Campeonato Brasileiro preview round 20

August 15, 2008 at 20:40 Leave a comment

Leaguer leaders Grêmio celebrate

Leaguer leaders Grêmio celebrate

We kick off this weekend’s games with what should be a cracker as 2nd placed Cruzeiro take on 5th placed Vitória in the estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte.

Cruzeiro have already beaten Vitória once this season. That happened on the opening day in Bahia when the Foxes came away with a win courtesy of Marcelo Moreno (now at Shakhtar Donetsk) and an own-goal by Bida (on loan at Santos).

Last weekend, Adílson Batista’s blew the chance to close the gap on the leaders when they lost away at Portuguesa.

But Adílson Batista’s team have an excellent record in the Mineirão winning 8 out of 10 games and they’ll be confident of taking maximum points on Saturday.

Cruzeiro’s excellent young forward Guilherme has 10 goals to his name and this is part of the reason why the Foxes have the third best attack in the league.

In the last round, Vitória hammered Vasco 5×0 in Bahia and are now only four points behind Cruzeiro.

However, Vágner Mancini’s side do no travel well. Their poor record of 2 wins, 2 draws, 5 losses could eventually cost them a place in next year’s Libertadores.

The biggest disappointment of the day is that the gifted midfielder Marquinhos is injured. This is a huge blow to Vitória’s hopes as the Bahia team look very average without him.

For Cruzeiro, Wagner has missed the last two games but should be fit.  Guilherme is back from suspension. Henrique is doubtful. Thiago Heleno is suspended. There are questions marks over Dinei, Renan and Leandro Domingues (ex Cruzeiro) for Vitória. As well as Marquinhos, Marcelo Cordeiro is also missing.

Goal average: 3.3

Kick off: 16th August – 18:20 Brasilia

Ones to watch: Cruzeiro’s Guilherme and Charles. Vitória’s Dinei and Cruzeiro old boy, Ramon.

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On paper at least, our Sunday match is something to look forward to as league leaders Grêmio come up against current champions São Paulo in the estádio Olímpico.

But there is a note of caution because neither side is known for its flamboyance. What we should expect is a war of attrition. It would be fitting for a game of such magnitude if someone came out with all guns blazing but somehow I doubt that’s going to happen.

We covered the first meeting between these two in the Morumbi. In front of a paltry 7,929 fans, Grêmio deservedly came away with all three points after Pereira grabbed the only goal. For this one in Porto Alegre, there should be around 45,000 cramming into the estádio Olímpico.

Celso Roth’s outfit have been top dogs for six rounds and will remain leaders whatever happens. But the Porto Alegre outfit could see their lead slashed to two points if they lose and Cruzeiro win on Saturday.

Grêmio haven’t lost since round 9 (2×0 away at Botafogo) and have won their last 4 outings. They also have the best defence with only 12 conceded and the best attack after knocking in 35 goals.

São Paulo start the day 8 points behind Grêmio. A defeat will leave them 11 adrift. With this in mind, the Morumbi side have to go all out for the win. However, with Muricy Ramalho in charge, it’s probable that São Paulo will defend in numbers and try to catch Grêmio on the break.

The current league champions are going for a record three consecutive Brasileiro titles – something that no other club has achieved. But São Paulo’s away form is letting them down. Their only wins on the road were at Flamengo (4-2) and Vitória (3-1). They’ve drawn 4 but lost 3 and this is clearly not good enough to retain the title.

Grêmio will be without the injured William Thiego. Léo starts. Wolfsburg will have scouts in the stadium watching the young defender. Centreback Anderson may make his debut for São Paulo. Joílson is suspended. Alex Silva and Hernanes are on duty with Brazil. Borges may return from injury but will probably not start. 

Goal average = 2.45

Kick off: 17th August – 16:00 Brasilia

Ones to watch: Perea, Reinaldo (though he’ll probably start on the bench) and ex São Paulo man, Souza. São Paulo’s Anderson.

Elsewhere, there’s an intriguing match-up in the Palestra Itália where Palmeiras (3rd) take on Coritiba (6th). Palmeiras may be without Valdívia who looks set to be on his way to the UAE’s Al-Ain for around 8.5 million euros. Palmeiras are keen to accept the deal. Valdívia is not so sure he wants the move. Flamengo (7th) travel to a troubled Santos (17th). Botafogo (8th) are away at Sport (9th).

See the table and all the fixtures here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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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