Although still in what almost could be considered pre-season (were it not for the Libertadores Cup), things are starting to get serious. Palmeiras already know what awaits in the quarter-finals of the São Paulo Championship: Novorizontino, who yesterday beat Santos 2-1 to secure their spot.
Today’s penultimate game for Palmeiras in the group stage of the Paulistão has a special flavour: the 100th game at the Allianz Parque, and against arch-enemy São Paulo FC. 32 thousand tickets had been sold by yesterday evening. If Roger Machado wants some peace and tranquillity, he’d better make sure Palmeiras turn out a convincing performance tonight, erasing the perception of a stale and uninterested squad of last few rounds.
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A brief update on players currently in the Medical department:
Edu Dracena has not yet made his debut in 2018. On a specially tailored programme in order to reduce muscular injuries throughout the season, the 36-year-old felt discomfort to the hip last week during training. With nothing but a minor inflammation to a tendon, Dracena should be at Roger’ disposal by next week.
Deyverson suffered an almost identical injury to that of Neymar, in the fifth metatarsal of the right foot, and underwent surgery. The forward is in his sixth week of recovery, with another expected two weeks before ready to initiate physical reconditioning on the pitch.
Diogo Barbosa seriously twisted his ankle in mid-January, during a pre-season friendly game. The left-defender is clinically cured, but not yet ready to play, as he lost considerable muscle mass due to the period of immobilization. In the coming days he’ll start training on the pitch.
Mayke twisted his right ankle during a training session last week, suffering a ligament injury. He will not need surgery, but with recovery expected to take between four to six weeks, he has been cut from the São Paulo Championship roster.
Jean went under the knife on 11 January, in an effort to minimize effects of wear and tear to the cartilage of his right knee. He is about to complete two months of treatment, with the recovery period ranging from three to four months, effectively keeping him out of the Paulistão and also (at least the first stage of) the Libertadores Cup.
Artur operated his right ankle on 16 February. The young forward initiated physiotherapy this week and should be recovered in little more than a month.
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While on the topic of players: forward Dudu has extended his contract with another two years, now valid until end of 2022. Earlier this year, the 26-year-old turned down a very lucrative offer from China. With the extension cames a salary adjustment, as well as a bumped up early termination fee.
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A whopping six (6) Palmeiras players have been called up for the Brazilian U16 squad to compete in the upcoming Montaigu tournament in France. In addition, striker Fabrício was called up for the U17 squad, playing two friendlies against England at the end of the month.
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Rounding things off with a sight for sore eyes: Phil Collins and Foo Fighters recently did sold-out gigs at the Allianz Parque and, of course, received Palmeiras jerseys up front. Just one more reason for becoming a superstar.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!