In Brazilian League, time runs fast. Really, really fast. We started the season back in May and after only 3 months, we’re already close to finish the 1st part of the tournament. And people still wonder why players can’t give their full effort on the pitch here… Anyways, Round 15 is up, and there’ll be a few interesting games in Santos vs. Cruzeiro and Fluminense vs. São Paulo. After the jump, my opinion over the games.
19:30 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Sport x Vasco
Sport and Vasco are at opposite positions in this championship. While Vasco is challenging for the title, close to Atlético-MG at 2nd in the league table, Sport is battling against relegation at 14th place. The highlight of the match is the return of Juninho Pernambucano to Ilha do Retiro. He played at Sport when he started his career, joining Vasco shortly after becoming a pro. He also doesn’t have a good history playing at Sport’s stadium after leaving the club. He still is highly regarded by their supporters, so it’ll be nice to see their reaction watching him play against them. About the result, even though Vasco drawed against Corinthians, the game was pretty boring and Corinthians are much more of a challenge than Sport.
19:30 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Internacional x Náutico
This should be an easy match for Internacional. Náutico has been getting their results mostly at their home, Estádio dos Aflitos, being very poor when playing away. Meanwhile, Inter has been pretty solid at home and is challenging to enter the Libertadores classification zone as they stand at 5th place in the Brazilian League so far. Also, Diego Forlán started Internacional’s last match against Palmeiras and while he didn’t get in the score sheet, he had a good appearance.
20:30 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Bahia x Portuguesa
This could be an ugly match to watch, as both teams aren’t much convincing so far. Bahia has been in the relegation zone, standing at 17th place and only snatching 2 wins in the league so far. Portuguesa has been in the middle of the table, but their showings haven’t been much convincing as well. Even though Bahia has their home stadium as an advantage, it won’t be enough. Luckily, they’re playing Portuguesa.
20:30 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Corinthians x Atlético-GO
Corinthians got a good draw against Vasco away from home, as they try to recover from their poor form when the season began as they were playing the Copa Libertadores as well as the Brazilian League. They will be facing Atlético-GO, who started playing Copa Sulamericana last week against Figueirense, and is looking to save anything from a season where they have only 2 wins and 9 points after 14 rounds. Easy match and easy edge.
21:50 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Santos x Cruzeiro
If CBF wasn’t a joke of an organization, this would be a title clash. Santos is suffering from the absences of Neymar and Ganso, currently at London for the Olympics to defend Brazil’s U23 squad. That is reflected in their current campaign: 16th place, with 2 wins and 13 points. Cruzeiro, meanwhile, is at 8th place, trying to join the run for the Libertadores. Santos suffered a major defeat last round against Náutico, where they lost 3-0 to the Alvirrubro side, and Cruzeiro lost 2-1 to Ponte Preta. Santos is playing at home, but minus Neymar and Ganso it’s hard to predict a good result for them.
21:50 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Botafogo x Palmeiras
Botafogo has been in a bit of a rumble lately over the use of their (rented) stadium, Engenhão, as the pitch was suffering with the run of games. They managed to “expel” Flamengo and Fluminense from some games at their (rented) home ground, but will keep playing there even though they alleged the pitch needed at least two weeks to recover. Hypocrisy at its finest. Regarding the game: Botafogo is trying to get into a good run, Palmeiras is trying to get out of relegation zone. Palmeiras won their last match in the Copa Sulamericana, but with Seedorf seemingly in the way of finding his good mood, Botafogo should get a good result here.
21:50 – Wednesday 08 August, 2012 – Figueirense x Flamengo
Figueirense and Flamengo would be an easy game for Mengão a few months ago hadn’t the Rio de Janeiro club entered a really bad phase of late. They lost their last game 4-1 to São Paulo, and it seems that their board is also in shambles. Luckily they’ll be facing a Figueirense side that stands at last place in the league so far, and also a side which changed coaches 2 times this year.
21:00 – Thursday 09 August, 2012 – Atlético-MG x Coritiba
Coritiba took a big hit last Sunday, as they lost to Fluminense 2-0 in their home ground. They gave Fluzão a hard and harsh match, but the Tricolor das Laranjeiras eventually came up with the win. And they could have lost with a bigger margin hadn’t the referees made two glaring mistakes, disallowing two Fluminense goals. Badly for them, they’ll face a rested Atlético-MG side away from home, as Galo’s game against Flamengo for the 14th round was postponed. It’ll be a good game, but Atlético Mineiro should make their home advantage prevail like they did throughout this season.
21:00 – Thursday 09 August, 2012 – Ponte Preta x Grêmio
This could be a good match as well. Ponte Preta has been a surprise in this season so far, as the club who was rated to fight relegation stands at the top side of the table at 9th place. Grêmio has been living up to expectations, chasing Fluminense at 4th place and established in the Libertadores classification zone even though their major rivals, Internacional, are trailing them by 1 point. Ponte has been terrific at home, getting good results and giving their opponents some good challenges. They also are coming from a good win against Cruzeiro away from home. As for Grêmio, they won their game against Bahia 3-1, and Wanderley Luxemburgo’s squad is only trailing Atlético Mineiro with their offensiveness. It’ll be a good fight, but Grêmio has the edge in this one.
21:00 – Thursday 09 August, 2012 – Fluminense x São Paulo
Bad news came out from Sunday’s match against Coritiba for Fluminense, as their main players this season, wide attacker Wellington Nem and midfielder Deco, left the game with thigh injuries and don’t have a time set to get back onto the pitch. And the ones who follow Fluzão closely know that if the team minus Deco is a tragedy in the making, landing a side with Nem as well would be an epic failure. It’ll be pretty hard for Fluminense to make a good result out of a game against a São Paulo side that is looking definitely join the race for the Copa Libertadores, also aiming for the title in the future. Even though they lack Lucas, who’s at the Olympics, they still have quality backups. As for Fluminense, they’ll have to rely on individual talent and sparks of greatness to come up with a good result.
Edge: São Paulo
That’s pretty much it. Should you have any opinions over the edges I gave, discuss it! It now only allowed, but encouraged as well!