Campeonato Brasileiro preview round 15

July 25, 2008 at 19:15 5 comments

Grêmio vs Figueirense

Grêmio vs Figueirense

For Saturday’s game, we’ll be set up at the estádio Maracanã for Fluminense against Cruzeiro.

Nearly all the pundits were expecting Fluminense to be challenging for one of the top slots by this stage of the championship.

Instead, the Rio side have spent all but one round in the bottom four and have an enormous amount of catching up before they get anywhere near the leaders.

Since the ill-fated final in the Libertadores, Gabriel and Cicero have moved on and more players are certain to follow. Flu also have to cope with the absences of their star athletes Thiago Neves and Thiago Silva who are with Brazil’s Olympic squad and could be missing for a month.

At least Renato Gaúcho’s side are starting to show some bottle and on Wednesday, came back three times to draw with neighbours Vasco.

Cruzeiro may be in the hunt for the title but they’ve only managed a paltry 5 points from a possible 18 away from home. To date, Adílson Batista’s men have won just once on the road – at Vitória on May 10th.

Last weekend, Cruzeiro avoided a first-half pummelling at Grêmio thanks to the acrobatics of keeper Fábio. The Foxes improved in the second period but only because Grêmio were content to sit on a 1-0 lead.

On Wednesday, Cruzeiro suffered an embarrassing home defeat against lowly Goiás. Batista has never been that popular and the calls for the coach’s head are getting louder.

Flu start the day in 18th on 13 points. As mentioned above, they won’t have Thiago Neves and Thiago Silva. Rafael has been dropped and Carlinhos injured. Cruzeiro are 5th with 24 points. Ramires is on duty with Brazil. Jonathan and Jadílson are injured. Espinoza will be rested.

Goal average: 2.8

Ones to watch: Flu’s Tartá and Júnior Cesar.

Kick off: Saturday 26th July – 18:20 Brasilia 


Sunday sees us back in the estádio Olímpico for the clash between new leaders Grêmio and title rivals Palmeiras.

Grêmio topped the league on Thursday after destroying Figueirense 7-1 away in the estádio Orlando Scarpelli.

The Porto Alegre outfit are now the competitions second highest scorers with 26 (just one behind Flamengo) and have the best defence with only 11 conceded.

The last time Grêmio won the Brasileiro was in 1996. The closest they have come since then was third in 2002 and 2006. But belief is growing at the estádio Olímpico that this could be their year.

Celso Roth’s team are undefeated at home having won 5 and drawn 2. Despite this excellent record, Roth remains a target for a section of the Grêmio supporters who are unhappy with the playing style the team has adopted. So, it will be interesting to see what kind of reception the coach gets on Sunday with his side sitting loud and proud at the top of the league.

Surprisingly, only 28,000 paying fans turned up for last weekend’s game against Cruzeiro but the Olímpico should be packed for the visit of Palmeiras.

Injuries and suspensions have made team selection a problem for coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo in recent weeks. And while this has had an effect on results, it cannot wholly account for Palmeiras’ atrocious away form.

The Palestra Itália side have now lost four games on the road – including their last two outings.

Last weekend, Palmeiras were trailing by two at Goiás before they finally woke up and brought the scores level – though they came away empty-handed after Goiás struck a third.

The big green’s defence has been dodgy with Gladstone in particular looking very suspect.

The other problem is that Palmeiras’ stars are still not performing on a regular basis. Valdívia continues to disappoint greatly and Diego Souza is not much better.

Palmeiras thumped neighbours Santos 4-2 on Thursday. They now have to build on that win by taking at least a point on Sunday.

Grêmio will be missing rightback Paulo Sérgio who is suspended. Réver is expected to return and club captain, Léo, could make it if he recovers from injury. For Palmeiras, Sandro Silva, Denílson and Kléber are all available after suspension. Martinez should return from injury. Pierre and Elder Granja remain doubtful. Léo Lima, Gustavo and Deivid are injured. Valdívia is suspended.

Goal average: 2.14

Ones to watch: Perea and Reinaldo scored three each vs Figueirense (though the latter came on as a sub). Makelele is a Palmeiras old boy but will probably start on the bench. Palmeiras’ Alex Mineiro is the league’s top scorer with 9. Diego Souza is an ex Grêmio man and may come back to haunt their old team.

Kick off: Sunday 27th July – 16:00 Brasilia

Elsewhere, Flamengo will try to end their run of three games without a win against Rio rivals Botafogo. Ney Franco is still smarting after getting the boot from Flamengo last year. His side have suddenly hit some good form so this will be tricky for Flamengo. Vitória travel to strugglers Atlético Mineiro. The Belo Horizonte team though are unbeaten at home. Internacional are away at bottom side Ipatinga and will be expecting all three points from the fixture.

See the table and all the weekend’s fixtures here



Entry filed under: Campeonato Brasileiro 2008. Tags: , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RagaRocker  |  July 26, 2008 at 10:58

    Thanks for the great previews John, as always a pleasure to read. Also listen to you commenting the games on befair’s livevideo, at least I think it’s you. Btw, who is the Brazilian you work with during the games? An ex-player?

    Again, thanks for all the great previews and news, finally a decent source in English 🙂 Me and by buddies are forever grateful.


  • 2. pitacodogringo  |  July 29, 2008 at 15:14

    thanks for the comments – glad you like the games and previews

    Bira is a broadcaster – but i’m sure he would have liked to have played haha

    where exactly are you in Scandinavia?

  • 3. RagaRocker  |  July 30, 2008 at 10:42

    i’m from the Scandinavian country that has never lost to Brazil, Norway. Thankfully, i’ve been able to witness two of those games as a spectator, one of them being the World Cup win in 1998, when we took a shocking 2 – 1 victory thanks to Tore Andre Flo. Oslo was filled with people dancing in the streets, people went toally berserk, something you don’t see that often here 🙂

    We are a bunch of friends who gather in the weekend to watch English Premier League, but during the summer that gets replaced by Brazilian football and American baseball. The coverage here is just plain awful, but I guess that goes for most countries in Europe. But its getting a bit better now, and to finally be able to watch the games with you guys commentating has really been a blessing. We learn something about the league/team/players each team we watch/listen, so your doing a great job, which certainly is no given with commenators today.

    Do you have any idea where to get a hold of Brazilian football shirts, mostly of Sao Paulo/Rio based clubs? The few sites i’ve found have only a few retro shirts of the bigger clubs, like Sao Paulo.

  • 4. pitacodogringo  |  July 31, 2008 at 23:53

    Once again, thanks for the comments. We’re really pleased you like what we’re doing.

    Speaking of 2-1 wins, I still remember Bjørge Lillelien’s famous commentary after Norway beat England back in the 80s (of course, it will never happen again haha!)

    As for the shirts, you could try here

    this is the São Paulo state page. If you look on the left of the site, you’ll see the Rio page.

    And they definitely export the shirts – see this link in English

  • 5. RagaRocker  |  August 1, 2008 at 09:00

    hehe yeah, Bjørge Lillelien is a real legend here, for many famous “speeches”, of course first and foremost for his famous commentatry after the England game. It’s fun to hear so many Englishmen still remembering it, I even spoke to a few football fans in Glasgow who remembered Lillelien and his famous “your boys took a hell of a beating” speech. He is regarded as the best commentator in Norwegian history, and it’s hard to argue against that. I don’t think people outside of Norway really understood how big the win was, I dare to say that there is no other country in Europe that has as big of an obsession with English football as Norway and Norwegians. You find people supporting clubs way down in the divisions, there’s old supporter clubs for teams such as QPR, Stoke, Derby, Luton, something you won’t find in countries like Sweden and Denmark they are mostly tied to the Norwegian branches, so it’s kind of a unique thing, and Lillelien did a great job showing just how big it was for everybody in this tiny country to beat your country.

    The clip can be seen here:

    Thanks a lot for the links to the shirts, just what I was looking for. A great selection of shirts as well, so we will try and place an order this weekend 🙂


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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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