Expectations for the Serie A 2017
The 2016 season of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A ended in mid-December of last year and it was Palmeiras who finished the season as champions, marking the ninth league championship triumph in their history. Among their star players were the likes of Yerry Mina, Jean and Roger Guedes, ensuring them a nine-point victory, while 2015 champions Corinthians surprisingly finished in mid-table. With the 2017 season due to kick off in May, this piece will look at what might happen this year.
Having won the title last season, and Copa do Brasil in 2015, there seems little doubt that Palmeiras will be among the main contenders for the league again this season. This marked their first league title win in 22 years and a major player for them was Gabriel Jesus, who finished the season as their top scorer with 12 league goals. The biggest factor preventing Palmeiras from building on their league and cup wins of the past couple of years is likely to be the loss of Jesus, who was sold to English club Manchester City for a fee of just over £27 million during January. Admittedly, this is a huge sum for a Brazilian team, but replacing his goals will be difficult. 2015 winners Corinthians suffered a disappointing season last time out, finishing their campaign in 7th spot. The club endured a pretty torrid time off the pitch, with successful manager Tite quitting in June to become coach of the national team and being replaced by Cristovao Borges, only for him to be sacked in September and Oswaldo de Oliveira to take over as manager. It was defeat at home to Palmeiras, a result that ended an undefeated home run of 34 matches that cost Borges his job. The club suffered a further blow in the transfer market when former Chelsea star Didier Drogba turned down a move to them, but the club has brought in new players, including striker Jo and midfielder Gabriel as it looks to rebuild for the new season. It should certainly be expected that Corinthians will be better than last year, although whether they can challenge for the title remains to be seen.
The team that finished in second spot last season was Santos, and the club has been going through a period of rebuilding and transition following the end of its 2009-13 golden era. The club’s forwards Ricardo Oliveira and Jonathan Copete did a decent job, finishing with 11 and 10 goals respectively, and both remain at the club, suggesting they could have the attacking threat to go one better this year. Finally, there is Flamengo, who finished third last year on the same number of points – 71 – as Santos. They have strengthened their attacking options with the signing of Orlando Berrio, and also added defenders Miguel Trauco and Rene and will have high hopes of claiming a 7th Serie A title. It is still a little hard to predict the winner though, with the season not having started yet, and slots game Soccer Safari which you can play on online casino might be a smarter gambling choice just now for that reason.
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