Sao Paulo v Atletico Mineiro Predictions

By on June 1, 2014

The Galo will travel to the city of Sao Paulo ahead of their clash with Sao Paulo FC in what will be an intriguing encounter as both sides are only separated by one point.

Sao Paulo have had a good start to the Brasileirao campaign and are in a very comfortable position in the league table after the first eight games. However, Muricy Ramalho knows that his side can do much better and improve their league position significantly as the season goes on. They are currently 8th in the Serie A standings with thirteen points from eight games and are only two points behind the team they face in this game. Furthermore, they are only three points behind league leaders Cruzeiro and just one point ahead of 9th placed Palmeiras. Ramalho is well aware of the fact that if they are to improve their league position and maybe challenge for a top 4 finish, they must perform better in these big games. If they can get good results in these games against the teams who are challenging them for a top 4 finish, it will do wonders for their confidence. They are up against a tough Galo side that has been in very good form recently and have not lost a single game in their last five matches. If they can manage to get all three points form this one, it will see them go level on points with league leaders Cruzeiro, even if it is just for a few hours. Thi is how close the top of the table is in Serie A right now. However, if they fail to get anything from this one, it will allow the teams behind them to take advantage and overtake them over the course of this matchday.

Sao Paulo have been brilliant in the attacking are so far this season having scored 14 goals but it the defence that is a sign of concern for the coach. They have conceded 11 in the eight games they have played so far, which is the highest amount of goals conceded by any team currently in the top 10. Ramalho must make sure that his defenders keep a cool head in this game and maintain their defensive shape because even thought Atletico Mineiro are missing some key players, they can still hurt their defence and their is no place for complacency in this game.

They have not been in very good form recently having won only two of their last five games while drawing two. They also suffered their first defeat of the season in these last five games, away to Fluminense in what was a very disappointing 5-2 loss and signifies the problems that Ramalho’s team faces defensively. They come into this game on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw against Atletico Paranaense. They have a good home record against Atletico Mineiro and have won 5 of their last 6 home matches against Atletico MG in all competitions. Plus they are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 home matches in Brasileirao.

Atletico Mineiro had a relatively poosr start to the season but they have since bounced back and have been on a very good run recently which has seen them climb the Serie A table and improve their position significantly in recent weeks. They are currently 6th in the Serie A standings after eiht games and are just one point behind 2nd placed Fluminense and just two points behind league leaders Cruzeiro. This means that if Levir Culpi’s side can get all three points from this game, they will move to the top of the Brasileirao standings even if their stay on the top might be only for a few hours. They have a very good chance to break into the top four after this game and might as well finish the matchday in the top three. This game is therefore very important for the Galo and they must ensure all three points from this game if they are to reinforce their claim as title challengers. A spot on top of the Serie A standings even if it is temporary will send a huge message to all the teams involved in the title race and put pressure on all the top 5 sides which could work to their advantage. Culpi’s men, however, don’t have a very easy task ahead of them as Sao Paulo are still a very strong side and even though their ecent form suggests otherwise, they can still hurt Atletico MG. The Galo must approach this game in a smart manner and try to exploit Sao Paulo’s weakness, that is, their shaky defence.

Levir Culpis’ side have been hit by injuries since the start of the season and that has put a dent in their performance in the initial five games of the season. Key players like Rever, Ronaldinho, Marcos Rocha and Luan. But his side have been impressive even without the absentees and one can only imagine what they have the potential to achieve with a full strength squad.

They have been in excellent form recently having won four of their last five games while drawing one. That solo draw came against Criciuma in a game where the manager would feel that his side should have earned something more. However, they are on a five game unbeaten streak and that will give them a huge psychological advantage going into this one. Their last game was a 2-0 win over Fluminense; the same side that handed Sao Paulo a 5-2 thrashing.

Sao Paulo have an almost full strength squad for this one. They will be without Alvaro Pereira who is out on international duty. Maicon might be handed a start over Denilson for this one.

Atletico Mineiro have alot of injuries ahead of this one. Luan, Botelho, Eron, Ronaldinho, Richarlyson, Marcos Rocha and Lucas Candido are all out with injuries and will miss this one. Rever is doubtful and is unlikely to feature. Victor and Jo will also miss out as they are out on international duty. Diego Tardelli is expected to start in this one.

DATE: May 31, 2014

TIME: 10:30 PM BST

VENUE: Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo (Morumbi), Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

REFEREE: Pericles Bassols Pegado Cortez

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:
Sao Paulo (4-2-3-1):- Ceni; Reinaldo, Carlos, Lucao, Douglas; Maicon, Souza; Osvaldo, Ganso, Pato; Fabiano
Atletico Mineiro (4-2-3-1):- Giovanni; Conceicao, Silva, Edcarlos, Alex; Donizete, Pierre; Marion, Datolo, Tardelli; Andre

LAST MEETING: September 19, 2013 | Campeonato Brasileirao Serie A | Sao Paulo 1-0 Atletico Mineiro

RECENT FORM:
Sao Paulo:- D W L D W
Atletico Mineiro:- W D W W W

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: Sao Paulo 1-3 Atletico Mineiro

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