As predicted, Palmeiras encountered little difficulties against América Mineiro, bagging their seventh consecutive home victory and reaffirming the position at the top of the tables – unless Internacional today trash Coritiba away by a +5-goal margin.
Cuca continues to tweak his tactics and alterations, making Palmeiras increasingly unpredictable as players frequently swap positions and tasks. Suffering no pressure defensively (Edu Dracena pairing up with Vítor Hugo and Moisés as watchdog) the offensive rally stood out against América: Dudu, Tchê Tchê, Gabriel Jesus and, especially, Róger Guedes were relentlessly attacking and nothing but inspired Atlético keeper João Ricardo kept Palmeiras from “applying a chocolate”, as one calls a big victory over here.
There has been a lot of buzz related to the presence of two FC Barcelona scouts during Tuesday’s game. If there to observe Gabriel Jesus, they certainly got what they came for. While speculations run wild in the media, Palmeiras sustain no official negotiations are taking place, while coach Cuca reassures the 19-year-old is staying at Palmeiras at least until the end of the year. No doubt the best scenario for everyone involved.
Keeping the squad intact does not mean closing it for additional players. Colombian fullback Yerry Mina will join in a week or two. Negotiations are also well advanced between Palmeiras and Belgian Club Brugge for a return of Leandro Pereira. The striker was enjoying a grand phase at Palmeiras in early 2015, but the arrivals of Barrios and Alecsandro made him jump on an opportunity to initiate an international career. However, he did not excel with the Belgians and the low visibility opened no windows. Previously happy at Palmeiras, Leandro’s wish to return coincide with Barrios’ streak of injuries and Alecsandro’s doping suspension. A formal announcement is expected within days.
On Saturday Palmeiras travel to Belo Horizonte to play Cruzeiro, the Minas Gerais team fresh out of the relegation zone after yesterday’s surprising 4-0 away win against Ponte Preta. Very hard to predict the outcome, but I say Palmeiras should minimally manage a draw here.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!