Let’s have a look at the first round of matches of the Brazilian Série A.
São Paulo VS Botafogo (Saturday, 16:00, Morumbi) São Paulo recently lost the finals of their state tournament against Corinthians however they have a slightly better squad than Botafogo and a far more experienced coach even considering that he has recently begun his work. São Paulo counts on a very experienced group of directors and assistant coaches and the newly appointed coach received fresh information of quality as soon as his work begun. It’s hard not to consider SPFC as the very favorites here especially considering the coach that the Cariocas chose who simply has no experience with professional footballers, only youth teams (he was a youth team manager at Corinthians prior to his appointment last week)
Atlético MG VS Avaí (Saturday, 19:00, Independência)
Atlético is living a hard situation, they were recently KO’d out of the Libertadores GS and recently lost the state finals to their biggest rivals Cruzeiro In spite of having experienced interesting players such as Elias and Ricardo Oliveira, Avaí seems in better shape especially after winning their local regional tournament last weekend and having rested in the midweek whilst Atlético lost their Tuesday match at Libertadores. Maybe the southern visitors will be able to collect at least a point here.
Chapecoense VS Internacional (Saturday, 19:00, Arena Condá)
Both sides played during the midweek for different competitions. Chape is a tough team to be faced at their domains, the proportion of points collected at home comparing to away is very clear in this sense over the past seasons. It seems to be a levelled match and maybe a draw is a good bet here.
Flamengo VS Cruzeiro (Saturday, 21:00, Maracanã)
Cruzeiro recently confirmed their qualification to the next stage of Libertadores while Flamengo lost away and will have to fight for points in the 6th GS match of that competition. Both teams arrive at this match with a similar number of days rested since their last fixtures. Maybe this is the match with best level of quality of the 1st round. Both teams count on a great squad and very experienced coaches, maybe a draw could be a good bet or under selections considering that the coach of Cruzeiro tends to adopt rather defensive strategies at away fixtures.
Grêmio VS Santos (Sunday, 11:00 am , Arena do Grêmio)
Grêmio has been resting since Tuesday while Santos was involved in a Brazil Cup match last Wednesday. The Gaúchos are usually very hard to beat at home and the visiting coach likes to adopt attacking strategies no matter where and against what team. Grêmio’s squad seems a little bit better than Santos. Maybe Grêmio to win and over bets could be interesting here due to the naturally attacking style of Grêmio and Santos and the current situation of both teams.
Ceará VS CSA (Sunday, 16:00, Castelão)
The match between the northeastern clubs marks the return of CSA to Série A. Both clubs have a similar level of quality in terms of squad and financial means. Ceará has recently lost their state final while CSA won once again their local tournament. Ceará is slightly favorite as they have been at Série A for longer time and have been frequently at the top division in spite of a few relegation, CSA came from the very bottom of the football pyramid and this season will be a big test for them.
Athlético-PR VS Vasco (Sunday, 16:00, Arena da Baixada)
Vasco is in a major crisis, they have lived problems of financial nature the wages of the players have been paid with frequent delays this year and they were knocked out of the Brazilian Cup in the same week they lost the local finals of the state tournament to their biggest rivals. Add to the scenario a recent coach departure and there is no way not to consider Athlético as the favorites here, especially as they usually are strong hosts and after lifting another state trophy (even if it was against a small club)
Bahia VS Corinthians (Sunday, 16:00, Fonte Nova)
Corinthians is a bigger club with a more expensive squad and rather experienced coach, however, Bahia plays at home and anything can happen. The Baianos could be a little bit more tired as they were involved in a Thursday fixture whilst Corinthians played on Wednesday. At the 1×2 scenario anything seems possible, but at over/under market maybe an under bet could be a good call as the coach of Corinthians tends to adopt rather defensive strategies on the road.
Palmeiras VS Fortaleza (Sunday, 19:00, Arena Palmeiras)
The current title holders of Série A will debut against the title holders of Série B. There is a major difference of size between the clubs in terms of history, titles and financial means. Fortaleza is kind of happy at the very moment as their coach decided not to leave to Atlético-MG and announced that he will begin the season as their coach. Even if Palmeiras rests players here they remain favorites as they have a very good “squad depth.
Fluminense VS Goiás (Sunday, 19:00, Maracanã)
Fluminense has been living ups and downs since the begin of the year and during the last few years due to the end of a major partnership with a wealthy sponsor. They failed to reach the state finals and now they face the runners up for the Goiás state tournament who recently fired their coach. Fluminense might be favorite as playing at home, but they definitely aren’t that strong at the moment and even considering their own problems, Goiás could earn a point here or even win.