Sunday’s Brazilian Serie A action sees Internacional playing host to Corinthians. The home side well be looking to take full advantage of the visitors’ vulnerable state.
Internacional’s dominant 3-0 home win over Chapecoense on Tuesday moved the side up into the top half of Serie A after 6 matches and ended a run of 4 league matches without a win. It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Odair Hellmann’s troops, clashing with Palmeiras, Cruzeiro, Flamengo and Grêmio and another tough test awaits in this one with champions Corinthians in town.
Nonetheless, coming into the season as a newly promoted side, Colorado can be happy with their work so far, particularly as hosts. Inter have taken 7 points from their 3 home league games thus far, failing to concede a goal in the process. Across all competitions, the hosts have won 4 of their last 5 at the Estádio José Pinheiro Borda, contributing to a run that, reads 10 wins from 13 home matches so far in 2018.
Whilst those statistics wouldn’t usually be concerning for Corinthians, they certainly are now, with Timao arriving lacking several key players and more importantly, lacking iconic boss Fabio Carille, who has left for pastures new in Saudi Arabia. Carille had turned Corinthians into Brazil’s dominant force and it remains to be seen if the team will hit the same heights in his absence.
Early suggestions would certainly suggest that they won’t, with caretaker boss Osmar Loss having overseen defeat in the first game without Carille in a midweek Libertadores clash with Millonarios. Whilst the result wasn’t of huge importance with a last 16 place already secured, it was a chance for the team to raise spirits in front of the home crowd in a game they were expect to win, but all they actually achieved was putting further question marks on their ability to cope without their mastermind.
Internacional have caught Corinthians at just the right moment and will surely be licking their lips. Corinthians looked heavily affected by the loss of their boss against a fairly weak opponent midweek and with Internacional in such strong shape at home, they look in pole position to further lower morale in visiting ranks.
All things considered, backing a home win is the only way to play here. Internacional have made a bright start to the campaign considering the opponents they’ve had to face. A trip to Porto Alegre is the last thing Corinthians need right now and we fancy them to go back to Sao Paulo empty handed, with a 2-0 Internacional win on the cards.
Internacional possible starting XI: Lomba; Zeca, Moledo, Klaus, Iago; Dourado, Edenilson, Patrick, Pottker, Lucca; Damiao.
Corinthians possible starting XI: Walter; Mantuan, Balbuena, Henrique, Sidcley; Maycon, Roberto, Jadson, Rodriguinho, Vital; Dutra
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The sides met in the Brazilian Cup last season, with Internacional winning on penalties after two 1-1 draws. The last league meetings between the sides came in the 2016 Serie A season, with Corinthians winning both games.
Defender Victor Cuesta is suspended. Playmaker Andres D’Alessandro may miss out with a knock.
There are a host of problems for the visitors. Goalkeeper Cassio and right back Fagner are away on international duty, whilst defensive midfielder Gabriel is suspended. Meanwhile, Ralf, Rene Junior and Clayson all miss out through injury