MX23RW : Wednesday, January 26 17:33:13| >> :600:4299276:4299276:
Dec 1, 2021 at 1am UK
Empereur (37')
Gava (25'), Uendel (45+3'), Pepe (64'), (89')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Silva (4'), Bicalho (30'), Veron (90+1')
Veron (44'), Garcia (61')
Veron (90+2')

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

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

Fresh off their second consecutive Copa Libertadores championship, Palmeiras return to league play on Tuesday with a chance to secure a top-three finish with a victory over Cuiaba at Arena Pantanal.

Palestra scored in the opening five minutes and five minutes into extra time to squeak out a 2-1 victory over Flamengo in their continental triumph this weekend, while Dourado have posted consecutive shutouts but have dropped to 13th in the table following a 0-0 draw with Bahia.

Match preview

Cuiaba coach Jorginho reacts on October 17, 2021© Reuters

It does not take a lot to find yourself falling behind in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, as Cuiaba are now only three points above the relegation line with four more matches left to try to hang on.

The identity of this team in their inaugural campaign in the Brazilian top flight has always been about defending and picking the right moment to counter, but they have been more hesitant to do that in recent matches.

Their passiveness is especially evident when playing on the road, where they are winless in their last seven league contests, having been held off the scoresheet in four of those games.

Throughout the year, Jorginho has focused on a patient style of play while slowly trying to build up the play from the back, which seemed to be working effectively until recent weeks as they have failed to bury the few opportunities that they have created more often than not.

They have been especially impressive defensively in front of their home fans, where they have not conceded in their last five league matches and are unbeaten since their opening fixture in October, when they fell 2-0 to America Mineiro.

Dourado are pretty content to allow their opponents a ton of possession and have several players behind the ball in their own third of the field, which was the case the last time that they played Palestra when they accumulated only 34% possession but were able to score on two of their four targeted efforts to pick up a 2-0 win.

Palmeiras coach Abel Ferreira reacts on October 17, 2021© Reuters

For a third successive year, Palmeiras have got their hands on some silverware after becoming only the second side this century to capture back-to-back Copa Libertadores titles.

To achieve what Abel Ferreira has on the continental stage, winning that competition twice, is quite the feat, as non-South American managers do not have an excellent track record of success on this continent.

The focus now shifts to the domestic championship, where Verdao cannot finish any higher than second, but even that will be a tall order, as they currently trail Flamengo by eight points with only three games remaining.

Coming into November, it looked as though Palmeiras were going to challenge Atletico Mineiro for the title, winning six in a row, including their opening two matches this month, but they will finish this month looking to put an end to a four-match winless run, which ties their second-longest such league run without a victory this year.

Since the middle of November, other teams appear to have figured out how to counteract the low-block system employed by Palestra, as the now two-time Copa Libertadores winners have conceded eight goals in their previous five matches in all competitions.

With 59 points from their first 35 games, they have already exceeded their domestic total from 2020, and should they be able to win their final three league fixtures, they would match their total for wins from 2019 (21) when they came in third.

Cuiaba Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Palmeiras Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

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

Team News

Cuiaba players huddle before the match on June 6, 2021© Reuters

Walter has collected back-to-back shutouts for Cuiaba, stopping all three shots fired his way versus Bahia as he is tied with Tiago Volpi and Fernando Miguel for second in the league in that category with 14.

In their previous meeting with Palestra, Uillian Correia scored what is to date his only goal in this campaign, while the winner came courtesy of Clayson, who has only found the back of the net twice in this domestic season, but he is tied for the fourth-most on the team right now, alongside Felipe Marques and Rafael Gava.

Jorginho made only one change to the starting 11 last Sunday from their previous match as Felipe Marques got the call in midfield rather than Clayson.

Deyverson has two goals in his last two matches for Verdao in all competitions but none more significant than his 95th-minute strike on Saturday, which gave his side a second successive Copa Libertadores crown, while Raphael Veiga scored their opening goal early on, his fifth of that competition to go along with the 10 that he has put up in Serie A.

Palmeiras will be missing Renan and Marcos Rocha for this one as they were each given a yellow card in their 2-2 draw with Atletico Mineiro last Tuesday.

Their top playmaker Gustavo Scarpa, who leads the league in assists with 13, does not have a goal involvement since their 4-0 win over Atletico Goianiense when he scored from the penalty spot and set up their first two goals, which came courtesy of Raphael Veiga and Rony respectively.

Cuiaba possible starting lineup:
Walter; Uendel, Empereur, Paulao, Lucas; Cafu, Pepe, Camilo, Gava; Jenison, Elton

Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Luis, Luan, Kuscevic, Mayke; Patrick; Lopes, Scarpa, Danilo, Wesley; Rony

SM words green background

We say: Cuiaba 1-0 Palmeiras

Even though Palmeiras are the superior side, Cuiaba have done a great job of playing above their potential against the elite clubs in the Brasileiro Serie A, and with this match taking place only days after their cup triumph, we expect to see Palestra play with a lot less enthusiasm than usual, which should not be a problem for Dourado, who will want to assure their place in the top flight next year.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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Flamengo's Bruno Henrique celebrates scoring their third goal with Filipe Luis and teammates on August 1, 2021
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1Atletico Mineiro38266667343384
8America MineiroAmerica Mineiro381314114137453
9Atletico GoianienseAtletico GO381314113336-353
13Sao Paulo381115123139-848
14Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR38138174145-447
19Sport RecifeSport38911182437-1338

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