Santos vs Cruzeiro by Enzo
Santos comes from a very decent performance in the Brazilian Cup game, when the team won at home over Gama 3:0 few days ago. Victory was achieved thanks to great performance from their previous season top scorer Ricardo Oliveira who scored all three goals, as the team got qualified for the last sixteen round of Brazilian Cup.
This was their fourth victory in last six matches, without losing any of them, while the team remains fourth in the league being just three points below leaders from Palmeiras, while they currently hold the Copa Libertadores ticket as well. Their coach said that the appearance of the players is more important to him than the result, saying that they must not underestimate the opponent.
Coach Dorival Junior will probably maintain most of the side that won over Gama, but he continues to miss goalkeeper Vladimir (0/0), defender Lucas (1/0) and David Braz (4/0). Midfielder Lucas Lima and right back Victor Ferraz are doubtful, while the team also misses midfielder Thiago Maia (15/0), defender Zeca (14/2) and Gabriel (10/5) who are on international duty for the Olympics. They will probably be lined up in a 4-1-2-3 formation, of course with Oliveira as central striker.
Cruzeiro, on the other hand, suffered 1:2 defeat to Sport Recife at home last weekend. It was a game where players of Cruzeiro had much more chances created, but with obvious problems in attack, they couldn't expect for a better outcome. They have conceded two goals in difficult stages of the game, one at the end of the first halftime and second at the beginning of the repetition, being able only to reduce the deficit towards the end of the game.
This was their third consecutive defeat, fourth in last five matches and still being without a victory. Currently, the team is now inside the relegation zone, being three points away from the safely placed sides, but also seven above the rock bottom placed America MG. Their coach got fired after that game and Mano Menezes was installed for a new one, making a debut tonight. Their starting lineup is a bit of mystery for tonight's game.
Visiting side continues to miss defender Manoel, full back Dede, midfielder Marcos Vinicius and right full back Mayke (5/0) due injuries. Offensive Rafael Silva also shouldn't play, while doubtful is participation of midfielder Henrique. Midfielder Lucas Daniel Romero is away on international duty.
- Santos FC have won 19 of their last 21 home matches (Brasileirao).
I don't see players of Cruzeiro getting a positive result here. Santos does well in recent matches, especially in attack and there is very little what the visiting side can do. Hosts miss couple of players, but so does Cruzeiro, while there's no doubt that Santos has much deeper roster and can cover the absences easier.