Preview: Fluminense vs Avai – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Brasileiro clash between Fluminense and Avai, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Newly-promoted Avai will go in search of a third straight win to climb into the top six of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A table on Sunday, when they make the trip to take on Fluminense.

With just one win from their last five outings, the hosts sit 11th in the Brazilian top flight, while their visitors are two points better off in seventh spot in what is a tight division at this relatively early stage.

Match preview

© Reuters

Fluminense experienced a mixed start to the campaign, as they failed to establish consistency, but back-to-back wins over Athletico Paranaense and Fortaleza did provide cause for optimism, taking their points tally to 11 from seven league outings.

The Tricolor were unable to build on those, though, as they went on to suffer defeats in the next two games before bouncing back with an eye-catching 5-3 win over defending champions Atletico Mineiro.

With that game tied level at three goals apiece in the lead up to the hour mark, German Cano would hit his second of the game to put Fernando Diniz‘s side back ahead, before Luiz Henrique wrapped up all three points with a 63rd-minute finish.

As has been common throughout the season so far, their momentum was again halted after that impressive triumph, as they were beaten 2-0 at home to Atletico Goianiense in the following encounter, before being forced to settle for a point away at America Mineiro last time out as the contest ended goalless.

While Diniz’s men will not be overly pleased with their current position in the division, the middle of the table remains particularly tight, and they will know that a victory on Sunday would not only see them leapfrog their visitors, but should also trigger a quick climb into the top half if other results go their way.

Fluminense's Cristiano celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 6, 2022© Reuters

Avai, meanwhile, will aim to add to what has been an impressive start to their first season back in the top flight, having put themselves within touching distance of the top four.

After a positive start, the Leao da Ilha hit a tough spell, going without a victory for five league games and losing four of those, before returning to form in recent weeks.

They arrested their slump with a 1-0 win away at fellow promoted side Botafogo, as Kevin hit the only goal of the game, before making it back-to-back victories when they hosted Fortaleza last time out.

After seeing their 2-0 lead cancelled out, Eduardo Barroca‘s side were eventually able to go back ahead and take all three points as Guilherme Bissoli hit the decisive goal in the 70th minute – his second of the game from the penalty spot.

Having quickly scaled the Brasileiro standings thanks to those wins, Avai find themselves just a point outside of the top six and a point behind fourth-placed Athletico Paranaense, and they will now aim for a third straight triumph to stand a chance of capitalising on any slips and potentially rising into the upper reaches of the the top flight.

Fluminense Brasileiro form:

Fluminense form (all competitions):

Avai Brasileiro form:

Team News

Fluminense's Willian celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 2, 2022© Reuters

Fluminense could be without left-back Cristiano, who looks to have picked up an injury, with Caio Paulista again set to play in his absence.

They will, however, welcome centre-back David Braz back to action after a suspension, and he could displace Nino at the heart of the defence.

German Cano will continue to lead the line, having netted six league goals so far this season.

Avai will remain without Douglas Friedrich on Sunday, as the goalkeeper continues to recover from an injury.

They will be able to call on Raniele, Eduardo and Bruno Silva, after the trio served suspensions last time out.

Like his counterpart, front man Guilherme Bissoli has notched up six goals in the top flight so far this season, and he will continue to spearhead the attack for the visitors.

Fluminense possible starting lineup:
Fabio; Xavier, Manoel, Braz, Paulista; Wellington, Yago; Henrique, Ganso, Arias; Cano

Avai possible starting lineup:
Vladimir; Kevin, Bressan, Chaves, Cortez; Cleber, Biasi, Silva; William, Bissoli, Muriqui

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We say: Fluminense 1-1 Avai

Avai come in with plenty of momentum, while their hosts may be lacking a degree of confidence, and we predict a tight contest as a result.

Ultimately, we see a share of the spoils as the most likely outcome, with the newly-promoted side expected to do enough to leave with a point.

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