Preview: Fluminense vs. Atletico Mineiro – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Brasileiro clash between Fluminense and Atletico Mineiro, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two teams fighting at the top end of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A table will square off on Thursday, as Fluminense entertain Atletico Mineiro.

After 10 rounds of league fixtures, the hosts find themselves fifth in Brazil’s top flight on 17 points, while their visitors are just one better off in fourth spot thanks to a recent unbeaten streak.

Match preview

Fluminense coach Fernando Diniz reacts on April 18, 2023© Reuters

Following a third-placed finish in last season’s edition of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, Fluminense have experienced a mixed start to the new term, having managed 17 points courtesy of five victories and two draws, while also suffering three defeats.

Fernando Diniz‘s side began with back-to-back wins over America Mineiro and Atletico Paranaense, scoring five goals and not conceding in the process, but they would not be able to maintain a winning run, losing to Fortaleza and only managing a draw with Vasco da Gama in the next two outings.

The Tricolor did bounce back with consecutive 2-0 beatings of Cruzeiro and Cuiaba in mid-May but again failed to extend a strong run of form with defeats to Botafogo and Corinthians following alongside losses to The Strongest and Flamengo in the Copa Libertadores group stage and Copa do Brasil round of 16 respectively.

After that saw them drop to eighth spot in Brazil’s top flight, Fluminense did make a return to winning ways against Bragantino, courtesy of goals from Paulo Henrique Ganso and Felipe Melo, only to suffer another continental setback in a 2-0 defeat away at River Plate earlier in June.

Diniz’s men now head into the weekend’s important meeting on the back of an eventful contest away at Goias, in which they twice went ahead through German Cano and Lima, only to be forced to share the spoils, as Alesson drew their hosts level five minutes from time, and now keen to put their inconsistency behind them and string a run together to establish themselves in the fight at the top of the division, they will go in search of a sixth league win of the campaign on Thursday.

Atletico Mineiro's Igor Gomes celebrates after Paulinho scores their second goal on May 24, 2023© Reuters

They meet an Atletico Mineiro side who have recently climbed above their hosts and will aim to continue a much stronger run of form.

In their bid to regain the Brasileiro title after a disappointing defence last season, the Galo experienced a slow start to the new league campaign, amassing just four points from their opening four games, but they have since gone six league matches unbeaten, starting with consecutive wins over Cuiaba, Internacional and Coritiba.

Following an important victory over Atletico Paranaense in the Copa Libertadores group stage in late May, the Galo played out a commendable 1-1 draw away at defending Brasileiro champions Palmeiras, before exiting the Copa do Brasil at the hands of Corinthians and returning to winning ways in the league with a 1-0 triumph away at Cruzeiro, thanks to Hulk‘s first-half goal.

Hulk would again hit the only goal in the following trip to Alianza Lima in the Copa Libertadores, before they most recently hosted Bragantino and were held to a 1-1 draw as Eduardo Sasha levelled for their visitors after Paulinho‘s opener, and in the aftermath of that contest, manager Eduardo Coudet’s departure was confirmed following reported disagreements with the club hierarchy.

Since that change last week, the club acted quickly to appoint experienced manager Luiz Felipe Scolari to lead this year’s title charge, and now with a one-point gap to third-placed Flamengo and a six-point gap to leaders Botafogo, Atletico Mineiro will be keen to put a run of wins together under their new boss to strengthen their position in the coming weeks.

Fluminense Brasileiro form:

Fluminense form (all competitions):

Atletico Mineiro Brasileiro form:

Atletico Mineiro form (all competitions):

Team News

Fluminense's German Cano celebrates scoring their second goal on April 5, 2023© Reuters

Fluminense could come into Thursday’s game with an unchanged starting XI from their draw with Goias, with German Cano bound to again lead the line having netted three goals in eight league appearances so far this term alongside five in four Copa Libertadores matches.

Matheus Martinelli should again join Andre at the base of the midfield, while Felipe Melo will hope to come back into the middle of the defence after serving a suspension last time out.

In his absence, Manoel and Nino partnered up at the back, while the likes of Lele, Lima, Jhon Arias and Keno will fight for attacking spots around Cano.

We are yet to see how Luiz Felipe Scolari will line up his Atletico Mineiro side, although veteran forward Hulk is expected to return from the outset and lead the line after being suspended last time out, having already managed five league goals this term alongside two assists.

That could see Eduardo Vargas drop back to the bench, while Paulinho should continue to play an important role in attack, lending support to the striker from the centre.

Rodrigo Battaglia and Matias Zaracho partnered up in midfield last time out, and Scolari is unlikely to change that pairing, while Mauricio Lemos and Jemerson should both keep their places at centre-back.

Fluminense possible starting lineup:
Fabio; Guga, Nino, Melo, Pirani; Martinelli, Andre; Arias, Lima; Cano, Lele

Atletico Mineiro possible starting lineup:
Everson; Mariano, Lemos, Jemerson, Rubens; Battaglia, Zaracho; Pavon, Paulinho, Gomes; Hulk

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We say: Fluminense 1-2 Atletico Mineiro

After their positive start to the season under Coudet, we are yet to see how this Atletico Mineiro side will react to the change in management and take to life under Luiz Felipe Scolari, but with strong foundations in place and plenty of quality throughout their squad, we fancy them to come out on top away from home in Thursday’s important contest.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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