D-day for Paulista semi-finalists
On Saturday, Guaratinguetá take on Ponte Preta in the estádio Dário Leite.
The first leg finished 1×0 in favour of Ponte thanks to right back, Eduardo Arroz.
The Campinas side need only to avoid defeat to make the finals for the fourth time in their history.
Ponte’s away record is mixed: 3 wins (including a 3×0 victory at Guaratinguetá), 3 draws, and 3 losses. But Sérgio Guedes will be confident that his team can hang on.
Whatever happens on Saturday, it has been a momentous season for Guaratinguetá as it’s worth remembering that this is only their second season in Série A.
Six wins and 4 losses at home leaves room for optimism and Guará won more matches than anyone in the group stage. So, it’s safe to say that Guilherme Macuglia’s men have more than a fighting chance.
Team news: Guaratinguetá are at full strength. Ponte are without the suspended Deda and the injured Elias.
One to watch: Ponte keeper, Aranha, (photo) was magnificent in the first leg.
Prediction: This is too close to call. But perhaps Ponte have a slight edge.
Kick off: Saturday 19th April – 18:10
The Palestra Itália may not be the right venue for Sunday’s clash between Palmeiras and São Paulo, but the atmosphere inside the stadium should be electric.
Palmeiras started the tie as firm favourites. But São Paulo proved once again that they should never be written off. Muricy Ramalho’s side have a 2×1 lead to defend. That means São Paulo will be sitting so deep, they’ll almost be in the stands.
If the match had been played this time last year, it would have been a foregone conclusion. But São Paulo have leaked goals this season. In 25 games (in all competitions), the Morumbi team have conceded 27. But this match is a little different as São Paulo just need to hold on.
With 37 goals to their name, Palmeiras have the firepower to break through the wall that São Paulo are sure to throw up.
Alex Mineiro’s penalty in the first leg was a real lifeline. But the key to this battle will be Vanderlei Luxemburgo. There is no contest between the coaches as the Palmeiras manager is vastly superior to his counterpart at São Paulo. But will even Luxemburgo’s cunning be enough to guide Palmeiras through São Paulo’s ten-man defence?
Team news: Palmeiras have Pierre suspended. São Paulo have Borges and Fábio Santos available but Zé Luís and Richarlyson are suspended. Jorge Wagner may start on the bench.
Prediction: well, I know who I’d like to go through. Palmeiras are easy on the eye. The same cannot be said of São Paulo. But this may be a day that attrition prevails.
One to watch: this has to be Rogério Ceni as I expect the São Paulo keeper to be very busy. Kick off: Sunday 20th April – 16:00