Campeonato Paulista: round 13 preview
Round 13 of the Campeonato Paulista sees our cameras pitched at the estádio Santa Cruz in Ribeirão Preto for the clash between Portuguesa and São Paulo; and the estádio Marcelo Stéfani in Bragança Paulista as Bragantino come up against Palmeiras.
2007 was a fabulous year for Associação Portuguesa de Desportos.
The team from the estádio Canindé were winners of the second division of the Paulista but more importantly, gained promotion to the top flight of the Campeonato Brasileiro after finishing third in Série B. On the back of that, this season has so far been a bit of an anti-climax for Portuguesa’s fans. An injury to Diogo after round one robbed the team of its biggest talent and has hampered their progress.
Portuguesa are midtable but not out of the running. Vágner Benazzi’s men have a good recent record losing just once in the last seven rounds (0x1 Corínthians). However, Portuguesa’s attack is one of the worst in the league with only 11 goals put away. On the plus side, they have only let in nine.
São Paulo are not the side they were last year. Muricy Ramalho’s tactics are based on not conceding. But the Morumbi team have leaked goals since centreback Breno’s departure to Bayern Munich. In this campaign, São Paulo have already let in 13 in 12 games, compared to 18 after 21 matches in 2007. But a win on Saturday and São Paulo could finish the round in second if results elsewhere go there way.
Kick off: 8/3/08 – 18:10 (Brasilia) GMT – 3 hours
Home team record: 2 wins, 2 draws
Away team record: 2 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss (Marília 3×2)
Home team news: forward Vaguinho should be in the squad after completing a 120 ban for failing an anti-doping test. Also back from suspension is midfielder Claudecir and centreback Bruno Rodrigo. But Young star Diogo is still out with a broken right foot.
Away team news: midfielder Richarlyson is suspended and forward Dagoberto is expected to miss the game because of a muscle injury. Midfielder Fábio Santos is also a doubt.
Fixture goal average: 2.7
Biggest scores: 1955 (São Paulo 4×3) & 1961 (São Paulo 6×1)
Ones to watch: Portuguesa midfielder, Carlos Alberto, will be keen to impress his ex employers. São Paulo’s Hernanes is having a good season and Borges is getting the goals.
My prediction: on paper, São Paulo are easily the better team. However, they don’t have a fantastic away record and Portuguesa are unbeaten at home, so I’m going for a score draw.
Bragantino finished 4th in 2007. Thanks to the Paulista’s ridiculous rules, Marcelo Vegas’ side went out to Santos in the semis despite drawing both games 0x0.
Currently, only one point separates Bragantino and Palmeiras in the table. Both sides should be buoyed up by recent results. Midweek, Bragantino progressed to the next phase of the Copa do Brasil, and last weekend Palmeiras put one over archenemies, Corinthians.
Bragantino’s highest position in this campaign is 5th. Palmeiras have not been in the top four since round 4. Even with a win on Sunday, neither team will return to the play off places but the winner will stay in touch with the leaders.
Kick off: 9/3/08 – 16:00 (Brasilia) GMT – 3 hours
Home team record: 4 wins, 2 losses (Marília & Mirassol)
Away team record: 3 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss (Noroeste)
Home team news: right back Nei Santos and midfielder Somália are likely to miss this one through injury. Midfielder Moradei and centrebacks Tiago Vieira and Vanderlei are suspended.
Away team news: forward Kléber may start in place of midfielder Wendel.
One to watch: who else but Palmeiras’ Valdívia! Teammate, Henrique, is turning into a very solid defender.
Fixture goal average: 1.9
Biggest scores: 1994 (Palmeiras 6×0)
My prediction: Palmeiras are on a roll so, are favourites to come away with all the points.
Entry filed under: Campeonato Paulista 2008. Tags: Bragantino, Brasil, brazil, Brazilian football, esporte, estadual, football, Futebol, futebol brasileiro, futebol negócio, International Football, Palmeiras, Paulista, Portuguesa, São Paulo, soccer, SPFC, Sport, World Football.