Campeonato Paulista finals: Can Ponte bridge the gap?
One goal down and with the rules against them, Ponte Preta (Black Bridge) have it all to do against Palmeiras in the 2nd leg of the finals of the Campeonato Paulista.
To take the title, Ponte will have to win by two clear goals. A victory by only one goal will give it to Palmeiras because they finished higher in the group stage.
Ponte, though, will take strength from the fact Palmeiras crashed out of the Copa do Brasil on Thursday after they were thumped 4×1 by Sport Recife.
Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s side may have underestimated Sport. But the shock of going out of the Copa do Brasil will be a timely reminder to Palmeiras that they are not invincible.
After the match, Palmeiras captain, Marcos, criticised his team’s overly-defensive posture when the score was at 1×1 (a result which would have put Palmeiras through). And it’s almost certain that Palmeiras will not make the same mistake on Sunday.
Kick off: 4th May 16:00 (Brasilia)
Stadium: Palestra Itália
Referee: Cléber Wellington Abade – assistants – Émerson Augusto de Carvalho & Vicente Romano Neto
Team news: Palmeiras could still be without the injured Léo Lima. Ponte have Renato, César, and Eduardo Arroz back from suspension. Elias has been training but is not certain to play. Centreback, Jean, picked up a third yellow last week and is out.
Prediction: this should be Palmeiras’ day. But if Ponte get an early goal, Luxemburgo’s team may just get the jitters as they did against Sport Recife.