Friday’s Brazilian Serie A clash sees two out-of-form sides do battle, with Atletico PR hosting Santos.
Though they didn’t win at the weekend, Atletico PR at least halted a losing run of 5 matches across all competitions with an improved performance in a 0-0 draw at Parana. Said stalemate was Fernando Diniz’s troops’ third from 7 opening Serie A matches, seeing the side currently occupying the final relegation spot with just 6 points.
Typically a powerful host, Furacão have been struggling on their own patch in recent weeks, falling to defeats across league and cup action against strong opponents in the form of Palmeiras, Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro respectively. Nonetheless, previously 15 matches unbeaten at the Arena da Baixada prior to the current losing streak and still having won 9 of their last 14 home outings, there’s plenty of reason to believe Atletico could return to winning ways in this clash.
None more so than because they face a Santos side in crisis. As we’ve frequently discussed, financial issues have seriously diluted the quality of Peixe’s squad but supporters have not aligned their expectations with reality, seeing pressure mount on boss Jair Ventura.
Whistled off the pitch after a home defeat to Cruzeiro over the weekend, Ventura himself outlined the difficulties of his job, stating that “financial issues mean I cannot even have a complete subs bench”. The visitors are now winless in 4 matches after the aforementioned result and lie just one place above Atletico PR in the bale on goal difference.
A return to road action is simply the last thing the under-fire visitors need right now, with performances truly awful away from home comforts, where showings have at least remained competitive. Santos have lost 5 consecutive away games coming into this one, including a defeat at third tier Luverdense and a 5-1 mauling at Gremio.
As such, one has to fancy Atletico PR to claim the points and that’s exactly where our money is going. Prior to meeting some strong opponents, the hosts were running along nicely on home soil and up against an opponent showing absolutely no resolve whatsoever on their travels, they should be able to pick up the three points, with a 1-0 margin of victory on the cards.
Atletico PR possible starting XI: Santos; Rossetto, Wanderson, Helano, Ivaldo, Carleto; Gonzalez, Camacho; Nikao, Felipe, Guilherme.
Santos possible starting XI: Vanderlei; Ferraz, Henrique, Verissimo, Dodo; Renato, Sasha, Bueno, Mota, Rodrygo; Gabriel.
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Santos have dominated this clash in recent meetings, winning the last 6 games between the two. Nonetheless, Atletico PR have lost just 1 of their last 9 Serie A home games to Santos, winning 5 times in the process.
No problems reported in the build up to kick off.
Defensive midfielder Alison joins attacking mifdielder Bruno Henrique on the sidelines.