The relaxed Cruzeiro returns to the field this Sunday, November 5, to fulfill yet another commitment established by the table of the Brazilian Championship edition 2017. For the thirty-second round, he faces Atlético-PR. The game will be held from 17h (Brasília time) at Mineirão, in Belo Horizonte.
Cruzeiro’s recent performance
The lack of goals in this final stretch of the season since Cruzeiro has already secured its place in the group stage of the 2018 Copa Libertadores of America has created an anticipated holiday mood for the cast, which is more concerned with the holiday season and with plans for next season.
This lack of interest was evident in Coritiba’s away defeat in Curitiba and their home defeat at Atletico-MG when Raposa lost 3-1.
This meant that before facing Palmeiras on Monday, October 30, coach Mano Menezes had to resort to an old trick to motivate his players. He showed athletes comments from analysts who considered Cruzeiro a ‘dead chicken’.
He had a positive response to the strategy. The team showed more will in the confrontation, was twice in command of the marker, but ended up having to settle for a 2-2 draw.
This type of doping has short validity and will not work if it is repeated frequently. Thus, soon after the match against the alvverde, the mining club returned to its pre-season in advance. Player negotiations and contract renewals took over the news, leaving the Brasileirão dispute again in the background.
For the game this Sunday, defender Murilo became doubt. The 20-year-old athlete, who was being tipped for transfer by European teams, needed to leave within 15 minutes of the second half of the duel against Palmeiras with left knee pain. However, the expectation is that he will recover in time and be released to act.
The current form of Atlético-PR
The Hurricane has a clear objective in the remaining rounds to finish the Brasileirao. Conquer the opportunity to play the next edition of Libertadores. For that, he would need to be in the top seven.
However, it has not managed to get a place in the elite block of the standings. In the round of number 30, he missed a great opportunity to approach the peloton when he was in the goalless draw with Chapecoense in Arena da Baixada.
With 42 points (11 wins, nine draws and 11 losses), he finished the day in ninth place, five points behind Flamengo, then in seventh place. Among them is still Vasco, another team eyeing the zone of classification for the Libertadores, with 44 points.
For the game this Sunday, however, coach Fabiano Soares will not be able to count on one of his most important players. The striker Nikão was suspended for five games by the Superior Court of Justice Sports. The club appealed the ruling and was able to suspend the punishment until a new trial is held. However, this measure still does not apply to the duel against Cruzeiro.
Doubt for the confrontation is the defender Thiago Heleno. With pain, he missed out on training throughout the week. If he is not released to act, Paulo André, who recovers from injury, would be the first option, but it also depends on the green signal from the medical department. Side Zé Ivaldo, if the two were barred, could be improvised in the rear next to Wanderson.
Without suspension suspensions, Fabiano Soares also awaits the doctors’ word to know if he can count on right-back Gustavo Cascardo and the driver Deivid, also in recovery phase of injuries.
History of the bouts between Cruzeiro and Atlético-PR
Cruzeiro took the best in the duel against Atletico-PR in 15 matches by the Brasileirão since 1971. Same number of registered equals. The Hurricane racked up 12 victories in the showdown. In the first round of 2017, the miners made 2 to 0 in the Baixada.