After an average weekend which saw my Brrazilian bets end with just over 14% ROI. I’m aiming for a big improvement with the midweek fixtures in South America. Wednesday night sees the return of the prestigious Copa Libertedores, the South American version of the champions league. Two Brazilian clubs will take part in the qualification rounds: Gremio and Sao Paulo.
Corinthians v Ponte Preta (7pm)
Corinthians opening game against Paulista was a simple example of how serious or not so in this case Corinthians will be taking this championship, with the Copa Libertedores group stages just around the corner Corinthians will once again field a weakened side aswell as rotating their formation again as Tite once again uses the Paulista championship as a training ground. Ponte Preta always take this competition seriously and last year they managed to get themselves to the semi final after beating Corinthians in the quarter final. Ponte Preta like Corinthians like to make sure they’re defensively organised before throwing men forward which is the main reason that they’ve only conceded one goal in their previous five games, on the flip side of that if you concentrate to much on defending it can sacrifice attacking power which is also the reason that they’ve only scored one goal in their previous five games. I highly doubt this will be one to watch but hopefully it could be one to bring us another winner in Brazil.
Madureira v Flamengo (7pm)
Once again I’ll be betting on troublesome Flamengo especially ofter their opening game in which they were largely unimpressive throughout before running out 2-0 winners. Flamengo are still in a huge mess but there is some positive news coming out of the Rio based club and that is the potential signing of Rubin midfielder Carlos Eduardo (who won’t be signed in time for Wednesday). Flamengo will play Madureira who once again will sit very deep to try and contain Flamengo in the hope of scoring on the counter attack. Fla’s last game against Quissama was a prime example of how Flamengo will struggle without an out and out forward (since selling Vagner Love). There was virtually no link up play between midfield and attack which allowed the Quissama defence to stay organised and keep clearing their lines when needed. I’m expecting a very similar game where Flamengo will probably win again but it won’t be the commanding performance and victory that everyone is expecting from them.
Santos v Botafogo SP (9:30pm)
Santos started off the season with a 3×1 win over Sao Bernardo, they also sent us on the way to our winning bet the weekend soo I’m hoping they can do the same again. Santos will field virtually the same team as they did against Sao Bernardo and I’m expecting a big game from Argentine midfielder Walter Montillo who will be desperate to prove himself to the Santos faithful as early as possible; especially after his sub-par performance on Saturday night. Another player who I said I expected big things from this campaign is Santos forward Andre who has all the talent and potential in the world but lacks the mental capability to realise that. Andre had a goal disallowed against Sao Bernardo then the game just bypassed him so I’m hoping we see the real Andre take centre take Wednesday night. If all those options fail there’s always the back up plan which has worked for so many years for Santos……Give the ball to Neymar, the superstar forward had one of his poorer game against Sao Bernardo in which he ended up scoring two, winning a penalty and getting someone sent off (still poor by his standards). I expect Santos to put in a commanding performance over a poor Botafogo SP side.
Paulo v Bolivar (11:59pm)
This is a huge game for Sao Paulo who are expected to challenge for this season Copa Libertedores, they face Bolivian club Bolivar who competed in the Copa Lib last season before being eliminated to Santos. Bolivar are an extremely difficult team to beat at their own ground but away from home the notoriously struggle especially when playing Brazilian clubs. Last season Bolivar travelled to the Vila Bermiro (Santos FC) in the knockout phases of the Copa Lib they were eventually beaten 8-0 a scoreline which flattened the Bolivian side who could have easily been beaten 15-0. Sao Paulo were extremely unimpressive against Mirasol in the opening round of the Paulista championship coming out 2×0 winners, Sao Paulo were missing that key pass in the final stages but I’m putting that down to it being first game of the season. With the first game out of their system and a game of much more importance I’m expecting a huge performance by Sao Paulo. I expect SP to fully dominate this game from start to finish and with Bolivar struggling to find a fit defensive midfielder this could leave a large pocket of space for SP play-maker Jadson.
LDU Quito v Gremio (11:59pm)
Fellow Brazilians face a much more difficult task as they travel to Ecuadorian side LDU Quito, both of these sides are two of South Americas more organised sides, both Gremio and LDU conceded under 1 goal per game on average so as you can imagine I’m expecting a close fought contest. Gremio were constantly my “unders” team last season and I’m fully expecting this game to go unders. One advantage Gremio have is that their season has already started with a 2-0 win over Esportivo which helped to blow away a few cob webs so to speak. LDU have not played a game in over a month so I think they’ll be rusty during the opening periods, especially at set pieces which Gremio and more specifically Elano (ex Man City) specialise at. Should Gremio get a goal at some point which I think they will from a set piece more than likely then they’ll shut up shop like always and LDU will seriously struggle to break them down.
Lewis’ Football Tips:
Corinthians X Ponte Preta – Under 2.5 goals (2.05 Pinnacle)
Madureira X Flamengo – Under 3 goals (1.84 Pinnacle)
Santos X Botafogo SP – Santos -1.50 (2.18 Marathon)
Sao Paulo X Bolivar – Sao Paulo -2.00 (1.92 Marathon)
LDU Quito X Gremio – Gremio +0.00 (DNB) (2.62 Stan James)