Serie A champions Corinthians host Sao Bento in Wednesday’s Campeonato Paulista action. The fixture will be Timão’s first this year at their usual Corinthians Arena home, after having to wait for a new pitch to be installed.
As such, there is quite some excitement around the match and Fabio Carille’s troops will be looking to put on a show. The side suffered a rather disappointing defeat on Friday, going down 2-1 away at Santo Andre, but are still well on course to progress through the group stage of the competition, topping Group A with a 5 point margin for error.
In addition to their top flight title, Corinthians lifted the Paulista crown last season, and given their weight in the competition, that’s clearly the target once again. There’s little pressure on these group matches for the side, with their progression all but secured, but those that take to the field will still want to build momentum and assure their place in the starting eleven ahead of the knockout round, where the bigger challengers await.
Meanwhile, opponents Sao Bento are also in the hunt to secure advancement, currently 2nd placed in Group C. Last year Azulão finished bottom of their group but have looked stronger this time around, coming into the competition with momentum behind them, having secured promotion to Serie B at the end of 2017.
Nonetheless, recent defensive showings have to be a concern for Paulo Santos ahead of this daunting trip to face the best side in the country. His troops are normally a strong unit at the back, but having been held back by leaky showings in two 2-2 draws in the last couple of fixtures, improvement is going to have to be found quickly in defensive ranks if the visitors are to have any hope of securing a result.
Ultimately, we don’t see that happening. Corinthians have made their home stadium a real fortress since it opened, and have put in dominant showings regularly, against opponents of far greater quality than Sao Bento, who have lost 3 of the last 4 games between the sides.
Corinthians should have very few, if any, issues in dispatching of their visitors. The hosts will be itching to get over Friday’s defeat, and we are backing them to do so by a 2-0 margin, a scoreline worth backing in addition to our main tip, which is for Corinthians to clear the over 1.5 team total goal line.
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