Gremio will look to take another step towards survival in Brasileiro on Sunday evening when they play host to fellow strugglers Sport Recife.
While Luis Felipe Scolari‘s side have won four of their last six fixtures, the visitors are without a victory in eight fixtures.
Scolari has worked wonders since taking over as Gremio head coach, collecting six wins and two draws from 13 matches to move the club closer to safety.
Possessing two games in hand on many of the teams immediately above them, Gremio could start to move towards mid-table very quickly, putting the Copa Sudamericana qualifiers on their agenda as well.
Nevertheless, on the back of a 4-2 reverse at Athletico Paranaense, Scolari will want to take one fixture at a time ahead of facing one of their rivals.
The former Brazil national coach will hope that conceding four goals in 30 minutes was a mire blip, and everything points to that being the case with just one goal being shipped in their previous five outings.
Despite sitting down in 18th position in the standings, Imortal Tricolor still possess the seventh-best defensive record in the division.
While Gremio can claim to be on an upward trajectory, the same cannot be said of their opponents who continue to search for a long-awaited goal.
Remarkably, Sport have not found the back of the net in eight encounters, while their only two goals in 11 matches have come in the 86th minute or later.
Gustavo Florentin is only four games into the job, but the well-travelled Paraguayan will want to see their streak in front of goal end as soon as possible.
Sport have conceded five times during their last three games, all but one goal being scored during the first half.
Gremio Brasileiro form:
Gremio form (all competitions):
Sport Recife Brasileiro form:
Lucas Silva and Alisson could drop out of the Gremio XI after being withdrawn at half time versus Paranaense.
Douglas Costa, who provided an assist on his appearance as a substitute, and Leo Pereira may take their places in central midfield and on the right flank respectively.
Diogo could be handed an opportunity at left-back with Rafinha due to serve a one-match ban for five yellow cards.
Florentin will continue to swap and change in order to find the right solution, putting Mikael in line for a recall in attack.
Having been given a 30-minute outing as a substitute last time out, Luciano Juba may come in for his first start of the campaign.
Gremio possible starting lineup:
Chapeco; Vanderson, Ruan, Rodrigues, Diogo; Costa, Santos; Pereira, Villasanti, Ferreira; Borja
Sport Recife possible starting lineup:
Mailson; Hayner, Henrique, Sabino, Juba; Marcao, Welison; Everaldo, Hernanes, Moccelin; Mikael
We say: Gremio 2-1 Sport Recife
Having suffered defeat in their last fixture, it remains to be seen whether Gremio’s confidence will be knocked in the long term. Nevertheless, they should have enough belief within their ranks to see off Sport, who cannot afford to lose this game.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Sportsmole.co.uk