Friday, 30 July 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 12 Preview

Fluminense x Atlético Paranaense
Atlético Goianiense x Guarani
São Paulo x Ceará
Palmeiras x Corinthians
Vitória x Botafogo
Avaí x Goiás
Internacional x Grêmio
Atlético Mineiro x Cruzeiro
Prudente x Santos
Flamengo x Vasco da Gama

The should have called this the "Rivalry Round" as we enter week 12 of the Brasileirão, with four derbies over the weekend as the action hots up. Fluminense are first in action at the weekend and will go top with victory over Atlético-PR at the Maracanã. The Tricolor, who have just confirmed the signing of Deco from Chelsea, are unbeaten since the break whilst Atlético-PR have had a recent resurgence winning their last two games. Atlético-GO are still rock bottom of the table and will see the visit of Guarani to the Serra Dourada as a winnable game. Atlético-GO's only win since the break came against Corinthians in their last home game whilst Guarani lost to the same opponents last time out. São Paulo are in wretched form and their midweek defeat at Inter in the Libertadores won't have helped matters. How Ricardo Gomes still has a job at the Morumbi is baffling but by next weekend that could well have changed. Ceará haven't won since the break and are slowly becoming the draw specialists with three out of their last four games ending in stalemate.

The first of the big games is the the Derby Paulista between Palmeiras and Corinthians at the Pacaembu. Corinthians won the Paulista meeting earlier in the year by a single goal and if Fluminense win on Saturday they may need to win this to go back to the top of the table. The Big Green are looking a lot more solid since the return of Scolari but this is their biggest test yet. Botafogo travel to Vitória looking to break their 8 game streak without a win. Boosted by El Loco Abreu signing a new contract in the week they might just catch Vitória with more minds on recovering a two goal Copa do Brasil defecit in the coming midweek. Avaí have been in good form since the break and entertain a Goiás side that has struggled since the restart. Roberto has been the star man for Avaí so far this season and the home side will be looking for more goal from him to continue their good run. Goias has plummeted since the break and need to get back on track soon. The second of the big games sees the 382nd Gre-Nal at the Beira-Rio. With Inter in the middle of a Libertadores semi-final you would think it could tip the odds in favour of Grêmio, but this is Grêmio away from the Olímpico and we know what that normally means.

Another big local derby takes place at the Minerão in Belo Horizonte as Atlético-MG and Cruzeiro lock horns. Atlético-MG are having a shocking season so far and they are currently 19th in the table. Scoring goals hasn't been a problem but they have been simply leaking too many goals. Cruzeiro, after winning their opening two games after the break have recently stuttered but should be looking to gain local bragging rights. Prudente entertain a Santos side who have one foot in next years Libertadores after a first leg victory in midweek. Prudente are unbeaten since the break, but that includes three draws. Santos have lost their last three league games and need to get back on track quickly. This game will also mark the end of Robinho's loan spell from Manchester City. Finally at the Maracanã on Sunday sees the final derby and the 337th "Clássico dos Milhões" between Flamengo and Vasco da Gama. Vasco won the last meeting in the Carioca in March and they have turned things round since the break with a four game unbeaten run. Flamengo lost their first game since the break last time out at Internacional and with the transfer window opening in the week will be glad to get a few more bodies on deck, especially in attack, before the next round of fixtures. Ticket sales have been a little slow for this one with only 17,000 sold as we published this article.

We'll be back with a full round up on Monday

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