Preview: Gremio vs. Botafogo

Preview: Gremio vs. Botafogo

Brasileiro leaders Botafogo travel to Porto Alegre to face Gremio in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.

The top two in Brazil will round off matchday 14 when they meet at the Arena do Gremio for the most hotly-anticipated clash of the weekend.

Botafogo enter one of the toughest challenges they will face this season with a very comfortable lead at the top.

They will do so under a caretaker manager too, after Luis Castro’s shock exit from the club to join Al-Nassr last week.

Former Lyon and Newcastle United defender Cacapa is currently in temporary charge and will take charge of his second game here.

Cacapa takes on a side seven points clear of Gremio in second, as they have dropped just six points from their opening 13 games of the campaign.

Defeats at Goias and Atletico Paranaense have been the only blips this season, as their home record remains at 100%.

Four wins in succession have moved them well clear of the chasing pack, and they kept that up with a routine 2-0 win over strugglers Vasco de Gama last weekend in Cacapa’s first game.

Another clean sheet keeps up their fine defensive record too, as Botafogo remain the only side in the Brasileiro still in single digits for goals conceded – seven.

Form on the continent has not been as convincing though, as just two wins from their six Copa Sudamericana group matches meant they only finished in second behind LDU Quito, meaning they have to play a preliminary knockout round tie against Argentine side Patronato next week.

Gremio should offer a tougher test than many have provided domestically for Botafogo though, given their recent return to form.

Preview: Gremio vs. Botafogo – prediction, team news, lineups

After collecting just eight points from their opening six matches, Gremio have responded excellently to catapult themselves up the table and into second.

Renato Gaucho’s side have won six of their last seven league matches, with a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Flamengo being the only blemish on that record.

Flamengo, Palmeiras and Bragantino are all within touch of Gremio though, so anything but a win here will give all those clubs a chance to leapfrog them into second.

Gremio come into the clash after back-to-back away encounters with Bahia in the last week.

A 2-1 league win was followed up by a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Copa do Brasil quarter-final, with the second leg coming up in midweek.

Gremio Brasileiro form:

Gremio form (all competitions):

Botafogo Brasileiro form:

Botafogo form (all competitions):

We say: Gremio 1-1 Botafogo
Few sides are better equipped and in as good a run of form to take on the league leaders than Gremio currently, having won six of their last seven league games.

Despite their near-imperious record so far this season, Botafogo will find it difficult against a side hoping to close the gap, and there may not be much between the sides.

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