Thursday’s Brazilian Serie A derby action sees reigning champions Corinthians playing host to Santos. Neither side arrives in the best of shapes, but Corinthians are expected to claim the three points and bragging rights.
Corinthians have been struggling since boss Fabio Carille departed a couple of weeks ago for a big contract in Saudi Arabia, but could really get things back on the right tracks here. Carille’s former assistant, Osmar Loss has thus far lost 3 of his 4 games in charge and will be desperate to improve upon that in this fixture.
Confidence can at least be taken from the fact that the only win under Loss’ watch came last time out on home soil, via a 1-0 triumph over America Mineiro and that win means Corinthians have taken 10 points from a possible 12 so far on home soil. Timao have had some tough away games since Carille’s departure, at Internacional and Flamengo, but this match looks a far easier proposition.
That’s mainly due to the poor start to the season cash-strapped Santos have made. Fans have been calling for Jair Ventura’s head for a number of weeks now and whilst a 5-2 win over a dreadful Vitoria side over the weekend has somewhat lifted the pressure, it’ll be back on immediately if Peixe fall to defeat in this derby.
Santos are not performing too badly on their own patch but have huge issues on the road, leaving confidence low coming into this clash. On their travels, the visitors are showing no resolve whatsoever and have lost their last 6 games on enemy territory, failing to even so much as score in 4 of said outings and it’s that sequence of results that has the side hovering just above the drop zone.
Ultimately, whilst neither party is flying at the moment, it’d take a brave man to back Santos in any way, shape or form on the road and at current prices, we’re more than happy to get behind a Corinthians win.
The hosts are typically very powerful on their own patch and have also won their last 4 home games against Santos. This match really does appear the perfect opportunity to lift spirits at the club and in front of a fervent home support, Corinthians should be able to take full advantage of Santos’ away-day weakness, with a 1-0 margin of victory on the cards.
Corinthians possible starting XI: Walter; Mantuan, Balbuena, Henrique, Sidcley; Gabriel, Maycon; Pedrinho, Roger, Vital; Rodriguinho.
Santos possible starting XI: Vanderlei, Ferraz, Veríssimo, Braz, Dodô; Pituca, Renato, Mota; Sasha, Rodrygo, Gabigol.
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The sides drew 1-1 earlier on in the year in a Campeonato Paulista clash. In last seasons Serie A, each side won their home game 2-0 against the other. Overall, Corinthians have won 4 home games in a row, all of which to nil.
Goalkeeper Cassio and right back Fagner remain on international duty. Ralf, Rene Junior, Clayson, Angel Romero and Emerson Sheik are injured whilst a late call will be made on attacking midfielder Jadson.
Bruno Henrique is ready to return from a knock and should start on the bench, as is the case with forward Emiliano Vecchio. However, right back Daniel Guedes misses out along side Alison, Vitora Bueno and Yuri Alberto.