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Prediction Competition - The Teams(2)

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All the runners and riders in the Summer Prediction Competition as Lenny367 takes a look at the Brazilian Serie A.

To read Part One click here >>>

TO ENTER THE COMPETITION CLICK HERE

Goiás

Full name: Goiás Esporte Clube
Founded: April 6, 1943
City: Goiânia (Goiás)
Home ground: Serra Dourada, capacity 60,000
Nickname: Verdão Esmeraldino (Big Emerald Green)
League champions: never
Final table position 2008: 8th in Série A
Experts say: Relegation Battle

* Since returning to the top flight in 1999 Goias have been consistent performers rarely being outside the top 10, despite being "relegation probables" of most pundits in Brasil.

* The main signing this year was Felipe from Nautico and he started the season bagging 2 against his former club.

* The season has seen Goias start with 3 draws from their 5 games so one would expect the usual mid table finish from this team.

* There are no former players who stand out as well known - except for those who have gone on to play for the bigger clubs in the Serie A and unknown to those outside of Brasil, and not that well known inside their native league.

Grêmio

Full name: Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense
Founded: September 15, 1903
City: Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul)
Home ground: Olímpico, capacity 51,081
Nickname: Imortal Tricolor (Tricolour Immortal)
League champions: 1981, 1996
Final table position 2008: Série A runners-up
Experts say: Just outside the Top 4

* Gremio returned to the Serie A in 2005 and have impressed with finished of 3rd, 6th, and last seasons 2nd place that saw them push champions Sao Paulo all the way.

* Not the most free scoring of teams they have built their success on a mean defence.

* Despite his successes elsewhere many remember Gremio as THE place where Felipao Scolari built his reputation.

* One to watch is the argentinian and cousin of Lionel Messi, Maxi Lopez, who is currently on loan from Moscow. Starting at River Plate he moved to Barcelona and Mallorca before ending up in Moscow. While not a prolific scorer the experts predict he will have a very good year in Gremio.

* The start of this season sees Gremio concentrating on the Libertadores and so they sit in mid table at present but once the cup adventure is over they are expected to move quietly up the table to challenge at the top once again.

* Famous former players include Ronaldinho and goalkeeper Emerson Leao who has become a successful coach making winners out of less fashionable clubs and had a short stint as national manager.

Internacional

Full name: Sport Club Internacional
Founded: April 4, 1909
City: Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul)
Home ground: Beira-Rio, capacity 56,000
Nickname: Colorado, Inter, Nação Vermelha (Red Nation), O Clube do Povo (The Folk's Club)
League champions: 1975, 1976, 1979
Final table position 2008: 6th in Série A
Experts say: Title favourites

* Astute squad rotation in the early games has seen Inter progress to the final of the Brasilian Cup and also to the top of the table.

* The only team from Brasil to win every trophy a club can win including the FIFA world club championship they are a hard team to beat and can boast a very solid and mean defence.

* One to watch this year is Nilmar, who has returned to his first club after a disastrous time with Lyon and a wonderful loan spell at Corinthians.A pacy, skilful and wonderful finisher Inter saw off a bid from Palermo in Italy last year and the club will face another battle once this years window opens.

* There is an impressive list of former players including Dunga, Falcao, and Rochemback known to us more for his spell at Middlesborough.

Náutico

Full name: Clube Náutico Capibaribe
Founded: April 7, 1901
City: Recife (Pernambuco)
Home ground: Aflitos, capacity 30,000
Nickname: Timbu (Opossum)
League champions: never
Final table position 2008: 16th in Série A
Experts say: Relegation Favourites

* The team from the northern city of Recife returned to the Serie A in 2006 but have struggled since and have just scraped past the post in each of the seasons they have been back, hence their being favourites for the drop once again this year.

* However, this season has started brightly and they find themselves sitting in the top half of the table although their defence does give some cause for concern having let in 9 goals in their opening 5 games.

* One to watch this year will be the Uruguyan Acosta. An ungainly striker in the Peter Crouch mode he left Nautico for Corinthians where he suffered a broken leg in a game against Criciuma following the most softest of tackles. Now fit again he has returned to Nautico and will undoubtedly prove to be a handful for most defences.

* The return of Acosta leaves the list of former idols looking very slim with none ever leaving for greater things.

Palmeiras

Full name: Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras
Founded: August 26, 1914
City: São Paulo (São Paulo)
Home ground: Palestra Itália, capacity 29,173
Nickname: Verdão (Big Green), Alvi-Verde (The Green Whites), Porco (Pig), Academia (The Football Academy)
League champions: 1972, 1973, 1993, 1994
Final table position 2008: 4th in Série A
Experts say: Just Outside the Top 4

* The arrival of Felipe Scolari transformed Palmeiras from an ordinary club into one that regularly challenges for the league title and qualifies for the Libertadores.

* This season they look certain to reach the semi finals and a tie against neighbouing Sao Paulo. They are well placed in the league and should kick on once the Libertadores adventure draws to a close.

* The one to watch just has to be 21 year old Keirrison, or K9 as he is known. He started his career with Coritiba scoring 65 times from starts before moving to Palmeiras where he has scored 23 from 33 starts. A haul of 21 goals last term saw him end up as joint top scorer in Serie A.

* Former players to grace the Palestra include: Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Roque Junior.

Santo André

Full name: Esporte Clube Santo André
Founded: September 18, 1967
City: Santo André (São Paulo)
Home ground: Bruno José Daniel, capacity 18,000
Nickname: Ramalhão ('João Ramalho's nickname')
League champions: never
Final table position 2008: Série B runners-up (promoted)
Experts say: Relegation Favourites

* Since their formation in 1967 Santo Andre have played in the lower levels of Brasilian football but achieved promotion to the Serie A last year.

* However a cup win back in 2004 saw them competing in the Libertadores although that was very short lived.

* This season they are tipped to go straight back down again and despite a bright opening day they find themselves down in the lower reaches of the table.

* A player with a bright future is 22 year old Flavio who starred in last years promotion campaign, his first year as a professional and there are already rumours he may be leaving once the transfer window opens.

* Once again, the list of former idols contains only those well known in Brasil.

Santos

Full name: Santos Futebol Clube
Founded: April 14, 1912
City: Santos (São Paulo)
Home ground: Vila Belmiro, capacity 20,120
Nickname: Peixe (The Fish), Santástico, Alvinegro praiano
League champions: 2002, 2004
Final table position 2008: 15th in Série A
Experts say: Mid table

* Santos enjoyed many years of success in the sixties with Pele in the team but have fallen in recent years.

* Nowadays they work on bringing youngsters through the ranks and there does seem to be an endless conveyor belt of talent coming through from the south coast of Sao Paolo state.

* Santos start each season slowly and gradually work their way up from the bottom to mid table security, although the start of this season sees them sitting in the top 4 despite losing the lead in games.

* This seasons "next Pele" is 17 year old Neymar who had a disappointing Paulista Championship, but the one to watch will be 33 year old Kleber Pereira who has scored 65 from 100 starts since joining Santos back in 2007, finishing joint top scorer in the league last year with 21 goals

* For famous former players look no further than Pele, but the list also includes Alex (now at Chelski) Dunga, Elano and Robinho,

São Paulo

Full name: São Paulo Futebol Clube
Founded: January 25, 1930, refounded on December 16, 1935
City: São Paulo (São Paulo)
Home ground: Morumbi, capacity 80,000
Nickname: Tricolor Paulista (Three Colour), Tricolor do Morumbi, O mais querido (The most loved)
League champions: 1977, 1986, 1991, 2006, 2007, 2008
Final table position 2008: Série A champions
Experts say: Top 4

* Winners of three titles in a row Sao Paulo regularly start slowly and then finish the season flat out. Many thought they would struggle this season following an injury to their goalscoring captain and goalkeeper Rogerio, but so far all is going well for the club from the Morumbi.

* With a Libertadores semi final with palmeiras looking a certainty only a slow start to the league campaign with dropped points against teams they would normally beat easily causing any concern.

* The team has many stars and is known for its miserly defence, but this seasons one to watch is Dagoberto along with his strike partner Washington.
* After a bright start to his career at Paranese a lot was expected of Dagoberto but his career has stalled slightly and it is hoped that the more experienced Washington`s goal scoring skills will bring the best out of his young partner.

* Former stars include : Leonardo, Falcao, Cafu, Rai, and Fabiano,

Sport

Full name: Sport Club do Recife
Founded: May 13, 1905
City: Recife (Pernambuco)
Home ground: Ilha do Retiro, capacity 35,000
Nickname: Leão (Lion), Papai da Cidade (City Daddy), Leão do Norte (Northern Lion)
League champions: 1987
Final table position 2008: 11th in Série A
Experts say: Mid Table

* Last years cup winners started their Libertadores campaign with some gusto but their subsequent defeat at the hands of Palmeiras in the knock out rounds seems to have left a hangover in Recife, and they find themselves hovering just above the relegation zone.

* A rapid change of fortune is needed if they are to pull themselves into mid table and a recent 4-2 win over fellow strugglers Santo Andre should provide the impetus they need.

* This seasons one to watch is former Corinthiano Wilson who netted 3 important goals earlier in the Libertadores campaign. The 24 year old is a talented player and kept Tevez out of the Corinthians team for a while.

* Former players include Juninho (currently at Lyon) and Emerson Leao who ended his career here.

Vitória

Full name: Esporte Clube Vitória
Founded: May 13, 1899
City: Salvador (Bahia)
Home ground: Barradão, capacity 32,000
Nickname: Leão da Barra ('Lion from Barra')
League champions: never
Final table position 2008: 6th in Série A
Experts say: Mid Table

* Vitoria returned to the Serie A last season and confounded the critics by finishing in a very creditable 6th place.
This season they are expected to consolidate on that good season and so far are very well placed in the table and proving to be a hard team to break down.

* One to watch is 26 year old Neto Baiano who is something aof a journeyman having already notched up 13 clubs in his career. A brilliant goal to see off Sport in the first home game of the season endeared him to the home support who are hoping for more of the same.

* Famous ex players include Milan keeper Dida who started his career here and Vampetta.

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The journalist

Writer: Boxer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday June 16 2009

Time: 11:53AM

 

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