Under fire Santos play host to Sao Caetano in Wednesday’s Campeonato Paulista clash.
It’s fair to say things aren’t exactly going to plan for new Santos boss Jair Ventura, with his troops having made the club’s worst start to a Paulista campaign since 2008. Ventura comes with a decent reputation following his work at Botafogo, but amidst the departures of Zeca, Lucas Lima and Ricardo Oliveira and financial issues at the club, he’s yet to really get going.
Santos, as expected, still look set to advance to the knockout phase of the competition, but only hold a 1 point lead over 3rd placed RB Brasil in Group D. Performances are going to have to improve swiftly if the side are to avoid an embarrassing exit, but a return to home soil hardly boosts confidence, with the side having failed to win either of their games there this year, losing to Bragantino and drawing with Ituano, both of whom are lower league clubs.
Meanwhile, whilst Sao Caetano don’t arrive in great shape themselves, they’ve been a tricky opponent for their much bigger neighbours in recent years, going 5 matches unbeaten against Peixe, winning three times.
Azulão gained promotion to the top level of Paulista action last season, but if the campaign were to end now, they’d be heading back down, meaning results need to start being picked up sooner rather than later. New boss Pintado has made a decent start to life in the dugout, drawing 1-1 with Serie B Cricuma in the Brazilian Cup (a result which did see them eliminated due to the ranking system in place), as well as repeating the scoreline in Saturday’s Paulista clash with RB Brasil.
Ultimately, whilst the difference in quality between the two should be vast, Santos are far from firing on all cylinders at the moment, and against an opponent that has caused them problems on more than one occasion, it’s hard to envisage it being as much of a rout as the bookmakers prices would suggest.
Instead, backing an under 2.5 goal line as Sao Caetano’s last 5 fixtures have featured looks the way to place, as well as backing Santos to score Under 1.5 goals, something that’s happened in 4 of their last 5 fixtures on home soil. Whilst it’s expected to be a long evening for the hosts, with the visitors looking to sit deep, we do eventually expect their quality to show, with a 1-0 Santos win the most likely scoreline.
Free Football betting tips every day for your chance to win big!