Saturday’s Brazilian Serie A derby action sees Sao Paulo doing battle with local rivals Palmeiras at the Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo. It’s the visitors who arrive as favourites to secure bragging rights and the 3 points on offer.
The Copa America break came just at the right time for Sao Paulo, as they were in very poor form prior to it and were coming under huge pressure from their fans. Tricolor had made a bright start to the season but quickly let their standards drop, meaning they come into this game currently stationed 9th on the Serie A table.
Indeed, the hosts haven’t won any of their last 5 league outings and having failed to score in 5 of their last 7 competitive matches, it’s not hard to see where their problems lie. Cuca’s men are struggling to function effectively in attack, with star signing Pato yet to the heights expected and they’ll have to improve significantly if they are to really trouble their rivals in this game.
Meanwhile, after romping to the title last season under boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, Palmeiras remain as strong a force as ever and it’s already apparent they are going to take some stopping in Serie A this season. All in all, the visitors are now unbeaten in a staggering 31 league matches and 25 points from the 9 games contested so far this season already has them well out in front as the early pace setters.
Palmeiras have also won their last 11 competitive matches and are in truly stunning form. They’ve conceded just once over said period and are almost impenetrable defensively, whilst in attack they have the quality and firepower to trouble just about anyone; a formula that currently has them looking unstoppable.
Ultimately, though Sao Paulo have home advantage, they still face a massive challenge. They aren’t in good form, are under pressure from their fans and face an opponent that is brimming with quality and looks far stronger than them on the evidence we have seen so far this season.
All things considered, we’re more than happy to back an away win here and feel that Palmeiras are a good bet at current prices. We’ve had huge success in backing them over the last year or so and think they’ll be able to get the job done once again here, with a 1-0 away win on the cards.
Sao Paulo beat Palmeiras on penalties in the semi final of the Campeonato Paulista earlier on in the year. Nonetheless, Palmeiras are unbeaten in 7 matches against the hosts, winning 5 times in the process.
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