At Estadio da Ressacada on Saturday, mid-table Avai will host league-leading Palmeiras as they continue their pursuit of Brasileiro championship and their first since 2018.
The Sao Paulo giants are in first place in the Serie A standings, already eleven points ahead of their opponents in eleventh place, despite having their lengthy unbeaten streak in the Copa do Brasil snapped this week.
Palmeiras eventually had their impressive 19-match unbeaten streak snapped by the same opponents in the cup just two days after a thrilling league victory over city rivals Sao Paulo on Monday.
Patrick, a striker for Morumbi, scored the game’s lone goal in the first leg of their round of 16 encounter despite eluding the attention of both Danilo and Gustavo Gomez, causing Abel Ferreira’s club to suffer their first defeat since early April.
Palmeiras will now need to exploit home advantage to defeat their Choque-Rei opponents for the third consecutive time in knockout football, just as on the path to last year’s Copa Libertadores victory and in this year’s Paulista event.
However, they are 10 points ahead of their former rivals in the Serie A standings after 13 matches after shocking Sao Paulo 2-1 on Monday with two goals in stoppage time.
Ferreira’s attack-minded team, who have scored at a league-high rate of nearly two goals per game during their lengthy unbroken run of success, boasts 15 wins and four draws. They will undoubtedly be eager to bounce back right away from their first setback.
With their Copa do Brasil match’s second leg not until mid-July and a last-16 Libertadores match against Cerro Porteno of Paraguay on the horizon, playing promoted opponents gives the ideal opportunity to do so.
Despite failing to achieve their goal of a third consecutive victory last weekend, which would have allowed them to move into the top half of the competitive Serie A standings, Avai has done a commendable job of adjusting to life in the Brazilian top division this season.
The club from Santa Catarina state, which had been defeated 2-0 by Fluminense the previous time out, had been regaining its form in recent weeks. A 1-0 win away at fellow promoted side Botafogo was followed by an exciting 3-2 victory over Fortaleza.
As a result, Eduardo Barroca’s club is still only one point outside the top six and three points above the bottom three.
As they invite South America’s most fearsome force to Florianopolis, Leao da Ilha—the “Lion of the Island”—step up their game once more.
As they fulfill their third match in less than a week, Palmeiras are undoubtedly poised to recover right away, fueled by the bitter taste of defeat to their fierce rivals. It’s worth noting that Avai’s defensive record is among the poorest in Serie A thus far.