Fluminense will play host to Campeonato Brasileiro Serie B side Cruzeiro in the Copa do Brasil round-of-16 first-leg tie on Thursday. The game which will be played at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro will see both sides looking to extend their stay in the competition on the back of contrasting domestic performances. Fluminense are placed sixth in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A table, having managed 18 points from 13 games so far. On the other hand, Cruzeiro are topping Serie B with 31 points from the same number of matches.
In the previous round, Fluminense got past Vila Nova 5-2 on aggregate. After winning the first leg 3-2 at home, they won the second leg away from home 2-0. However, their run of form in recent weeks has been inconsistent. In the five matches they have played in June, Fluminense won two, lost two and drew the other. If they are to go deep in this competition then Thursday’s hosts will have to find a way to add a bit more consistency to their game.
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On the other hand, Cruzeiro are enjoying a fine run of form. After winning their last round in this competition on penalties against Remo, the Serie B leaders have been almost unstoppable in domestic matches. They have won six of their last seven games since playing this competition last time. Their only defeat came against Vasco da Gama earlier this month. Hence, Cruzeiro will be hoping to maintain their recent good form when they travel to the Maracana.
There are not many injury concerns for both sides to deal with, hence they could field a strong starting lineup for the clash. Fluminense could miss Felipe Melo and Cris Silva for this match. Infact, the duo could be on the sidelines for quite some time. Besides, question marks remain over the participation of Luan Freitas due to a concern with his knee. On the other hand, Cruzeiro do not seem to have any known major concerns, hence they could name a strong Starting XI.
Fluminense possible line-up: Fabio, Calegari, Claro, Nino, M. Xavier, Wellington, Andre, Nathan, Henrique, Ganso, Cano
Cruzeiro possible line-up: Cabral, Ivaldo, Brock, Oliveira, Willian, Romulo, Moura, Bidu, Rodolfo, Silva, Edu
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The Copa do Brasil encounter between Fluminense and Cruzeiro will take place at Maracana and it will kickoff at 3:30 am IST on June 24, Friday.
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.