Palmeiras has no chance of being a Brazilian champion this Sunday but can, yes, end the 35th round with a cup. If they defeat Paraná at 17:00 in Londrina, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's team will not only make a big step in winning the Brazilian championship but will also guarantee the best round-the-clock campaign, securing the João Saldanha trophy offers LANCE!
Verdão has so far achieved an impressive 82.2% in turn, adding 37 of the 45 possible in the second half of the competition (11 wins and four draws). The distance is ten points for Inter 27, owner of the second best campaign of that season. If Parana is already away, Palmeiras, at least, retains this advantage and can no longer reach, with nine points remaining in the three remaining rounds.
The performance in the second round, played entirely with Felipão already in the club (assistant Paulo Turra replaced him in 1 in 1 against Bahia in Salvador, when the coach complied with the suspension) explains the team's presence in the Brazilian leadership, with five advantages. In the first half, the best campaign was from Sao Paulo, which added 41 of the 57 points he played (71.9%), with Verdão in sixth, with 33 points (57.8% use).
If a victory guarantees the best campaign in the second round, Palmeiras will record the history of undefeated Brazilian history at the starting point (since 2003) if he does not lose from Paraná: 20 fights. Last Wednesday, when they made 3-0 on Fluminense at the Allianz Parque, the team reached 19 rounds without being hit in the competition, matching the Corinthian fighters' series last year.
In so many positive signs, the team does not lose attention to the title. It is not possible to secure victory on Sunday, but if Inter does not beat Botafogo in a game to be held at 5 pm at the Nilton Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Verdão will only depend on the win over America's MG on Wednesday at the Allianz Parque to confirm the Brazilian champion in 2018.
With 70 points, five in front of Inter, second place, Palmeiras should have a very favorable environment on Sunday. In Brazil's last position, with 21 points in 34 games and relegated mathematics in the second division, Paraná sold his mandate to the Café Stadium in London, a state area in which there are many fans of Verdão.
As part of his rotation strategy to minimize physical wear, Felipão warned he must play at least half of the final round. What should give a chance to Marcos Rocha, Antônio Carlos, Edu Dracena, Victor Luis, Felipe Melo and Deyverson, for example Mayke, Luan, Gustavo Gómez, Diogo Barbosa, Thiago Santos and Borja.
With this training the team is trying to reach another point. If it wins and reaches 40 points in the second round, the team will already have the fifth best campaign in the history of this championship period since it started to have 20 clubs in 2006: only behind Palmeiras de 2016 (44 points), Grêmio of 2010 (43), Sao Paulo 2008 (41) and Corinthians (2015) (41). And this is still missing three rounds after Sunday, meaning Felipão's men will have the chance to establish the best campaign in the history of the second round.
See the other clubs of the Trofea João Saldanha, from LANCE!:
2016 palm trees