Friday, 13 August 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 14 Preview

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

Saturday's action sees cellar dwellers Atlético-GO welcome a Botafogo side that has managed to put back to back wins together and suddenly finds itself in mid-table. Atlético-GO are unbeaten in their last two, but both were drawn but if this game goes their way and other results around them do as well they may find themselves off the bottom of the table come Sunday night. Palmeiras still can't win under Scolari and the league's draw specialists welcome Atlético-PR to the Pacaembu. A midweek defeat at Vitória in the Sudamericana snapped their recent run of draws but they need to get back into the W column as soon as possible. A victory for Atlético-PR would see them leapfrog over the Big Green in the table. Flamengo welcome a Ceará team to the Maracanã that hasn't won a game in Série A since the break for the world cup. Ceará's last win was against Atlético-MG back on June 6. The Champions meanwhile haven't won since success at Atlético-GO the first weekend after the break and desperately need to get some form together if they are to retain their title. Guarani's victory over Avaí last weekend should give them confidence for the visit to Atlético-MG. The Belo Horizonte club don't believe in drawing games, they either win or lose and this season they've mostly lost. If Guarani are to stay in the top flight this a must win target game for them but Atlético-MG's last gasp midweek Sudamericana victory may springboard their season.

On Sunday São Paulo welcome Cruzeiro to the Morumbi with caretaker manager Sérgio Baresi looking to get their season back on track. Qualification for the Libertadores is a must for São Paulo and they have a long way to go to achieve this. Cruzeiro arrive in town on the back of a draw against Prudente last weekend but need to get more consistent if they are to challenge for honours. Vasco da Gama are one of the form teams in the competition at the moment and will look to extend their recent good run of form at Prudente. With their Sudamericana challenge ended in midweek but a last minute goal they need to overcome that disappointment first but seek to requalify for the competition next year. Vasco can't string back to back wins togther, draws are following victories so get your money on the tie in this one. Avaí's midweek win at Santos in the Sudamericana won't have done the confidence no harm and they welcome Corinthians to the Ressacada. Corinthians have dropped points in recent weeks and have seen themselves deposed at the top of the table but this is no run of the mill away game. The Ressacada isn't an easy place to go to and Avaí will be looking to claim the scalp of another big club.

Fluminense have struck lucky as they welcome Internacional to the Maracanã on Sunday. On the back of a Mexico trip in midweek and attention more focused on sealing the Libertadores crown in the coming week Internacional may well rest players as they seek to claim a second Libertadores. Fluminense are top of the Série A form table at the moment and the arrival of Deco will only make them stronger, this should be a home banker. A repeat of the cup final in Vitória as they entertain Santos. It's the third time the clubs have met in the last fortnight and in the second leg of the Copa final Vitória ended up two one winners. Santos sent out a weakened side in midweek, they have a Libertadores place next year so they may well just put the cue on the rack like Corinthians did last year and just cruise home to the end of the season. Two more teams who have very recent history meet at the Olímpico in the final game in the round. Goiás dumped Grêmio out of the Sudamericana on Thursday night with a 2-0 victory at the Olímpico and with both teams in the relegation zone at the moment this could prove to be a crucial game. A repeat performance from Goiás will lift them out of the relegation zone, defeat for Grêmio will leave them with a long uphill battle as the season goes on.

We'll review these games on Monday

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