The hosts now sit ninth on 16 points after a defeat to Sao Paulo in midweek, while their visitors climbed up to 14th spot and within four points of their opponents with an important return to winning ways in their last outing.
Following their sixth-placed finish in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A table last season, Athletico Paranaense enjoyed a positive start to the new term, winning four of their opening six league games and only suffering defeats to Fluminense and Atletico Mineiro to sit on 12 points.
Paulo Turra’s side have been unable to sustain that form, though, having now added just four further points to their tally in five Brasileiro outings since, firstly suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Bragantino and Gremio in late May.
Following those results and a penalty shootout win over Botafogo in the Copa do Brasil round-of-16 tie, after a 1-0 away defeat on the day, the Rubro-Negro returned to winning ways in Brazil’s top flight with a 1-0 triumph in another meeting with league leaders Botafogo, thanks to Alex Santana’s goal on the stroke of half time.
That was followed by another 1-0 victory over Libertad in the Copa Libertadores group stage, keeping Turra’s men at the top of their group heading into the final game, but they now head into Saturday’s contest on the back of consecutive disappointing results, firstly being held to a 2-2 draw away at America Mineiro, despite leading 2-0 through Vitor Roque and Christian, as Danilo Avelar drew their hosts level in the 96th minute.
Now following a 2-1 defeat away at Sao Paulo, in which Roque again opened the scoring before Gabriel Neves and Luciano turned the game on its head, the Rubro-Negro find themselves ninth in the table with just a two-point lead over the three sides below them and a four-point lead over Saturday’s visitors, and they will now be keen to stop their slide and make a return to winning ways on home turf.
Preview: Athletico PR vs. Corinthians – prediction, team news, lineups
They meet a Corinthians side who will hope to continue a climb up the table after enduring a tough start to the new league campaign.
They did make a winning start in the Brasileiro against Cruzeiro but would then suffer back-to-back defeats, and the return of Vanderlei Luxemburgo as manager at the beginning of May did not kickstart a positive run, as their wait for a victory was stretched to six games by two draws and two defeats.
The Timao would then stop the rot with an important 2-0 triumph over Fluminense at the end of May, but after also beating Atletico Mineiro in a penalty shootout in their Copa do Brasil round-of-16 tie, Luxemburgo’s side would again suffer consecutive losses, falling at the hands of America Mineiro and Independiente del Valle in the Brazilian top flight and the Copa Libertadores group stage respectively.
Aiming to bounce back from those results and move clear of the bottom end of the league table, Corinthians then hosted Cuiaba but were only able to take an underwhelming point from a 1-1 draw thanks to Ruan Oliveira’s 81st-minute equaliser, before they most recently travelled to Santos and added an important notch to their wins column, eventually triumphing 2-0 thanks to goals from Yuri Alberto and Oliveira.
Such a result means that, after their disappointing start, the Timao do at least have a four-point lead over the bottom four at this early stage of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A season, and they will now turn their focus upwards and bid to quickly climb the division with an improved run of form on the back of their recent victory.
Athletico Paranaense Brasileiro form:
Athletico Paranaense form (all competitions):
Corinthians Brasileiro form:
Corinthians form (all competitions):
We say: Athletico Paranaense 1-2 Corinthians
The visitors should have a degree of renewed confidence in their ranks after the return to winning ways last time out, and while the Rubro-Negro will cause them problems, they appear to be on somewhat of a downward curve, and we fancy Luxemburgo’s side to come away with all three points.