Série A games have been coming thick and fast recently. Corinthians continue to grind out results and are top of the log, while Grêmio are one point behind in second place.
English Premier League coaches frequently complain about a crowded fixture list and their star players being forced to play too many games. Take a bow Jose Mourinho. Just as well that they don’t coach in Brazil then! Not only is Brazil around 40 times the size of the UK, meaning travel times are much longer in Brazil, but the pitches are worse (unavoidably so due to heavy, tropical, Brazilian rain) and there is no break in the Brazilian Série A calendar for international matches – the best teams simply lose their best players for two or three games at a time.
That didn’t stop Corinthians from winning all three of their matches in the last ten days when they were without Fagner and Rodriguinho who were on seleção duty in Australia. Corinthians have continued to grind out results, edging past Cruzeiro 1-0 in gameweek 7 and winning the derby against São Paulo 3-2 in gameweek 6. After a dodgy start to Série A, in which they drew at home to a tired Chapecoense, Corinthians are looking good.
Playing the better football though are Grêmio, who sit just one point behind them in second place. Luan is the star man and perhaps surprisingly he wasn’t called up to for the seleção’s recent games. Grêmio won’t mind at all though because he scored one and set up four goals in Grêmio’s 6-3 win at Chapecoense in gameweek 5 while the national team was losing to Argentina in Australia. Luan scored again in Grêmio’s 2-0 win at Fluminense on Thursday in gameweek 7.
My favourites for the title Flamengo are yet to get into gear. Strangely, it isn’t their defence that is the problem, as I thought it might be, it is their attack. They have missed Paulo Guerrero, who has been on international duty for Peru, for the last few matches, but Leandro Damião is a more than adequate replacement. Teenage sensation Vinicius Júnior also started his first league match recently, and playmaker Diego has returned from injury. For some reason though, it just hasn’t clicked yet and Flamengo sit 11th in the league.
Reigning Champions Palmeiras are doing even worse and have won two out of their first seven games and sit in 15th position. They have missed their Colombian duo of Yerry Mina and Borja for the last three games. But they are missing Gabriel Jesus even more. They would like to sign Diego Costa of Chelsea as a replacement but that seems more like a pipe dream than something that actually might happen, despite a recent selfie of Diego Costa and Yerry Mina and Borja doing the rounds on social media.
There is a full round of games this weekend, starting on Saturday with Atletico-GO vs. Atletico-PR at 4pm Brazil, 8pm UK.
For more information about Brazilian football in general, check out the about Brazilian football page.
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