Juventude hosts Fluminense in the ninth match of the 2022 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A season on Sunday, kicking off a three-match stretch in less than a week.
The club from Caxias do Sul in Southern Brazil is winless at home this season and is now one point above the relegation zone, while Flu failed to hold on to a one-goal lead at home to Flamengo last week, losing 2-1.
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Juventude seemed to have found themselves chasing multiple games in the early weeks of 2022, forcing them to abandon their game plans.
So far this season, they’ve conceded first in five league games, scoring only once in the first 45 minutes of a domestic match.
They have scored the third-fewest goals in Brazil’s top flight (eight) to this point, with only three coming at their home field of Estadio Alfredo Jaconi.
Eduardo Baptista’s father once advised him to quit football because of his short temper when he was a player.
Now that his club is conceding the most goals in the Brasileiro Serie A, Baptista, the manager of Juventude, may be having trouble being patient and cool.
Despite their numerous setbacks, they showed signs of progress last month, scoring points in four of their five league games.
Throughout the early part of this season, we’ve witnessed a mix of good and terrible from the Laranjeiras club in Rio de Janeiro.
They have had little issue getting off to a fast start, scoring four goals in the first 20 minutes of play.
Fernando Diniz has been able to transform this club into a possession-based unit that is combative in the midfield and capable of winning balls in dangerous positions.
However, the man known as the “Brazilian Guardiola” has not always seen his team make the most of their possession, with a goal or fewer in six of their eight league games thus far.
While Brasileiro Serie A teams have long been known for their tenacious and stubborn defense, Diniz takes a more aggressive strategy, focusing on short passes and pushing the ball in the box.
For those tactics to be effective on a consistent basis, the backline, particularly the fullbacks, must contribute offensively, which we haven’t seen enough of from Flu this season, as Manoel is their only defender with a point, one assist.
Juventude makes it far too simple for other teams to move through the middle of the field, allowing them to score their fair share of goals.
Fluzao aren’t the most dynamic of teams, but they should have enough experience and potency to squander at least one of the numerous chances they’ll be presented with.