Fluminense welcome Santos to the Maracana in the Brasileirao on Thursday at 11pm (UK time).
It has been a tentative start to the campaign for both these sides, who have shared just the single win each across their opening three matches, placing an early emphasis on putting some points on the board even at this stage of the season.
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Scoreline prediction: Fluminense 1-1 Santos
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Fluminense vs Santos build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
After a goalless stalemate away to Sao Paulo on matchday one, Roger Machado’s men collected their first win of the season back in Rio de Janeiro, beating Cuiaba 1-0, but a 2-2 draw on the road to Red Bull Bragantino last time out has just dulled the early momentum.
For the 2020 Copa Libertadores finalists, Santos, they have started the Brasileirao season with mixed results, suffering a debilitating 3-0 reversal to Bahia in their curtain-raiser, before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over Ceara, and following up with a more subdued 0-0 with Juventude.
- Fluminense (vs Bragantino): Marcos; Xavier, Nino, Braz, Egidio; Wellington, Yago, Paulista, Ganso, Henrique; Hernandez.
- Santos (vs Juventude): John; Para, Felipe*, Petroni, Jonatan; Pirani, Alison, Mota; Marinho, Guilherme, Jorge.
Hudson is sidelined with knee ligament damage for the hosts. Santos, meanwhile, remain without long-term absentees Jobson and Sandry, while Luiz Felipe has tendonitis and may not be risked. Luan Peres is suspended.
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Players to watch:
- Fluminense: Tipped for the very top when he first burst onto the scene with Santos, Ganso hasn’t quite delivered on his early promise, racking up a commendable eight caps for Brazil, but you would have to add an extra ‘0’ to that number to understand where many were backing him to be at this stage in his career. A three-year existence with Sevilla between 2016 and 2019 — as well as a short loan with Amiens — was all Europe got to see of the mercurial playmaker, and in truth, the performances were nothing out of the ordinary. Now back in Brazil, Ganso remains hot property in his homeland and a vital cog in Fluminese’s system, as he looks to bring the magic that will haunt his old club.
- Santos: Hype, as in the case of Ganso, can be a poisoned chalice, but there can be no getting away from the talents of 19-year-old Kaio Jorge, the latest gem to emerge from Santos’ esteemed production line. Indeed the Vila Belmiro has proven a real talent factory over the years and recently-appointed Fernando Diniz will be hoping the club have unearthed the latest gem. Already a consistent first-teamer, the teenage striker will be eyeing up further goals to keep his stock on an upward trajectory.