Sunday’s Brazilian Serie A derby actions sees rivals Palmeiras and Sao Paulo doing battle. It’s the visitors who arrive in stronger form but it’s expected to be a close game overall.
After a strong start Palmeiras’ performance levels continued to decline in their midweek loss at Cruzeiro and pressure is beginning to somewhat mount on boss Roger Machado, something that a loss here would only encourage.
Verdao had been running along nicely under Machado, lifting the Campeonato Paulista, qualifying from their Libertadores group as top seeds as well as taking 8 points from their first 4 Serie A matches, but the side now arrive down in 10th after losing 3 of their last 4 league outings. With aspirations of challenging for the title, the current run of form is simply not good enough and those that take to the field will be looking to return to winning ways on home soil after losing 3-2 to Sport Recife at the Allianz Parque last weekend.
Meanwhile, after several underwhelming years, Sao Paulo’s flying start to the season has really came out of nowhere. Diego Aguirre’s troops started the season in hard to beat fashion more than anything, drawing 4 of their opening 5 but a run of 3 consecutive wins now has confidence levels soaring and his lifted Tricolor to the dizzy heights of second.
Sao Paulo rarely come into this derby confident of a result, having lost 4 of the last 5 meetings and won just 1 in 10 against Palmeiras, but if there was ever a chance for the visitors to secure a result, it certainly looks like now and fans are confident of giving their bitter rivals a run for their money this time around.
Ultimately, Palmeiras are a better side than their results in recent weeks would suggest and will surely leave this blip soon. However, they’re unlikely to do that this weekend, given the excellent shape Sao Paulo are in and the fact they remain unbeaten after 8 matches.
We like the look of the draw in this fixture and feel it provides excellent value. Man for man, Palmeiras are the marginally stronger team and have home advantage, but Sao Paulo have looked a very cohesive unit in the action we’ve seen so far and will not go down lightly. 4 of the visitor’s last 5 games on the road have ended all square and that sequence should continue in this one, with a 1-1 stalemate on the cards.
Palmeiras possible starting XI: Jailson; Mayke, Carlos, Henrique, Dracena, Barbosa; Henrique, Melo, Lima; Keno, Willian, Dudu.
Sao Paulo possible starting XI: Sidao; Militao, Arboleda, Martins, Edimar; Jucilei, Petros; Guilherme, Nene, Everton; Souza
Looking for Accumulator tips? See what our experts are tipping today and follow the smart money.
Palmeiras have dominated this fixture in recent times, winning 4 of the last 5 meetings and losing just 1 of their last 10 games against Sao Paulo.
Right back Marcos Rocha is suspended whislt midfielder Moises is injured. Forward Miguel Borja is on international duty.
Centre back Rodrigo Caio is sidelined whilst attacking midfielder Christian Cueva is away on international duty.