MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 09:21:03| >> :600:266561:266561:
Aug 1, 2021 at 12am UK at Estadio Beira-Rio
InternacionalInternacional
0-0
CuiabaCuiaba

Cuesta (74'), Moises (87')
Moises (90')
FT

Clayson (51'), Osman (80'), Paulao (90+1')

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

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

Separated by just one place and two points in the Serie A standings, Internacional welcome Cuiaba to Porto Alegre on Sunday, with both sides hovering just above the drop zone.

After a difficult week, in which they crashed out of continental competition and lost away to Athletico Paranaense, the hosts will hope their visitors' confidence has been dented by a midweek defeat that ended a four-match unbeaten run.


Match preview

Internacional team huddle before the match on June 16, 2021© Reuters

Having claimed just nine points from their seven away games so far this season following last week's loss in Parana, Internacional return to their Estadio Beira-Rio headquarters this weekend, aiming to improve an even weaker home record.

In fact, the struggling giants have earned only five points as hosts this term, with three of those coming from a narrow 1-0 win over ten-man Juventude last time they stepped out on home turf.

Since that rare victory for Diego Aguirre's side, who continue to toil in the bottom half of the table, Inter have been eliminated from the Copa Libertadores on penalties - a heartbreaking conclusion to their last-16 tie with Olimpia - and then lost again in the league.

Unable to break the deadlock throughout both legs of their Copa clash with the Paraguayan side - despite having beaten them 6-1 during the group stage - Aguirre has seen his team register just two goals from their six most recent games and confidence in the final third is certainly at a low ebb.

Formerly in charge of the club for a brief spell back in 2015, the Uruguayan coach recently returned after the sacking of Miguel Angel Ramirez, and clearly has his work cut out if Inter are to avoid a lengthy basement battle and move into the upper echelons of the table.

Also out of the Copa do Brasil, all focus will now be on salvaging their league season - starting with the hunt for back-to-back home wins on Sunday.

Cuiaba's Rafael Gava celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates June 23, 2021© Reuters

After finally winning consecutive games to edge themselves up the Serie A standings - their only two triumphs of this campaign - Cuiaba came back down to earth last time out, as they suffered a 2-1 home loss to Corinthians.

Two goals down before the break, the Dourado were unable to fight their way back into the match before Anderson Conceicao's late dismissal put the seal on a disappointing defeat.

Cuiaba's ambitions are realistic, however, as they were only promoted to Serie B in 2019, before gaining a place in the top tier of the Campeonato Brasileiro for the first time this season.

The only team from the central state of Mato Grosso to reach the elite level since 1986, they have endured a steep learning curve so far, but are certainly in the mix for survival - currently sitting 15th in a tightly packed bottom half of the table.

Former Brazil and Bayern Munich full-back Jorginho, who lifted the World Cup at USA '94, has had an itinerant coaching career to date - taking charge of 14 clubs during the past decade - and took his place in the Cuiaba hot-seat recently, after interim boss Luiz Fernando Iubel stepped in following Alberto Valentim's departure in May.

Even if his only major managerial success came at Kashima Antlers over eight years ago, Jorginho's experience at the highest level as a player can surely help a modest playing squad continue their adaptation to the big time, as he takes them to one of Brazil's established giants this weekend.

Internacional Brasileiro form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

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

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



Team News

Internacional's Edenilson celebrates scoring their first goal on June 20, 2021© Reuters

Internacional's problems in goal show no signs of abating, with midfielder Edenilson's successful spot-kicks accounting for three out of their four goals since the end of June.

The former Udinese man will start in an advanced role on Sunday, most probably in support of a lone striker, whose identity remains a mystery, as struggling striker Yuri Alberto and alternative attacking option Thiago Galhardo are both suspended due to accumulated bookings.

Experienced forwards Paolo Guerrero and Taison also remain sidelined with knee and ankle injuries respectively, while defender Ze Gabriel is ruled out too.

Cuiaba, meanwhile, must reshuffle in defence, as centre-back Anderson Conceicao must serve a suspension for his stoppage-time red card last time out. Both Walter and Murilo Rangel are doubtful due to injuries.

Head coach Jorginho has opted for a settled defensive setup since taking charge, with Paulao likely to step back into his favoured back four in Porto Alegre.

Internacional possible starting lineup:
Daniel; Heitor, Mendez, Cuesta, Moises; Cardoso, Dourado; Vidal, Edenilson, Patrick; Palacios

Cuiaba possible starting lineup:
Walter; Lucas, Marllon, Paulao, Uendel; Danilo, Junior, Pepe, Gava; Elton, Clayson


SM words green background

We say: Internacional 1-1 Cuiaba

Already lacking firepower up front, Internacional must deal with a raft of injuries and suspensions among their attacking department, so are unlikely to spring into life this week - even against a Cuiaba side which leaks plenty of goals.

Inter's malaise is set to continue into the new month, then, while their visitors will happily snap up a precious point in their quest for a second shot at Serie A next term.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Internacional vs Cuiaba

Internacional
38.5%
Draw
38.5%
Cuiaba
23.1%
13
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico Mineiro20143332131945
2PalmeirasPalmeiras2012263223938
3FlamengoFlamengo18111635181734
4FortalezaFortaleza219662923633
5BragantinoBragantino208933122933
6Corinthians217952018230
7InternacionalInternacional207852422229
8Fluminense217862223-129
9Cuiaba2161052322128
10Athletico ParanaenseAthletico PR208392524127
11Atletico GoianienseAtletico GO206861720-326
12Sao Paulo206771823-525
13CearaCeara2051051921-225
14SantosSantos215972025-524
15Bahia2165102533-823
16JuventudeJuventude215881825-723
17Gremio196491518-322
18America MineiroAmerica Mineiro205781823-522
19Sport RecifeSport213810818-1017
20ChapecoenseChapecoense2117131734-1710

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