Atletico PR vs Fluminense by Neuro
Atletico Paranaense failed to achieve their fifth consecutive victory in the championship, but remained unbeaten for 12th consecutive match as they are coming from a goalless draw away to Vasco da Gama last weekend. They are still unbeaten playing at home, currently being in top four positions at the standings, their target is to remain there and claim Copa Libertadores ticket.
Although they slipped down two positions at the table following a draw against Vasco, their coach Vagner Mancini remained positive saying that the result was a success against very strong opponent. The team have demonstrated that they are rightfully so high in the standings and hope to continue the good run of results and climb even more at the league table. Young striker Douglas Coutinho (2/0) is already long term injured, while defenders Pedro Botelho (15/2) and Willian Rocha (3/0) are also sidelined with injuries. On the bright side, important central defender Manoel (17/3) is coming back into the squad after taking care of slight injury, same as experienced central defender Luiz Alberto (15/1) who had to be substituted early in a match against Vasco.
Fluminense is coming from a 1:0 home victory against Bahia, result that will allow them taking a big breath as they are now three points away from the relegation positions and with few more positive results in next week, they could hope for staying in the safe zone for longer period. Only goal was achieved in the second half, as they broke the run of four games without a victory.
Still, the team can't feel very comfortable as the three points is a very small gap, while they continue having problems when playing away and and are rarely getting any point(s) with a 1-3-5 record. Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo was very happy with the result, congratulating supporters that were behind the team asking them to continue so, as he added that the last game was very important as the team couldn't afford to lose valuable points at home anymore. However it won't get easier for them tonight, not only because of their poor record away from home, but also because they will miss bunch of players. Injured remain right back Wellington Silva (5/0), midfielders Thiago Neves (2/0), Deco (5/0), Edwin Valencia (1/0), Jean (10/0), Diguinho (12/0) and finally striker Fred (9/3). On the bright side, attacking midfielder Rhayner (10/1) comes back into the team after a suspension earned two weeks ago.
Having in mind their current form, but also important absences for Fluminense, it's hard to see anything else but a victory for a home side that is in a hunt for the Copa Libertadores ticket and will probably get as they seem to be one of the most in-form teams in the league.