Palmeiras looking to strengthen grip on first place in Brazilian league

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Rio de Janeiro, Nov 17 (IANS) Palmeiras will be looking to tighten their stranglehold on the first place in the Brazilian football league when they take on Parana in a late-season clash on Sunday.

After routing Fluminense 3-0 at home on Wednesday to extend their unbeaten streak in the Brasileirao to 19 games, the Verdao (70 points) will travel to the southern city of Londrina to take on a last-placed club that has just 21 points with four games remaining and already is assured of relegation, reports Efe news.

Palmeiras has a five-point lead over second-placed Internacional (65 points), which defeated America Mineiro 2-0 on Thursday to ensure that the Sao Paulo club cannot clinch the Brazilian league title this weekend.

Palmeiras has announced that they will make changes in their frequently shifting starting line-up for Matchday 35 contest against Parana, with defenders Marcos Rocha, Jean, Edu Dracena and Antonio Carlos, midfielder Felipe Melo and forward Deyverson among the candidates to take the field at the outset of the match.

Players who started on Wednesday but could be out of the starting 11 on Sunday include defenders Mayke, Gustavo Gomez, Diogo Barbosa and Luan, midfielder Thiago Santos and striker Miguel Borja.

Internacional will have to play against Botafogo on Sunday without defender Fabiano, who has been suspended due to an excessive number of yellow cards and will be replaced by Zeca.



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