Sunday’s Brazilian Serie A clash sees a struggling Ceara side hosting in-form Cruzeiro. The visitors will be looking to pile on their newly promoted opponent’s misery.
Though it was always going to be a tough ask for Ceara to stay up after rather unexpectedly gaining promotion from Serie B last season, Vozão don’t even look like putting up a fight unless performances turn around massively.
With an uninspiring squad and looking devoid of quality all over the pitch, Ceara are yet to win any of their first 8 outings and are now 10 matches without success across all competition. Second bottom on just 3 points, new boss Jorginho certainly has his work cut out and has got off to a terrible start himself over the last week, losing to both Gremio and Ceara without even so much as scoring.
By contrast, Cruzeiro have turned around their slow start to the season and are now in full flow, winning 8 of their last 10 games across all fronts. A 1-0 league win over Palmeiras in midweek has lifted La Bestia Negra up to 7th place on 13 points, and in such excellent form, the visitors have their sights set on gaining further ground on the teams above them.
Arriving off the back of back consecutive 1-0 wins, Cruzeiro are grinding out results nicely and are very strong defensively. Mano Menezes’s troops have conceded just 3 goals in Serie A action so far and will be looking to use strong defensive foundations to secure the 3 points once again.
There can only be one pick here and that’s on the away win. Man for man Cruzeiro are by far the better side and it’ll be a huge surprise if they don’t continue their hot streak against a Ceara side that simply doesn’t look cut out for top flight football.
Ceara have offered little to nothing in their outings so far and with Cruzeiro having seen off some strong opponents in recent weeks, there’s really no reason to oppose our tip. All things considered, a 2-0 Cruzeiro win looks the way to play and that’s a scoreline worth backing in addition to the visitors claiming victory. Ceara do not possess the tools to trouble a strong Cruzeiro defence whilst at the other end the visitors should have no issues in putting a couple of goals in.
Ceara possible starting XI: Everson; Xavier, Valdo, Otavio, Santos; Pio, Juninho, Ricardinho; Wescley, Elton, Coutinho.
Cruzeiro possible starting XI: Fabio; Edilson, Leo, Dede, Egidio; Silva, Henrique, Sobis, Neves, Mancuello; Sassa.
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The sides have not met since the 2011 Serie A campaign, in which the game in Ceara ended 2-2 following a 2-0 Cruzerio win in Belo Horizonte.
Forward Arthur remains on the sidelines.
Attacking midfielder Robinho is suspended whilst Rafinha and Fred miss out through injury. Giorgian de Arrascaeta is on international duty.