Santos v Palmeiras – Vila Belmiro at 20:00
On Sunday we have our second Paulista A1 semi final between Santos vs their local rivals Palmeiras in what should be a very fiery and tense derby match.
I really fancy Santos to win the Paulista championship this season and the club have put all their efforts into doing so, especially with no continental football to push for and almost no chance of winning the national league.
Santos cruised into the Semi finals as they comfortably beat Sao Bento at home. Peixe never really needed to get out of second gear in their quarter final over a week ago which will put them in good sted fitness wise this game as Palmeiras have had less time to prepare for this fixture.
Palmeiras played late on Monday night in a tough fixture with Sao Bernardo who tried to kick their way into a semi final place, equally after a tough Copa Libertedores campaign Palmeiras crashed out in the group stages falling one point short of the qualification places.
The Santos fans will be desperate to pile the misery onto their local rivals and they’ve sold out the Vila Belmiro for Sunday’s game. Santos’ record at the Vila over the last three seasons in all competitions is second to none.
Gabriel Barbosa wil start this game and he’ll be looking to add to his impressive goal tally so far this campaign, whilst equally being desperate to lift the Paulista title just like his former team mate Neymar.JR. Gabriel also known as Gabigol to the Santos faithful is being touted as the next big thing in Brazilian football and there’s plenty of suitors in the European game looking to take the talented forward away from his home land.
This is going to be a tense and heated derby match and a place in the final will await the winner. There isn’t much to split these two squads but with home advantage and maybe a bit of magic from Gabigol I can see Santos just edging out their neighbours on Sunday.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Santos -0.5 at 1.98
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