Tomorrow Saturday, Palmeiras play Internacional for the 26th round of the Brazilian Championship, but it’s only Verdão’s 25th game, as the clash against Vasco da Gama in the first round remains unplayed. One might start wondering if we’ll ever see this postponed match actually played…
In the first 24 matches, Palmeiras accumulated 41 points, with eleven victories, eight draws and five defeats. Since our last review, Palmeiras have undergone a major covid outburst, that led to an unexpected defeat against Goiás, until then the worst team of the tournament.
A defeat against Internacional would make this year’s campaign the worst since 2016. A victory would take the team to 44 points, still behind the title campaigns of 2016 and 2018. When compared to the previous 15 seasons, a victory against Internacional would make it the seventh best, while a defeat would push it down only one position.
The defeat against Goiás was the fifth in the tournament, already surpassing the number of defeats in the whole campaign of 2018 and one less than in 2016, with 14 rounds still to go. This comparison shows that Palmeiras must perform near perfection if the title remains the aim for the season.
Palmeiras currently sit in fourth position, with the possibility to climb another position if beating Internacional and Vasco in the postponed match. Considering this scenario, the distance to leaders São Paulo would be reduced to six points, with a head-to-head in the 34th round. Flamengo is another strong contender, having the comparative advantage of being able to focus solely on the Brazilian League, as they are already eliminated from the Libertadores Cup and the Brazil Cup.
The dream of a Brazileirão title remains, but with the semifinals of the Libertadores Cup and the Brazil Cup coming up, Palmeiras’ squad will be tested to its limits, playing twice a week until the end of the season. Some injuries have already taken important players out of combat, but Abel Ferreira found ways to move on, even amidst a covid outburst. Will he maintain the exceptional performance of the team for the next couple of months? Fingers crossed!
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi
*Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.