Campeonato Brasileiro Serie B side Bahia will play host to Serie A title contenders Athletico Paranaense in the first leg of the Copa do Brasil round-of-16 encounter. Both sides are sitting third in their respective divisions after enjoying a positive campaign till now. They had won their last round in a contrasting fashion to progress to the current stage. Hence, when Athletico Paranaense travel to Itaipava Fonte Nova Arena to face Bahia, fans can expect an eye-catching tie.
In the Copa do Brasil, Athletico Paranaense had a relatively comfortable outing against Serie D side Tocantinopolis in the last round. Having won the first leg 5-2, they ran riot in the second leg at home 4-0 to win the tie on a mammoth 9-2 margin. However, their recent domestic form has been a bit patchy. They won only two of their last five games and drew the remaining three matches. In the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, they currently occupy the third spot after securing 21 points from 13 matches.
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On the other hand, Bahia had to dig deep in their last round to reach the current stage. They could only manage a 1-1 aggregate score over Azuriz before clinching the tie 4-3 on penalties. Their recent domestic form, however, has been promising. They won three of their last four games but that one defeat came in the last match against Chapecoense. Hence, Bahia will be looking to bounce back from that loss when they host Athletico Paranaense on Wednesday.
The visitors have a few injury concerns to deal with ahead of their round-of-16 clash on Wednesday. There are doubts over the participation of Vitinho and Agustin Canobbio. Thiago Heleno, who has not recovered from his shoulder problem, could miss the match, while Marlos’ participation is also in doubt. One thing is sure – Christian will not be a part of this tie and it will take time before he returns to action. On the other hand, the hosts do not seem to have many injury concerns, hence they are expected to field a strong Starting XI on Wednesday.
Bahia possible line-up: Fernandes, Jonathan, Otavio, Ignacio, Henrique, Santos, Daniel, Rildo, Mugni, Davo, Rodallega
Athletico Paranaense possible line-up: Bento, Abner, Felipe, Henrique, Pedrinho, Cittadini, Erick, Marlos, Bueno, Terans, Pablo
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The Copa do Brasil encounter between Bahia and Athletico Paranaense will take place at Itaipava Fonte Nova Arena and it will kickoff at 4 am IST on June 23, Thursday.
The Copa do Brasil started on the 22nd of February and will continue till the 19th of October and it will see 92 teams participating in it. The matches are reportedly shown on Rede Globo, SporTV, Premiere and Amazon Prime Video.