Preview: America Mineiro vs. Bragantino – prediction, team news, lineups’ Sports Mole previews Friday’s Copa Sudamericana clash between America Mineiro and Bragantino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
America Mineiro welcome Bragantino to Belo Horizonte for their Copa Sudamericana last 16 first leg on Thursday night.
In an all-Brazil clash, the hosts will hope to perform much better than they have done domestically, where they are currently embroiled in a relegation battle.
Preview: America Mineiro vs. Bragantino – prediction, team news, lineups
In their first-ever appearance in the knockout rounds of a continental competition, America Mineiro have more than a few distractions to deal with at the moment.
Their 5-1 thrashing of Colo Colo in the second leg of the previous round remains their only win in the last six games.
Since the start of the Brasileiro season, America have lost 15 of their 28 games, and won just two in the league.
No wins in their last seven on the league front sees them second bottom, and right in the mix of the relegation fight.
A 4-1 thrashing at home by Palmeiras at the weekend may well have dented confidence further heading into this clash, as that took them to 37 goals conceded in just 18 games – five worse than any other side in Brazil’s top flight.
Had it not been for a 93rd-minute consolation from Ale in their first leg defeat in Chile to Colo Colo, then they may not have made it this far.
It was another close call in the group stage too, as a final day victory in Uruguay against Penarol saw them leapfrog Millonarios into second on goal difference to reach the preliminary round.
Progression from the group stage was almost miraculous, considering that America had collected just four points from their opening four games.
For Bragantino, spirits are much higher, and they come into this clash knowing they have good recent form at this venue.
On their last five visits, Bragantino have won on four occasions, keeping three clean sheets.
However, at the tail end of last season, they were thrashed 4-1 by America on home soil.
A three-game winless run where Bragantino failed to score was put to an end at the weekend as Pedro Caixinha‘s side comfortably beat Fortaleza 3-0, keeping them in the Copa Libertadores places at present.
Unlike America, Bragantino did not need to go through the preliminary round to get this far, as they won their group.
A 7-1 hammering of Tacuary on the final matchday held off a challenge from Estudiantes to take top spot.
Their recent scoring troubles come as something of a surprise considering they netted 21 goals in their six Sudamericana group games.
America Mineiro Copa Sudamericana form:
America Mineiro form (all competitions):
Bragantino Copa Sudamericana form:
Bragantino form (all competitions):
Defensive pairing Danilo Avelar and Ricardo Silva are currently sidelined for America, so Nicolas Vichiatto and Iago Maidana should continue to deputise.
Seventeen-year-old future star Adyson is also out, along with striking partner Dada Belmonte.
Manager Vagner Mancini made a couple of personnel changes for their last continental outing and it paid off with their 5-1 win.
Rodriguinho, Cesar, Lucas Kal and Mateusinho, who netted two in that win, could be among the players who all come back in here.
Defender Lucas Cunha remains out for Bragantino, having not featured since the end of March.
Ignacio Laquintana has made just two appearances for the club since arriving from Penarol, and is expected to remain out, along with Raul who has missed all of 2023.
Eduardo Santos‘s knee injury forced him off early in their draw with Sao Paulo at the start of June, and he has been absent ever since.
America Mineiro possible starting lineup:
Mateus Pasinato; Iago Maidana, Eder Ferreira, Cesar; Rodriguinho, Ale, Cascardo, Nicolas Vichiatto; Matheusinho, Rodrigo Varanda, Mastriani
Bragantino possible starting lineup:
Cleiton; Leo Ortiz, Natan, Juninho Capixaba; Vitinho, Lucas Evangelista, Matheus Fernandes, Eric Ramires, Luan Candido; Eduardo Sasha, Borbas
We say: America Mineiro 0-2 Bragantino
America’s recent form is a big worry despite their thrashing of Colo Colo in the last round.
Mancini will hope that bringing in some of their fringe players could pay off again, but if Bragantino are on their game, they should take a first leg lead back to Sao Paulo.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data
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