After pausing during the World Cup, the Brasileirão Série A resumes tonight.
The Série A may have stopped for a break during the World Cup, but that didn’t mean that some teams weren’t affected. The last Série A was on 13 June – the day before the competition began – but players called up by their national teams had to report for duty three weeks before the Cup began. That meant that they missed a total of six league matches that were crammed into the three weeks.
Those affected included Corinthians, who had Fagner and Cássio called up by the Seleção. Grêmio’s captain Pedro Geromel was also called up by Tite, while Flamengo’s Trauco and Paulo Guerrero were in Peru’s World Cup squad. Palmeiras forward Miguel Borja was called up by Colombia. And Martin Silva, of Vasco, and Arrascaeta, of Cruzeiro, were in Uruguay’s squad.
As it happens, Flamengo didn’t seem too affected by the absentees and they won five out of the six games before the World Cup started. A couple of months is a long time in Brazilian football and it was only in April that Flamengo’s players were assaulted by angry fans at an airport. They are now top of the log and everything bad has been forgotten.
Vinicius Junior was in inspired form over that period and said an emotional goodbye to the club before completing his move to Real Madrid. Lucas Paqueta, on the Seleção’s World Cup standby list, was also in very good form.
Corinthians undoubtedly missed Fagner and Cássio, but the real reason their dip in form was the change in coach. Fabio Carille accepted two truck loads of money and switched Corinthians for the Middle East in May and with the games coming thick and fast, it was a tough time to take the reigns for Carille’s replacement, the unfortunately named – for a football coach anyway – Osmar Loss. Now that he has had time to train the team for a solid month, I would expect their form to pick up.
Atlético-MG, São Paulo and Internacional have surprised the pundits (and probably even themselves) and make up the top four. Ceará, who have changed their coach twice this season already, prop up the table with five points after twelve games.
There have been some significant comings and goings over the last month or so, which I will detail in a later post. At first glance, Atletico Mineiro seem to have been the busiest team. They have lost their top scorer Roger Guedes, who has moved to China, although they have made a couple of decent looking signings, including Denilson, from Vitoria, and Leandrinho, from Napoli. They play Grêmio tonight, while Flamengo v São Paulo is the other pick of the round. There are a few tasty looking derby matches too. For the latest Série A league table, results and fixtures, check out the dedicated Série A page.[table “2018_R13_F” not found /]