Sao Paulo vs Gremio
Competition: Brazilian Serie A
Date: 25 July 2017
Kick-off: 01:00 CET
F i n a l l y… After going without a win for nine matches (three draws and six defeats), and after having former coach and… eternal club legend Rogerio Ceni fired, Sao Paulo beat Vasco da Gama 1-0 at Morumbi last Wednesday (as predicted here), thanks to a Lucas Pratto goal in the 2nd minute. On Saturday, Hernanes arrived in Sao Paulo to have his medical and sign his contract at Sao Paulo. That’s where Lazio got him from in 2010. Ever since then, he played for Inter and Juventus as well, last February he moved to Hebei, China, Manuel Pellegrini’s team, and now he returned to Sao Paulo after the two clubs agreed on a one-year loan deal. He is supposed to return to Hebei in June 2018. At 32, Hernanes can only make Sao Paulo better. They remain below the relegation line, but are just five points below the last team that qualifies for the Copa Sudamericana, and eight from the Copa Libertadores positions, with more than half the championship still to be played.
‘Gremio and over 2.5 goals’ was the prediction here for last Wednesday’s Vitoria vs Gremio game, and the Porto Alegre team won 3-1 indeed, in Salvador. Third consecutive win for Gremio, after three back-to-back losses, that had left them far behind leaders Corinthians. The Sao Paulo side has also been dropping points lately, so Gremio, back to second, have managed to close the gap (somewhat). Paraguayan striker Lucas Barrios didn’t play his best game against Vitoria, plus, he got a yellow card, his third of the season, and will miss this game. Right winger Ramiro and left winger Pedro Rocha trained separately from the team on Saturday, and coach Renato Gaucho said that both are very tired from the consecutive games and could get a much-needed rest. Center-back Pedro Geromel missed the game at Vitoria due to some muscle problem which seems to be persisting, so he’s another player that most probably won’t feature for Gremio against Sao Paulo.
Sao Paulo vs Gremio: Head-to-head Stats
Two wins for Sao Paulo, one draw, and two wins for Gremio in the last five games between these two at Morumbi.
Sao Paulo vs Gremio: Prediction
Sao Paulo finally returned to victories, Gremio will be without key players, plus, they are playing a Copa do Brasil quarterfinal 72 hours after this match is over. It’s at Atletico Paranaense, they have already beaten them 4-0 in Porto Alegre, but still, they need to be on alert. Weirdest things have happened in world football… Everything considered, I expect Sao Paulo to build on that win over Vasco, and pick up all three points.
Sao Paulo vs Gremio: Tips
At 2.20, Sao Paulo’s win looks little to me, given that they are playing against one of the best teams in the country since the start of the season. I would expect something around 2.50, but… even so, I do expect Sao Paulo to win.