Tomorrow Thursday, Palmeiras play Flamengo for the 31st round of the Brazilian Championship, but it’s only Verdão’s 30th game, as the clash against Vasco da Gama in the first round remains unplayed. The postponed game is scheduled to take place on January 26th.
In the first 29 matches, Palmeiras accumulated 51 points, with fourteen victories, nine draws and six defeats. Since our last review, Palmeiras have reached the finals of the Brazil Cup and the Libertadores Cup, while top contenders of the Brazilian League have fumbled, providing the Verdão with a still remote but nevertheless real possibility of bagging the three titles.
A defeat against Flamengo would make this year’s campaign the worst since 2016. A victory would take the team to 54 points, still behind the title campaigns of 2016 and 2018, but very close to the current leaders. When compared to the previous 15 seasons, a victory on Thursday would make it the fifth best campaign, while a defeat would push us down two positions.
The defeat against Goiás was Palmeiras’ sixth in the tournament, already surpassing the number of defeats in the whole campaign of 2018 and tying with 2016, with 9 rounds still to go. This comparison shows that Palmeiras must perform near perfection if the title remains the aim for the season, although this time we’ll probably have a champion with less points than in 2018 and 2019.
Palmeiras currently sit in fifth position, with the possibility to reduce the gap to the leaders to less than three points if beating Flamengo, then Vasco in the postponed match. Palmeiras is the only team in Brazil with two finals to be disputed during the final stretch of the Brazilian League; two finals that could turn into three, should Palmeiras bag the Libertadores Cup and gain entry to the FIFA Club World Cup, to be played imediatly after.
The dream of a Brazileirão title remains and the momentum is extremely positive, after thrashing life-long rivals Corinthians earlier in the week. The team has overcome a covid outburst, injuries to key players and a crazy calendar that punishes those going far in every competition. The most optimistic palmeirenses are remembering the ‘Five Crowns’ of 1950/1951. And sincerely, who isn’t?
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.