Campeonato Brasileiro preview round 36
This weekend we’re in the estádio São Januário for the crunch match between Vasco da Gama and São Paulo.
Vasco are stuck in the relegation zone and are now facing the real prospect of a drop to Série B.
In the last round, the team from Rio were pummelled 4×1 away at Atlético Mineiro.
And now Renato Gaúcho’s charges have the daunting task of trying to beat the league leaders.
Vasco start the round with the worst defence in the competition having conceded 68 goals and managing just five clean sheets.
The signs are not good for Vasco. In the last two Brasileiros, the bottom four did not change after round 30. Just as worrying is the fact that they have only taken 4 points from the last five games in the São Januário and have not beaten São Paulo at home since 2005. However, the strugglers do have a good record against Sunday’s opposition in their stadium as São Paulo have only won their twice (2000 and 2007).
Muricy Ramalho’s team are just three games away from ensuring they enter the record books as the first club to win the Brasileiro three times in a row. São Paulo haven’t lost for 15 rounds and are looking unstoppable after winning their last five outings.
The Morumbi outfit have the sharpest attack in the league with 62 goals in the bag and have only failed to score in six games. However, São Paulo’s defence is not as impregnable as it used to be with just two clean sheets in the previous eight games.
Renato Gaúcho’s only doubt is whether Edmundo will start or not. Alex Teixeira is the option.
Muricy Ramalho needs a replacement for the suspended centreback, Rodrigo. Anderson would be the obvious choice to fill in.
Goal average: 2.97 – four 0x0s
Kick off: Sunday 23rd November – 17:00 Brasilia
Ones to watch: São Paulo’s Borges has hit six goals in the last three matches.
Elsewhere, second-placed Grêmio travel north to Bahia to face a Vitória side that have not won in seven. Rumour has it that Vitória coach Vágner Mancini is desperate to put one over Grêmio after they sacked him earlier this year. Flamengo are away to Cruzeiro. Fla have a remote chance of catching São Paulo. Cruzeiro have crashed out of the running for the league but can make the Libertadores. Palmeiras’ title challenge is also over and the pressure will be on when they face Ipatinga in the Palestra Itália. The battle to avoid relegation sees Portuguesa hosting Goiás, Santos away at Coritiba, Sport at home to Atlético Mineiro and Fluminense away at Internacional. Figueirense beat Náutico 4-3 on Thursday.
See the fixtures and the table here