Campeonato Brazil Serie A opening week preview
The wait is finally over. This week, The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A will finally get underway after a 4-month break from League action. Football in Brazil, however, has not stopped during this period with many state championship games taking place as well as the Libertadores Cup, Copa Sudamericana and Copa Do Brasil but now it's time for the main domestic league to take place starting this Saturday.
On Saturday there will be four games taking place. The curtain raiser sees Sao Paulo, who recently lost a State Championship Final to rivals Corinthians, take on Botafogo, who just missed out on a Copa Libertadores place last year. Athletico Mineiro will play newly promoted Avai who were crowned Campeonato Catarinense last Sunday. Chapecoense face a tricky looking home match against Internacional, who finished third in their first season back in the top flight. The late game on Saturday will see Flamengo go to battle with Cruzeiro.
On Sunday, there will be a total of six matches taking place, and by the end of Sunday, all 20 teams will have played their first match of the league campaign.
Starting off the action are Santos, Former Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli will be hoping his Santos side can get off to a winning start as he will be in the dugout for his first league game in Brazil as his team take to face a tricky trip to Porto Alegre to play Gremio.
Bahia will play giants, Corinthians, who will be looking to have a much better season than last year after they found themselves in a relegation battle, but managed to finish 2 points above the drop zone. Current Copa Sudamericana holders Athletico Paranaense, who have been impressive in the Copa Libertadores group stage, welcome Vasco De Gama to the Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães.
Despite leading Ceara to a miraculous survival last year, Lisca was sacked this week after a 3-0 aggregate defeat to fierce rivals Fortaleza in the Campeonato Cearense Final and a shock exit from the Copa Do Nordeste at the Quater Final Stage. Ceara will be looking to improve under new manager Enderson Moreira, and will hope for a positive start when they take on last year's Serie B runner's up CSA.
Champions Palmeiras will be hoping to retain their title under well-known manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. Their first game is at home to Serie B runaway winner's Fortaleza who two years ago was preparing for a season in the third tier of Brazilian football, but back-to-back promotions mean they will take part in Brazil's top flight for the first time since 2006.
Elsewhere, Goias who also have been recently promoted, will take on Fluminense who recently avoided a shock defeat in the Copa Do Brazil after beating 3rd tier Santa Cruz on penalties.