Campeonato Brasileiro preview round 1
The opening day of the Campeonato Brasileiro 2008 sees our cameras at the estádio Morumbi for São Paulo vs Grêmio.
While the competition has been closing last minute deals, the current league champions have been strangely inactive in the transfer market in recent months. But at least coach Muricy Ramalho can call on the likes of Éder, Éder Luís and Jancarlos for the new campaign.
On Wednesday, São Paulo progressed to the quarterfinals of the Libertadores and will now meet fellow Brazilians, Fluminense next week. But once again, São Paulo rarely performed and had to rely on a slice of luck for Adriano’s goal and a sending off early in the second half against Atlético Nacional.
Jorge Wagner missed the midweek fixture and is expected to be out on Saturday. Former Grêmio man, Hugo, will step in. Ramalho may also rest some of his first teamers for the Libertadores fixture midweek.
Grêmio’s sixth place finish in 2007 was a little disappointing but probably what they deserved. Celso Roth has replaced Mano Menezes but things are not going that well in Porto Alegre after Grêmio were knocked out of the Copa do Brasil and failed in the Campeonato Gaúcho.
On paper, Grêmio look a half-decent outfit and the Libertadores, if not the league, is a distinct possibility.
William Magrão is injured and will sit this one out.
Kick off: 10th May 18:10 Brasilia
Ones to watch: Grêmio centreback, Léo, has already been called up by Brazil. So, it will be interesting to see how he copes with Adriano.
On Sunday we travel to the estádio Couto Pereira for Coritiba against Palmeiras.
Coritiba came up as Série B champions at the end of 2007. The enterprising Dorival Júnior is at the helm and that should mean a positive approach from the new boys. New signing, Michael, whose performances caught the eye at Guaratinguetá in this season’s Campeonato Paulista, will be complemented by home grown talents such as Marlon, Pedro ken and Keirrison (photo). But the sharks are already circling the Couto Pereira and Coritiba are bound to lose at least some of their budding stars.
Palmeiras will swagger into the city of Curitiba after last week’s success in the Campeonato Paulista. The Palestra Itália outfit are many people’s favourites for the Brasileiro but there is feeling that the club are getting ready to announce the departure of a number of key players and this may put the kibosh on Palmeiras’ title ambitions.
This game is a step up from the São Paulo state championship and Palmeiras will be tested in front of a partisan home crowd welcoming their team back into the first division. One thing worth mentioning is that the last time Palmeiras played out of São Paulo against Série A opposition; they got a good slapping at the hands of Sport Recife in the Copa do Brasil. The Palestra Itália side should have plenty of support as Palmeiras fans have snapped up all of the available 3,400 tickets.
Kick off: 11th May 16:00 Brasilia
Ones to watch: Marlon, Pedro ken and Keirrison have been generating a lot of hype. Let’s see if they deserve it. It could also be an interesting afternoon for Palmeiras’ Henrique for faces his old team for the first time.