It was of course bound to happen sooner or later; Palmeiras, undefeated so far in the Brasileirão, went head to head with Ceará and looked like they could snatch the full three points from the home team. Instead, Ceará fairly rapidly found themselves at ease and even more so after having opened up the scorecard with a well placed header from Washington (yes, the former Palmeiras player). Cearás second goal came just before half time. And I’ll be the first one to admit: we were closer to 3-0 than 2-1. Marcos had an inspiring afternoon, luckily.
Clearly missing Luan (suspended), Palmeiras put on quite a poor performance. Cicinho was doing OK but felt pains in a leg and had to be substituted (he should be back for Thursday’s game though), while Marcos Assunção seemed oh so tired. Adriano was totally lost, as he has been the last few months. Chico didn’t get many things right. Kleber was his usual battling self, but had few buddies to play with as Lincoln seemed to be hiding from the ball and Wellington Paulista was mostly to be found further out on the corners.
Speaking of Wellington Paulista: his positioning is being debated, not least by the player himself. Normally, one would see Kleber working the flanks and going further back to find the ball, while WP would place himself in the zone. That’s how the dynamic duo worked (and well, mind you) at Cruzeiro not long ago. But Scolari has been testing alternative ways of positioning WP in an understanding that he would be too similar a player to Kleber unless told to do differently. WP seems not to pleased with this and hints at this being the main reason why he hasn’t performed as expected. In any case, Scolari is clearly not satisfied with the performances of neither WP nor Lincoln so far and has already indicated that changes to the lineup are very likely. Judge by yourself: the “highlights” are to be found below.
There’s a major expectation that on Thursday, when Palmeiras receive Atlético Goianense at the Canindé stadium, newly arrived Maikon Leite makes his debut in the Palmeiras jersey. The striker was officially announced last Friday and made quite an impression, clearly stating his aspirations and his dedication as a professional footballer.
The 22-year-old is expected to train with the rest of the group on Tuesday and Wednesday, the time Scolari will have to evaluate his condition to play already against Atlético. Physically, everything should be OK as he has been training and playing for Santos until this very moment. Let’s cross our fingers for a successful debut and a prosperous career for Leite at Palmeiras; his contract with the club expires in 2016.
— ooo —
After yesterday’s round, Palmeiras is parked in third at 11 points, four points behind leader São Paulo FC who got thrashed 5-0 by new runner up Corinthians. Then there’s a bunch of teams on 10 and 9 points breathing down our neck. Bagging the three points on Thursday is very important to regain confidence. AVANTI PALESTRA!