MORUMBI, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - Luis Fabiano and Wellington have joined forces to insist nothing less than "100 per cent" will be good enough when Sao Paulo entertain Brazil Campeonato table-toppers Fluminense in a mouth-watering fixture on Sunday (KO 19:00 GMT).
The home side are a best-price evens with BetVictor to continue a good run of form at home, with the draw chalked up 13/5 with the same firm and the Fluminense win quoted 11/4 by bet365, which is offering live streaming of this Serie A showdown.
The Morumbi club welcome the Brasileirao leaders off the back of a 2-0 win away to 10-man Universidad Chile in the Copa Sudamericana in midweek, courtesy of a Willian Jose double, and victory will help close the gap on Gremio in third in the table in the race for the Copa Libertadores places.
"Fluminense lead the league and certainly will want to come out with the victory to get even closer to the title. Surely this is one of the most important games of our walk towards the Libertadores. We need to give 100%," said two-time Europa League winner Fabiano, who did not travel to Chile but returns on Sunday.
Team-mate Wellington agreed that victory against Fluzao and Sao Paulo would be in the end-of-season shake-up for Libertadores places.
"It is a decisive game for us. A game that can change our goal in Brazil. It will be very good to catch the leader after a win like this in Chile. With the stadium packed, it's hard for us to be beaten," he added.
Sao Paulo will be looking to avenge for a narrow 2-1 defeat by Fluminense as recently as August, with free-scoring striker Fred grabbing the winner, and midfielder Jadson said it was pay-back time. Fluzao also won by the same scoreline the last time they visited Sao Paulo in September last year.
Jadson said: "In that game we did well and we didn't deserve to have lost, but it has passed. Now we have the chance to avenge and more than that, getting closer to the Libertadores."
Certainly, Ney Franco's men will be highly motivated to stop Fluminense in their tracks and can call on a solid set of results at Morumbi which has seen them go 10 games without defeat. Tricolor have also not conceded a goal on home soil since the middle of September, winning four of five games in all competitions since then to nil.
However, this is without question the club's biggest test to date.
Abel Braga's men have had over a week to prepare for this assignment in Sao Paulo and have only lost twice in 16 road trips. Fluzao will also be determined to banish the memories of a stoppage-time defeat by Atletico Mineiro the last time they ventured from Rio de Janeiro.
The game takes on extra significance for talismanic striker Fred, who will hope to mark his 150th appearance for the club by helping the leaders take maximum points.
The 29-year-old has been with the Rio giants since 2009, following four years with Lyon, and recently scored his 100th goal for the club.
He said: "I can only thank everyone here for helping me complete this, which is very important.
"I want to stay here until the end and hopefully the road is long and full of good wins."
Reports this week suggested Fluminense were already lining up transfer targets for next season, with Atletico Mineiro star Ronaldinho top of the wish-list, but Rodrigo Caetano, director of football, said it would be unwise to comment at such a critical stage of the season.
He told ESPN: "Let's talk about Ronaldinho. There is no ongoing negotiation. Fluminense do not work that way and it would be unethical to have a conversation with an athlete of our main competitor to the title. There is no signing."
A considered look at the evidence and Sao Paulo have scored first at home in 14 out of 16 matches, leading to the 3/4 quoted by BetVictor, and lead in 10 out of 16 Morumbi fixtures, which points to the 13/8 put up by bet365 in the 'half-time betting'.
Fluminense by contrast have scored just under 70 per cent of goals in the second half, so the evens quoted by bet365 and Skybet about 'highest scoring half-second half' appeal, while Fluminense 'to come from behind and draw' is a huge 8/1 with William Hill and 'draw no bet' is quoted 13/8 by bet365 and Skybet. Conversely, 'Sao Paulo to score first and not win' is put up at 11/5 by Paddy Power.
Referee: Lopes, Heber
Sunday's other Brazil Campeonato fixtures:
19:00 GMT CR Vasco da Gama v Sport - Sao Januario
19:00 GMT Goianiense v Corinthians - Serra Dourada
19:00 GMT Palmeiras v Botafogo - Paulo Machado de Carvalho
21:30 GMT Coritiba FBC v Atletico MG - Couto Pereira
21:30 GMT Nautico v Internacional - Eladio de Barros Carvalho
21:30 GMT Portuguesa de Desportos v Bahia - Dr. Oswaldo T. Duarte