined alongside midfielders Lucas Fernandes (thigh) and Felipe Augusto (muscle).

However, Petit should not be considering any unenforced alterations to the XI that got the job done in emphatic fashion at the weekend, as Paraguayan-born Isidro Pitta capitalises on the injury woes of his fellow strikers to lead the line.

Cruzeiro possible starting lineup:
Anderson; William, Ze Ivaldo, Marcelo, Kaiki; Barreal, Romero, L. Silva; Pereira, Veron; R. Silva

Cuiaba possible starting lineup:
Walter; Railan, Marllon, Alan Empereur, Ramon; Mineiro, Denilson, Max; Cafu, Pitta, Clayson

SM words green background

We say: Cruzeiro 2-1 Cuiaba

Whether Cuiaba's magnificent attacking display versus Criciuma is a sign of things to come remains to be seen, but facing a Cruzeiro side who hitherto boasted a terrific defensive streak is a different proposition entirely.

With the hosts also having last weekend off to recuperate, the fresh legs and revered attackers in Seabra's ranks could prove the difference as the Foxes quickly get back on track.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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