Fortaleza will take on Ceara in the first leg of the Copa do Brasil Round of 16 clash at Castelao on Wednesday. The hosts are heading into the tie on the back of a 1-0 win over America-MG in a domestic league match, while Ceara were held to a goalless draw by Cuiaba last time out. Meanwhile a year ago, Fortaleza knocked Ceara out of this competition, winning the second leg of that third round tie 3-0 after the opening ended 1-1. Hence, the visitors will have revenge in their minds when they travel to Fortaleza.
— Fortaleza Esporte Clube 🦁 (@FortalezaEC) June 22, 2022
The 2022 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A season has been disastrous for Fortaleza so far, sitting at the 19th spot in the 20-team table with just 10 points from 13 games. However, the Swarthy has been in decent form when it comes to the cup competition having had a fairly comfortable run to the last-16 of the competition. Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s side thrashed third-tier side Vitoria 4-0 on aggregate in the third round. At this tournament in 2021, Fortaleza utilized their home advantage to good effect to reach the last-4 stage. Their success largely depends on the performance of the wing-backs who join the attack most often or not. However, because the wing-backs are attack-minded, it often creates enough space in the defence for the opposition to exploit.
Ceara, on the other hand, are trying to gel into their new boss Marquinhos Santos’ system. Santos took charge of the team from Dorvial Junior a few weeks ago and is still in the experimental stage. The 43-year-old tactician has been trying to implement an attacking game plan and so far his players have failed to deliver, registering two consecutive goalless draws in their last two games. However, the positive thing is that Santos’s side has managed to keep two clean sheets. The 4-3-3 formation has certainly given more options while going forward and the holding midfielders have done a decent job of providing cover to the attacking full-backs.
Fortaleza has some injury issues as Tinga is unavailable because of a ligament issue while Matheus Vargas is sidelined with a thigh injury and won’t be back until late June. Romero is expected to lead Fortaleza’s attack alongside Robson. Jussa and Felipe could form the midfield duo with Lima and Pikachu occupying the flanks. As for Ceara, midfielder Vina is expected to play the role of an attacking midfielder with Wescley and Lindoso sitting in front of the back four. Meanwhile Richard continues to nurse a hamstring problem, and Detinho and Rafael both are out with thigh issues.
Fortaleza probable starting lineup: Boeck; Capixaba, Ceballos, Benevenuto, Landazuri; Lima, Felipe, Jussa, Pikachu; Robson, Romero.
Ceara probable starting lineup: Ricardo; Kelvyn, Messias, Otavio, Buiu; Wescley, Lindoso, Vina; Jael, Clever, Erick.
The Copa do Brasil encounter between Fortaleza and Ceara will take place at Castelao and it will kickoff at 4:30 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.