When Vasco da Gama were in the second tier in Brazil last season we did tend to provide pretty regular updates of their campaign to get back into the top flight. With a little spare time at the moment, we're going to drop a league to give a brief insight into who might be joining the big boys in 2011.
First a round up of the relegated teams from last season.
Despite running Santos all the way for the Paulista title Santo André are struggling to make an impression in their fight to get back into the top flight. The squad that did so well in the Paulista was ripped apart as they players were cherry picked and as a consequence they have struggled. They have spent part of the season in relegation zone and a 3-1 win against Paraná, only their sixth of the season, has temporarily lifted them to the edge of the relegation zone
One of the two Recife clubs that were relegated at the end of least season, they have also struggled to make an impression on the division. Currently on a two game losing run they are tenth in the table but only two wins away from the promotion zone. Their last win came against Santo André but they have since fallen to Coritiba and Duque de Caxias.
From the Libertadores to Série B inside 12 months is the tale of woe for Sport. Currently in some decent form, they have won their last four, they currently lie sixth in the table and are four point behind the relegation zone. Sport are currently on a ten game unbeaten run, their last defeat was at the end of July to Duque de Caxias.
Possibly the biggest name of the four to fall out of the top flight at the end of last year, the rioting of the fans after the Fluminense game just showing how much they felt the disappointment. They are doing the best of the the relegated side, they currently lie in the last promotion spot in fourth with 37 points but their recent form has been mixed of late.
So, leading the way at the moment are Figueirense (they were relegated in 2008) and the Florianópolis based club will be looking to join rivals Avaí in the top flight next year. They currently lead the way with 39 points after 22 weeks and are joined also in the promotion spots by three teams on 37 points. The previously mentioned Coritiba, Bahia and the famous América Mineiro looking for back to back promotions. Also on 37 points but below Coritiba on games won are Paulista club Ponte Preta. Ten points separate the top ten clubs in the league and with 48 points still up for grabs there is no reason why Rio club Duque de Caxias in tenth can't force a way into the promotion picture. São Caetano, who lost out in the final of the Paulista Torneo Interior are in ninth and another Paulista club are just above them. Portuguesa missed out by three points last season and their bid to halt Guarani's promotion bid after the Bruno Carazine Constantino incident failed. The remaining team in the top ten are Guaratinguetá, another Paulista club who are making a good impression after their promotion from Série C last year.
The bottom two in the table, Ipatinga look doomed after only picking up 15 points so far this season and it looks like América RN with a point more will be joining them in Série C next year. Another Paulista club, Bragantino are in the relegation zone. They just managed to keep their Paulista A1 place last season by the skin of their teeth so do have some fight in them. Vila Nova are the final club in the relegation zone but they are only a point behind Santo André at the moment. Paraná in 12th aren't safe and with Icasa, the Capital's Brasiliense and newly promoted ASA filling the remaining spots in the league.
We'll hopefully provide a further update on Série B as the season draws to a close. It certainly is going to be a tight race for the promotion spots.