Santos v Ponte Preta – Estádio Urbano Caldeira at 22:20

After a busy midweek of Copa Libertedores action we’ll once again be taking a look at the Brazilian top flight this weekend Our first game on the agenda is as local derby in the state of São Paulo as Santos host Ponte Preta on Saturday evening.

Both sides are having a positive season to date as they both sit on 23 points after fourteen games, with just goal difference separating the two. All the onus will be on Santos as the home side to take the game to Ponte who will look to play their conservative style that has suited them so well thus far this campaign.

Santos will still believe they have an outside chance at the league title this season as they currently sit six points behind league leaders and local rivals Palmeiras. A more realistic aim for Peixe is top four and Copa Libertedores qualification for the first time in four seasons, this would be key if they wish to hold on to their star players such as Gabriel Barbosa.

The previously mentioned Gabriel (Gabigol) put in a stunning man of the match performance away at Palmeiras in the week when his goal managed to earn his side a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Santos were made to work hard for their point on Tuesday evening and they endured large periods of time without possession of the ball. Ponte had an equally difficult cup tie away at Figueirense in which they managed an equally impressive 0-0 draw putting them in pole position to qualify for the next round later on in the month.

With Ponte having one eye on the cup they’ll come into this game knowing that a draw is a positive result for them to go away with so I expect to see them sit back with two very deep banks of four in a traditional 4-4-2 formation.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals at 2.02

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @LewisJones1992.

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