Friday’s Brazilian Serie A clash features an exciting looking derby between America Mineiro and Atletico Mineiro. Plenty of action is expected at both ends of the pitch.
Newly promoted America kept up their good start to the campaign with a 3-1 home win over Atletico PR at the weekend. Tipped to go straight back down, as they did in 2016, Coelho will be pleased with the work they’ve done so far, currently standing 11th after taking 13 points from 9 matches.
All but one of those points have came on home soil, where Enderson Moreira’s have looked a real force, playing positive, attacking football on the way to winning 4 of their opening 5 Serie A home matches, scoring an average of 2 goals a game in the process. Whilst both of these sides share the Estádio Raimundo Sampaio, it’s America who actually own and identify more with the stadium and the hosts will certainly be looking to use home advantage once again in the fixture, with Atletico given just 10% of the tickets.
Atletico arrive looking to keep up their recent dominance of the derby, having lived up to their bigger name by winning each of the last 6 meetings. Nonetheless, Galo certainly don’t arrive with momentum behind them and have now won just 1 of the last 5 games across all competitions.
Thiago Larghi’s men had started the season in strong fashion but have now dropped down to 10th after taking just 1 point from the last available 9. That, coupled with Copa Sudamericana and Brazilian Cup exits has pressure beginning to mount on the boss and he can ill-afford to lose to his rivals in this clash.
Ultimately, we’re expecting a very open game as both sides chase bragging rights. Atletico are the bigger of the two and have the stronger squad on paper, but they face an America side in better form than themselves and one that is desperate to end their miserable derby record in front of a home crowd they typically perform so well in front of.
Best value looks to be found in backing both nets to be hit. America play with a no-fear approach in all of their matches and that’s something more than apparent by taking into account that 6 of their last 8 matches have seen goals at both ends. Meanwhile, Atletico have been showing some real defensive deficiencies in their last couple of games, losing 3-2 to Sport and drawing 3-3 with Chapecoense.
All things considered, we’re going to back a 2-2 draw come full time in addition to our main pick. This particular edition of the derby looks set to ignite and it should be a highly entertaining 90 minutes of football.
America Mineiro possible starting XI: Jori; Neto, Messias, Ferraz, Giovanni; Juninho, Savio; Aylon, Serginho, Magrao; Judivan.
Atletico Mineiro possible starting XI: Victor; Emerson, Bremer, Gabriel. Santos; Blanco, Elias, Luan, Cazares, Guedes; Oliveira.
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Atletico Mineiro have dominated this fixture in recent years, winning 6 games in a row against America, including 3 times earlier on in the year in the Campeonato Mineiro.
Late calls will be made on left back Carlinhos as well as Leandro Donizete and Rafael Moura. Joao Ricardo, Lima and Matheusino remain sidelined.
No problems reported in the build up to kick off.