Campeonato Brasileiro preview round 3
Round 3 of the Campeonato Brasileiro sees us at the estádio Maracanã for Flamengo against Internacional.
Flamengo are still recovering from their embarrassing exit from the Libertadores at the hands of Mexico’s América but the Rio de Janeiro side have got off to a reasonable start to the Brasileiro.
Caio Júnior has replaced Joel Santana after the latter was signed up by South Africa to lead them in their world cup campaign in 2010.
At the start of the season, Flamengo were being tipped to improve on their third place finish of 2007. But without Santana, Fla’s chances of really challenging for the title have diminished.
So far, the new coach is unbeaten with a win against a Santos reserve side on the opening day and an extremely fortunate 0x0 draw away at Grêmio last weekend.
On Saturday, Caio Júnior will have to make do without the injured Kléberson and Ibson. But Souza and Cristian are back from injury.
Internacional squeezed past Vasco in their first match of the campaign but went down 2×1 away at Palmeiras in the last round.
To add insult to injury, Inter had Edinho and Giñazu sent off and on Saturday they will also be without the injured Magrão and Orozco.
Coach Abel Braga has been around the block a few times but he knows that Inter have to start to improve or his job will be on the line.
The good news for Braga is that Inter haven’t lost to Flamengo for five years (10 games), and the coach will be hoping that this recent trend continues.
Kick off: May 24th 18:10 Brasilia
Ones to watch: Fla’s Bruno and Marcinho. Inter’s Nilmar and Alex.
On Sunday we’re back in the estádio Mineirão for Cruzeiro as they take on Santos.
After just two rounds, only Cruzeiro and Náutico have maximum points. But the last time Cruzeiro won their first three in the Brasileiro was eighteen years ago.
Despite the win over Botafogo, Adílson Baptista was the target for the boo boys and girls last weekend as Cruzeiro’s traditionally cavalier approach to games seems to have been abandoned by the coach.
To add to Baptista’s woes, top player Marcelo Moreno looks set to join Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk for around 7 million euros, and if he goes that will put a severe dent on Cruzeiro’s title ambitions.
On Thursday, Santos went out of the Libertadores and now all that remains for Emerson Leão’s (photo) team is the Brasileiro.
Santos played well against América in the Vila midweek and have more than enough firepower and artistry to cause Cruzeiro serious problems.
Emerson Leão has never forgiven Cruzeiro for giving him the boot back in 2004. So, he would love to put one over his ex employers on Sunday.
Kick off: May 25th 16:00 Brasilia
Ones to watch: Cruzeiro’s Espinoza. Santos’ Molina and Kléber Pereira.