Preview: Criciuma vs. Palmeiras – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: Criciuma vs. Palmeiras – prediction, team news, lineups

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

Criciuma will look to continue their positive start to the Brasileiro season when they take on Palmeiras at Estadio Heriberto Hulse on Sunday night.

The hosts have only played three games this season and have earned five points to date, while the visitors have taken eight points from their first six fixtures.


Match preview

© Reuters

Criciuma have made a very promising start upon their return to Serie A and head into their fourth game of the season still unbeaten following back-to-back draws and a first win in the top flight last time out.

That victory came in emphatic fashion on the road against Vasco da Gama, where the side smashed in four goals without response at the end of last month, just before the league was halted due to the floods.

Fellipe Mateus scored a brace against the Black Shirts on the day, former Everton attacker Yannick Bolasie got his first goal since arriving in the offseason, and Meritao secured the points with the final goal of the afternoon.

The only disappointment the side have experienced this term was in the Copa do Brasil, where they were beaten 3-0 on aggregate by league high-flyers Bahia, though Criciuma were more than competitive in both games and would have taken plenty of positives from their performance across the two-legged tie.

Up next for Claudio Tencati‘s team are Palmeiras, a side that they have not faced since their relegation campaign in 2014 and have not beaten in the Brazilian top flight previously.

Meanwhile, Palmeiras’s title defence has got off to a mixed start and the break in the league may have come at just the right time to allow them to take stock and figure out how to rectify their early-season issues.

Chief among those issues is Verdao’s unexpectedly poor goal-scoring record in the domestic league, having only found the back of the net three times in their six matches, while they are yet to open their account at Arena Barueri this term.

Additionally, after rattling in 14 goals in their first five Copa Libertadores group-stage matches, Abel Ferreira‘s side drew blank in their final match in midweek, which followed a goalless draw away to Botafogo in the Copa do Brasil a week earlier.

Palmeiras will now look to end their mini-goal drought against newly promoted opposition, but the short turnaround time from their midweek fixture is far from ideal, considering Criciuma have had a full week’s rest and have scored in all three of their league games so far.

Nevertheless, the visitors have been excellent on the road this term. They are yet to concede an away defeat in the Copa Libertadores and have earned seven of their eight league points on their travels (W2 D1 L0).

Criciuma Brasileiro form:

Criciuma form (all competitions):

Palmeiras Brasileiro form:

Palmeiras form (all competitions):


Team News

Independiente del Valle's Beder Caicedo in action with Palmeiras' Luis Guilherme on April 24, 2024© Reuters

Tobias Figueiredo is still on his way to recovering from a muscle injury and is expected to remain sidelined until next month. Gustavo has been flagged with a muscle strain and is a doubt.

Barreto missed his first game of the season in the side’s first-leg cup encounter with Bahia due to suspension but should resume his midfield duties here alongside Meritao and Mateus.

Palmeiras are set to be without a few important players for this match, including Mayke, Jose Manuel Lopez and Endrick, all of whom crossed the yellow card threshold when they were cautioned against Athletico-PR before the league stoppage.

Bruno Rodrigues is expected to remain on the treatment table until July, having recently undergone knee surgery, and Dudu is the only long-term absentee owing to a cruciate ligament tear.

Criciuma possible starting lineup:
Gustavo; Claudinho, Fagundes, Angel, Hermes; Mateus, Barreto, Meritao; Bolasie, Caike, Gabriel

Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Rocha, Gomez, Cerqueira, Piquerez; Menino, Rafael, Estevao, Veiga, Lazaro; Rony


SM words green background

We say: Criciuma 1-1 Palmeiras

After ending last season as the league’s top scorers, Palmeiras have found league goals hard to come by this term and will have to make do without two of their forwards here, with Lopez and Endrick suspended.

Having taken four points in two games against Vasco da Gama and Atletico Mineiro, Criciuma have shown they are more than capable of getting results in the top flight, and we feel they will be able to earn a share of the points in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.




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