São Paulo v. Palmeiras; Derby Preview

Just like Palmeiras v. Corinthians, the game against São Paulo is one of the greatest derbies of the year, specially because the previews matches were very controversial and competitive.

The Records:

Games: 276
Palmeiras Wins: 92
São Paulo Wins: 95
Draws: 89
Palmeiras scored 366 goals, and São Paulo scored 372.

Recent History:

Last year the derby of Palmeiras against São Paulo was full of argue. The first game, for the Campeonato Paulista, ended with a great win of Palmeiras, 4-1.

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São Paulo scored first, with Adriano. After the goal, Kleber (former Dynamo Kiev player and now in Cruzeiro) “elbowed” Andre Dias, but the referee didn’t saw. Minutes later the same Kleber scored an amazing goal, which ended the career of the center-defender Juninho in São Paulo, whit the great repercussion of the dribble among the fans:

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In the second half, Palmeiras suffered three penalties, taken by Valdivia, Denilson and Diego Souza, and the game ended 4-1.

After that game, Palmeiras and São Paulo met in the first leg of Campeonato Paulista’s semi-final, a more controversial game than the last one. That because Adriano scored with his hand the first goal of São Paulo:

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Adriano scored against, and Lenny suffered the penalty that kept Palmeiras alive for the second leg, scored by Alex Mineiro.

Palmeiras had the advantage of equals results for the second leg, and needed only one goal to go to the finals. In the 20th minute, Leo Lima tried and long range strike and Rogerio Ceni failed to defend the shoot:

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In the half-time, Sao Paulo returned earlier to the pitch because someone (nobody knows really well who) sprayed pepper gas on São Paulo lockers. A huge argue and investigation took place, and Palmeiras lost to home games this year.

In the second half Valdivia scores the last goal, tell Rogerio to shut up and get lucky to not be hit by any Sao Paulo player. After the goal, the lights of Palestra Italia went off, and just after 10 minutes went on again – but it was to late for Sao Paulo, and Palmeiras went to the finals, and became last year champions.

In the Campeonato Brasileiro things went less controversial. São Paulo beat Palmeiras in the first game, and, after a 2-0 lead in the second game, suffered Palmeiras tie:

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This Game

This year Palmeiras is in 1st place in Paulista Championship, while São Paulo is the third. A win for Palmeiras would guarantee the first position, and advantages on the finals. Depending on the results, São Paulo can fall to 5th position, with two games to go, out of the finals. A win for Sao Paulo can make the team go to second place, achieving advantage in the finals.

The game will be in São Paulo’s stadium, Morumbi. That’s not good news, because I can’t remember the last time Palmeiras won the derby away from home, or in a neutral stadium. As the game worth more to São Paulo than to Palmeiras, the home team will be far more motivated to win the game.

Tactical Analysis

It’s not easy to know how the coaches will set their line-ups. Palmeiras’ coach, Luxemburgo, is hiding the formation, maybe a 3-4-2-1, maybe a 4-1-2-2-1:

Danilo, Maurício and Marcão;
Sandro Silva, Pierre, Cleiton Xavier, and Jefferson;
Marquinhos and Willians(Lenny)

Wendell, Maurício, Danilo and Marcão;
Sandro Silva and C. Xavier.
Marquinhos and Willians(Lenny)

If Luxemburgo follows the same thought of the derby against Corinthians, the team should be the 3-4-2-1, more defensive.

São Paulo’s coach, Muricy Ramalho, changes a lot the formation, and thre’s no way to know who will play. If he follows Luxemburgo and star more defensively, the team should be:

André Dias, Renato Silva e Rodrigo;
Arouca, Jean and Jr. César;
Hernanes and Jorge Wagner;
Washigton and Borges(Dagoberto).

For Palmeiras’, the key point of the game will be the velocity of the attacking midfielders: Willians and Marquinhos will have to be fast and create spaces inside the good São Paulo defense. Palmeiras will have to watch the set pieces, a great strength of São Paulo, and a deficiency of Palmeiras defense.

For São Paulo, Hernanes and Jorge Wagner will have to help the slow attack formed by Washigton and Borges. The teal should play by the sides, since Palmeiras will have the reserves side-defenders.

Final thoughts

Even being a great derby, there will be no great repercussion if Palmeiras looses to São Paulo, since the team will need just one more win in two games to be the first place and goes to the finals with the advantage of playing for equals results.

Because of that, I’m not very interested in the game as I would any other moment. A win for Palmeiras could make São Paulo to be the 4th place, and a harder team on the semi-finals than Santos and Portuguesa, the teams fighting to go to the finals.

I really think we can beat them, end up São Paulos invincibility in their stadium, but I will not be very disappointed with a defeat, since we have more to worry right know (the Libertadores da América).

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