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

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

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

Brasileiro basement club Cuiaba will be looking to get their first points on the board when they welcome Internacional to Arena Pantanal on Saturday.

Both clubs are preparing for their first league fixture in over three weeks following the catastrophic floods that hit the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Match preview

© Reuters

After securing a 12th-place finish last season, their highest Brasileiro finish since returning to the top flight four years ago, Cuiaba are the only team who are yet to pick up a single point this term and subsequently sit rock bottom of the table.

Petit‘s side were given a challenging fixture schedule to begin the season, facing current leaders Atletico Paranaense, last season’s runners-up Gremio, 2021 winners Atletico Mineiro and reigning champions Palmeiras, but they have nevertheless lost all four matches by an aggregate score of 10-0.

Cuiaba have also been knocked out of the Copa do Brasil after losing on penalties to second-tier side Goias in the third round, but they have impressed in the Copa Sudamericana having won three and drawn three of their six group games to progress to the knockout rounds, most recently beating Lanus 1-0 away from home on Wednesday.

Already sitting five points adrift from safety in the Brasileiro standings, Cuiaba are hoping to see their fortunes turn for the better in the coming weeks, with Saturday’s clash against Internacional followed by encounters with newly-promoted duo Vitoria and Criciuma.

Success against Internacional could prove challenging, though, as Cuiaba have only won two of their last eight meetings with The Red, who have made a promising start to their league campaign having picked up seven points from their opening four matches.

A surprise 1-0 away victory over champions Palmeiras has been their standout result thus far, but they were unable to use that win as a springboard for a positive run of form as they have since won just one of their last four games in all competitions.

Internacional entered their final Copa Sudamericana group-stage fixture on Wednesday knowing that victory could secure their place in the knockout rounds, but they were beaten 2-1 at home to Belgrano and must settle for a third-place finish.

Eduardo Coudet will hope that his team can quickly brush aside their midweek disappointment and return to winning ways in the Brasileiro as they endeavour to climb into the top six with victory over Cuiaba, a side they beat 2-0 in their last away meeting six months ago.

Cuiaba Brasileiro form:

Cuiaba form (all competitions):

Internacional Brasileiro form:

Internacional form (all competitions):

Team News

Internacional's Rene celebrates scoring their second goal with Internacional's Nicolas Hernandez on September 13, 2023© Reuters

Cuiaba will have to cope without the services of Lucas Fernandes and Filipe Augusto as they continue to recover from respective thigh and muscle injuries.

Marllon could be recalled to either replace Allyson or join him in defence alongside Alan Empereur if Petit opts to revert back to a three-at-the-back system, with Railan and Rikelme potentially taking up the wing-back roles.

Isidro Pitta has scored a team-high 14 goals in all competitions this season, but he is yet to find the net in the Brasileiro. The 24-year-old is still expected to lead the line and could be joined in attack by either or both of Clayson and Eliel.

As for Internacional, Ivan remains sidelined after undergoing knee surgery, while Saturday’s game will likely come too soon for Wanderson as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle.

Coudet is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his starting lineup that is set to include attacking pair Rafael Santos Borre and Enner Valencia, who have scored nine goals between them so far this season.

Cuiaba possible starting lineup:
Walter; Railan, Marlon, Empereur, Rikelme; Alves, Sobral, Denilson; Clayson, Pitta, Eliel

Internacional possible starting lineup:
Rochet; Bustos, Vitao, Mercardo, Rene; Fernando; Mauricio, Patrick, Wesley; Borre, Valencia

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We say: Cuiaba 1-2 Internacional

The fact that Internacional have conceded in five of their last six games should provide Cuiaba with confidence of scoring their first league goal this season, but they still head into Saturday’s contest as underdogs and may struggle to outscore their opponents on this occasion.

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

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