Campeonato Paulista: round 15 preview

March 14, 2008 at 18:03 Leave a comment

gavioes.jpgOn Saturday we’re at the estádio Morumbi for Corinthians vs Juventus (note the kick off time is two hours earlier than usual) and Sunday is the round’s big one as Palmeiras and São Paulo go at in the estádio Santa Cruz in Ribeirão Preto.

Sport club Corinthians Paulista have lost just once since round two (Palmeiras 0x1) and this impressive run has taken them to second.

Despite bringing in 16 new players this season, Corinthians are still without a natural goal scorer. The Parque São Jorge team have struck only 15 times and their goal on Wednesday had a huge slice of fortune with Héverton’s freekick skimming off the head of Rio Preto’s Rafael Silva.

Mano Meneze’s side have just one tactic: get the ball down the wings and try to pick out Dentinho’s late run into the area. Like São Paulo, Corinthians are set up to contain the opposition, sneak a goal and then hold on. This has worked in most games and Corinthians have only let in 7 in this campaign. But having so many defensive players in the squad has proved problematic. Menezes has no one on the bench that can really make a difference when his side goes a goal down. This is what happened against Palmeiras in round 12 and Corinthians never came close to an equaliser. 

Clube Atlético Juventus are already on their third coach of the Paulista. Márcio Bittencourt left for Noroeste after round 2, and Sérgio Soares lasted just three weeks before getting the chop. José Carlos Fescina is now in charge.   

After a reasonable start, Juventus had not won in 7 until they pulled off a shock result against a resurgent Paulista midweek. The team from the Estádio da Javari had only taken two points in this period and that is relegation form.

But Juventus are not nicknamed Moleque Travesso (brat) for nothing as they have a good record of putting one over the big teams. Incidentally, Juventus picked up this nickname in their first season in the Paulista back in 1930 when they beat Corinthians in the Parque São Jorge. This year they have beaten Santos 3×1 but did get thumped 4×0 by Palmeiras.  

Juventus have five games to save themselves from the drop. Two of those are must-wins against fellow strugglers Rio Preto and Guarani. But the last match of the campaign could be ominous as Juventus are away at São Paulo.

Juventus start the day in 16th just 1 place and 1 point above the bottom 4.

Kick off: 15/3/08 – 16:00 (Brasilia) GMT – 3 hours

Home team record: won 4, drawn 2, lost 1 (Palmeiras)

Away team record: won 1 (São Caetano), drawn 1, lost 5

Home team news: Acosta and Carlão are injured. Perdigão is suspended. Héverton and Bóvio may come in. 

Away team news: José Carlos Fescina has a full squad to choose from and is expected to field the same side that beat Paulista 2×1.

Fixture goal average: 3.29 – the last 0x0 was in 1986

Ones to watch: Corinthian’s Dentinho is finally emerging from the shadow of his over-hyped buddy, Lulinha. Juventus’ Vampeta had some of his best days at Corinthians. He’ll either come back to haunt them or have a nightmare.

My prediction: Corinthians to win in a low-scoring game

¯

Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras forced their way back into the top four after putting Ponte Preta to the sword on Wednesday. Alex Mineiro and Kléber were the men on target. This was kléber’s first goal for Palmeiras and the former São Paulo man is relishing the prospect of taking on his ex employers on Sunday. Apparently, Kléber is still resentful about the way São Paulo shipped him off to Dynamo Kiev after less than six months with the Morumbi’s first team. This was will also be interesting for another ex São Paulo player, Denílson, who will be very keen to prove a point against Muricy Ramalho’s boys.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s side have won their last four outings: Cene (2×0) in the Copa do Brasil, Corinthians (1×0), Bragantino (5×2) and Ponte Preta (2×1). In the last two matches, Palmeiras had to come from behind to take the points.

In the Campeonato Paulista, Palmeiras have not beaten São Paulo for 11 years (11 games). Their last win came in the Morumbi in 1997 with Viola scoring the only goal.

Even São Paulo Futebol Clube’s captain, Rogério Ceni recognises that not all is well with the team. “For the first time in quite a while, we’re going to play against a side that is going through a better period that us. They [Palmeiras] are favourites” said Ceni earlier this week. Part of the trouble is that Muricy Ramalho has not been able to put out the same side for two games in a row. But the root of the problem is that São Paulo are a weaker team this year. New signings have not really worked out and last season’s survivors are not performing. This, plus Ramalho’s tactical limitations, has turned São Paulo into nothing more than an average side.

The situation at the top of the table is extremely tight. Only 5 points separate the top 7. While a draw may be enough to keep São Paulo in the playoff places, it probably won’t do for Palmeiras.  

Kick off: 16/3/08 – 16:00 (Brasilia) GMT – 3 hours

Home team record: 3 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses (Ituano, Guaratinguetá)

Away team record: 2 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses (Marília, Portuguesa)

Home team news: Pierre and Lenny are suspended. Valdívia, Diego Souza and Marcos are all back from suspension.

Away team news: Miranda and Dagoberto are suspended. Adriano is a doubt after picking up a stomach injury. New signings Éder, Éder Luís and Jancarlos are ineligible for the Paulista. Aloísio is back and André Dias is awaiting clearance from São Paulo’s medical department but should play. Carlos Alberto may start.

One to watch: Léo Lima has been pulling the strings for Palmeiras. Borges has been popping up with crucial goals for São Paulo.

Fixture goal average: 2.6

My prediction: Palmeiras to win

  

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Jancarlos to drink from poisoned chalice Campeonato Paulista set to go to the wire

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The man who came up with: Messi carrying Argentina. Neymar carrying Brazil. British Airways carrying England. My name is Jon Cotterill. I am an English football commentator for TV Globo in São Paulo, Brazil. Currently we're broadcasting two live Campeonato Brasileiro or Campeonato Paulista games per week plus our magazine show, Footbrazil to 180 countries. + Eu trabalho como narrador na TV Globo em São Paulo, Brasil. Atualmente, nos transmitimos dois jogos ao vivo do Campeonato Brasileiro ou Campeonato Paulista por semana e nosso programa de futebol semanal, Footbrazil.

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© Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo's Brazilian football site, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo's Brazilian football site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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