Almost 60,000 fans are expected to fill the Mineirão; Eduardo Coudet’s team plays for the tie to take the state championship
– 12:50 pm
(updated at 12:52 pm)
Suddenly, the final match of the Mineiro Championship will be disputed under the impact of the debuts of the two finalists in the South American disputes, in the middle of the week. Atlético-MG’s life changed from water to wine. With an advantage in the decision, he lost in the debut of the group stage of the Copa Libertadores and enters the field on Sunday, in Mineirão, at 16:30 against América-MG with a totally different mood.
The final stage will be full, with a guaranteed record audience. On Wednesday, Atletica fans had already bought 46,000 tickets, hitting their biggest mark of the year the following day, 46,482 fans. The Mineirão should receive close to 60 thousand fans.
The biggest champion in Minas Gerais, with 47 titles, and the current three-time champion, Atlético is looking for the fourth consecutive title against América, with 16 titles, the last one in 2016. Outside the decision, Cruzeiro has 38 titles, with the last achievement in 2018. Atlético , therefore, struggle to maintain the hegemony of Minas Gerais.
With the best campaign of the first phase and after winning the first leg by 3-2, at Arena Independência, Atlético-MG may even lose by a goal difference and still retain the title. América-MG, on the other hand, thrashed in their debut in the Copa Sudamericana and enters with renewed emotion, needing to win by two or more goals to keep the title.
In the middle of the week, Atlético-MG lost 1-0 to Libertad-PAR, in the middle of Mineirão. The result led to protests from the fans and harsh criticism from coach Eduardo Coudet to the athletic leadership, which did not accept well and the coach swayed in office. “That wasn’t what they had promised me, with player departures. I was only with 18 players, we lost and were criticized. I asked the directors to find me a form of departure in my contract”, said the technician after the criticisms received by the defeat.
The coach also directly criticized the athletic board: “What they told me is that there will be an investment in June. But how to reach June? I asked the investor. How to reach June with 20 players? That’s it, so let’s work We have many good players. Few, but very good. Let’s try to play in the best way. So we prepare to play a final?”, questioned Eduardo Coudet.
Late Friday afternoon, after meeting with the board, he changed his speech and apologized: “I recognize that it was not the right time to say those things, nor the best place, which would be internally.”
On the other hand, América beat the bogeyman Peñarol-URU by 4-1 and lead their group in the Copa Sudamericana, which excited coach Vagner Mancini: “We played against a traditional club and, without modesty, we could have a bigger score. Our team is very aware of its conditions and we are confident in this decision with Atlético”.
For the match, Eduardo Coudet will have as main novelty the presence of striker Hulk, who continues to be decisive for the team. He was absent from the opening game of the Libertadores in Paraguay. The challenge will be to assemble a competitive team with strong emotions after the pressure suffered on Thursday. The trend is that Patrick and Edenilson are in the starting lineup, different from the formation that played in the first game. The latter was booed in the defeat at Libertadores.
There is no shortage by discipline, but the list of injured remains high: Guilherme Arana, Alan Kardec, Allan, Bruno Fuchs and Igor Rabello. On the side of América-MG, Vagner Mancini will not have left-back Marlon, expelled in the first leg. The drop will not be a problem, as it is considered a reserve. Nicolas is confirmed in the position. With this, the coach must maintain the same team base of the last games.
The rout over Peñarol filled América with motivation: “We’ll have to attack Atlético. There’s no way to win the way we want if we don’t attack. But the imponderable can happen, as happened in the first game. There’s no way to win, if we are not brave and attack Atletico from the start of the match,” said Mancini.
ATLÉTICO-MG X AMERICA-MG
ATLÉTICO-MG: Everson; Saravia, Mauricio Lemos, Jemerson and Dodô; Otávio, Edenílson, Patrick and Zaracho; Paulinho and Hulk. Technician: Eduardo Coudet.
AMERICA-MG: Cavichioli; Arthur, Ricardo Silva, Maidana and Nicolas; Ale, Juninho and Benitez. Matheuzinho, Mastriani and Felipe Azevedo. Technician: Vagner Mancini.
Judge: Flavio Rodrigues de Souza
Time: 4:30 pm.
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