The Brazilian league has kicked off and NewBettingTips makes a brief analysis of the teams that will play in it. The objective is predicting the groups of teams who will fight for the title, Copa Libertadores’ spots and try to avoid relegation.
FLAMENGO ARE THE FAVOURITES TO WIN THE TITLE
It’s not exactly a surprise, but we can put Flamengo at the top of the ranking in terms of favourites to win the Brazilian title. Brazil doesn’t exactly have a footballing scene where we see one club on top for a long time, but it seems that this time Flamengo has everything to do that.
The financial development, the great roster they’ve built, and their playstyle makes them favourites to win the title, on a league that demands consistency. They haven’t lost any big-name player so far and their potential quality is currently much higher than most of the other teams on the competition.
The only thing that might get in the way of the team is Domenèc Torrent’s adaptation. The expectation is one of the best, even if it’s a bit different than what Jorge Jesus was doing, the experience of years alongside Guardiola and a potential implementation from his playstyle should work very well here.
ATLÉTICO-MG, PALMEIRAS AND GRÊMIO ARE ALSO IN CONTENTION
Atlético-MG: The big novelty of Brazilian football for this new season is definitely Atlético Mineiro. The club that signed Sampaoli shortly before the stoppage also signed several players, building a great roster and now we are seeing the influence of their new manager appearing.
The Argentinian leader is already starting to implement his own style to the team: intense and extremely vertical.
They will be one of the best teams in this league and they promise to cause some more difficulties to Flamengo than what they had in 2019. In fact, Flamengo and Atlético-MG will face off on the first round of the competition.
Palmeiras: Luxemburgo will struggle to make this team fight for the title. The roster is great, with a lot of good options. However, he has been struggling to be dominant against reactive teams.
Every match on the Campeonato Paulista was like that and inclusively the derbies against Corinthians, who have a much worse roster, but utilize a tactic with strong marking, being able to cancel out the offensive actions from Palmeiras.
I put Palmeiras behind Atlético-MG but they still have some chances of being contenders and fight for the trophy. Firstly, because Flamengo might not adapt to the new work style, due to the individual quality of the team and since they have an experienced manager.
Grêmio: Renato Gaúcho’s team always appears as a great force in the past 5 years. In normal conditions, they would be listed as one of the great forces of the competition, but there are some aspects that drag them slightly down on the fight for the title.
Firstly, this is a club that is more turned towards the cups. Be it Copa do Brasil or Copa Libertadores, they always prioritise them.
Therefore, with a very tight schedule like the one this year, their group that is good but full of young players should rotate the squad on the decisive matches.
Their main player, Everton Cebolinha, has been announced at Benfica and they have an interesting replacement, but that is far from having the quality he had at least right now.
INTER AND SÃO PAULO ARE THE BIG QUESTION MARKS
Many who read this article will be thinking I’ve made a mistake putting these two clubs below the others and not in the group of the teams who will be chasing Flamengo. I’ll tell you why I’ve made this decision.
Inter: Inter was before the stoppage considered by many commentators one of the teams that was playing better football in Brazil. The intensity implemented by Coudet worked wonderfully, with a scheme with a lot of amplitude and verticality. However, on this return, they’ve shown that they have a lot to work on.
Firstly, their emotional state. They’ve lost two derbies against Grêmio, being eliminated from the Campeonato Gaúcho and being completely dominated by their rivals. The fans demand tactical solutions, the departure of some veteran players from the club and the utilization of youngsters from their academy.
This is a team that is focused on intensity, but with a lot of matches played in a short period of time, they lose strength. Besides that, they have a huge difficulty when playing against teams that utilize heavy marking.
It might work out well, because they were presenting an interesting style previously. But in my opinion, they are slightly below the first peloton.
São Paulo: This team became sort of a joke amongst Brazilian fans, due to the fact they have a good tactical structure, with good ball possession control and good finishing but awful effectiveness, pace control and especially defensive balance.
I don’t see this group of players being better than any of the first peloton. They have an interesting playstyle, but they struggle a lot whenever they face tighter teams.
Besides that, they always have a lot of controversies internally and the lack of titles for several years puts a lot of pressure on the players, from the fans.
ATHLETICO-PR, CORINTHIANS AND RB BRAGANTINO: THOSE TEAMS THAT WILL SNATCH SOME POINTS
Below the first peloton we will have those teams that might not initially be listed as favourites, but that will cause a lot of problems to the “top dogs”, inclusively being great options for betting on positive handicaps a lot of times.
Athletico-PR: That Athletico that won Copa do Brasil, with a good playstyle and that was very strong at home is now sort of similar. I say sort of similar and not exactly the same because they’ve lost their manager and some important pieces of their roster such as Rony, Leo Pereira, Marco Ruben and Bruno Guimarães.
Athletico as a club, maintain that philosophy, trying to utilize intense players, mixing up with some youngsters and becoming a very dangerous team.
They play on their synthetic turf and that is an advantage, but in terms of the strength of their roster, I don’t put them amongst the top teams. They will surely snatch a lot of points from the top teams, but they will be more focused on the cups as well.
Corinthians: The club from São Paulo has been severely criticized due to their performances in the Campeonato Paulista. Luan, brought for over 20 million isn’t performing well, but he has a lot of quality and he might still turn things around. In general, this is a dedicated team, with a good defensive ability and tailored to play reactive football.
They don’t have a lot of quality in the group, being poor on that regard. But their playstyle imposes difficulties, so much that they’ve reached another state championship final, and that condition should cause some problems to the more proactive teams.
RB Bragantino: The champions of the Serie B come into the first division with some motivation. Besides having performed really well in the 2nd division, they’ve added several promising youngsters to their roster, and they have some good competitiveness power.
They were eliminated on the decisive stages of the state championship, but their playstyle is more of a reactive one, with the team creating a lot of quick plays in transition. They will come into a lot of matches as underdogs, but they will succeed on several of those occasions.
BOTAFOGO, VASCO AND FLUMINENSE: THE GREAT CLUBS WHO ARE SUFFERING ON THE BOTTOM HALF OF THE STANDINGS
Botafogo, Vasco and Fluminense: These three clubs from Rio de Janeiro haven’t been amongst the best teams in the country for a long time.
Their financial conditions are heavily related to that problem.
All of them are overwhelmed with debts, a lot of times having wage arrears. On this season, they’ve built rosters full of average players and some foreign unknown players.
They won’t be favoured even against teams from the bottom half of the standings since they aren’t consistent. I would bet on 1 or 2 out of these 3 teams once again fighting to avoid relegation.
BAHIA, FORTALEZA, CEARÁ AND SANTOS: BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND HALF OF THE STANDINGS
I’d say that these three clubs are in similar conditions for this kind of competition and I’ll explain why.
Starting off, I’ll explain why Santos is in this group. They’re a team in the Copa Libertadores with some good players on their starting line-up. But their financial conditions have weakened the relationship with the players, with some of them asking to rescind.
They’ve “shot themselves in the foot” with the signing of the Portuguese manager Jesualdo Ferreira, who didn’t have the team playing well, had a terrible relationship with the press, fans and maybe even the players. Santos had potential but they weren’t able to utilize it.
Their evolution depends on who will come to replace the Portuguese manager who was fired, and how they will handle their pending wages situation.
Bahia, Fortaleza and Ceará have the same characteristics. The teams from the northeast signed players who aren’t that well known but deliver very good intensity.
The 3 clubs have interesting managers: Roger (Bahia) and Rogério Ceni (Fortaleza) with a style more focused on ball possession, but being reactive against the top teams, and Lisca (Ceará) who imposes a completely vertical style with the ball but always sitting back with lower lines, having inclusively won the Copa do Nordeste recently.
These 3 clubs are competitive, each in their own way, but they should aim for a mid-table finish.
ATLÉTICO-GO, GOIÁS, SPORT AND CORITIBA: THE GOAL IS TO AVOID RELEGATION
All of these clubs, on a certain period of the competition, be it due to absences on the opposition, or a good moment of form, will have some occasional victories.
I don’t believe that any of them can fight to finish close to the top 10. All of them have bad financial conditions and therefore no good way to build rosters with great players.
They build a roster of hard-working players but that simply isn’t enough for a long competition. Atlético, Sport and Coritiba were promoted from the Serie B and the trend suggests they will fight in order not to return there.
Goiás is on the same position and they no longer have the strength to do what they did in 2019, when they’ve surprisingly finished in 10th place.