Newly-appointed Hernan Crespo will look to kickstart his Sao Paulo tenure when his side travels to Gremio in the Brazilian Serie A on Sunday at 11.30pm (UK time).
The legendary striker-turned-manager famously guided Defensa y Justicia to unexpected Copa Sudamericana glory, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League, and has now taken the reins at Morumbi, signing a two-year deal with the Brazilian giants on Friday.
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Where to watch Gremio vs Sao Paulo on TV:
- UK: FreeSports
- US: N/A
Scoreline prediction: Gremio 1-1 Sao Paulo
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Gremio vs Sao Paulo build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It has been a testing start to the New Year for Renato Gaucho, who only recently stopped the rot after watching his side fire five past 20th-placed Botafogo in a 5-2 win, which subsequently ended a run of seven Serie A games without a win for the Copa Libertadores quarter-finalists.
For Sao Paulo it has been a similar story in 2021, with the Tricolour currently winless in seven and at risk of falling out of the Serie A title race. However, there is optimism at Morumbi after the appointment of ex-Chelsea striker Crespo who, against all odds, masterminded Copa Sudamericana glory for Defensa y Justicia last month.
- Gremio (vs Botafogo): Victor; Campos, Miranda, Braz, Cortez; Henrique, Maicon, Pyerre, Alisson, Pepe; Churin.
- Sao Paulo (vs Ceara): Volpi; Juanfran*, Arboleda, B Alves, Reinaldo; Tche Tche, D Alves, Santos, Gomes*; Luciano, Pablo*.
Crespo will begin his tenure without the suspended trident of Juanfran, Igor Gomes and Pablo, which could see the likes of Jonas Toro, Gonzalo Carneiro and Antonio Galeano enter the frame.
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Players to watch:
- Gremio: Diego Souza may very well be in his twilight years but the 35-year-old Brazil international is showing no discernible signs of slowing down and will be relishing the chance to take on a former employer in Sao Paulo. Souza initially plied his trade in Porto Alegre on loan from Benfica in 2007, during which time he clinched the Campeonato Gaucho. He has since mirrored those exploits, leaving Sao Paulo in 2019 and returning to Gremio, where he once again guided the club to Campeonato Gaucho success. The seven-capped Brazil international was suspended for the recent 5-2 mauling of Botafogo, but returns here hoping to maintain that good form and keep up his own prolific tendencies this campaign.
- Sao Paulo: It will be experience Crespo needs during these formative stages of his new career in Sao Paulo, and few offer that more than Dani Alves. The well-travelled Brazilian turns 38 in just a few months, but he remains a crucial element to Sao Paulo’s midfield, offering bundles of energy and a creative edge that is quite unique at Morumbi. Very few players have the capacity to transition from defence to attacking midfield, but such is the versatility and dynamism of Alves that he has made that conversion quite seamless. A world class right-back during his heyday, Alves almost redefined the parameters of a modern full-back, essentially operating as a pseudo-winger in Pep Guardiola’s famous Barcelona ‘dream team’. The Brazil centurion is now Sao Paulo’s vice-captain and Crespo will need his leadership qualities and unique attacking attributes if the Argentine is to start his tenure with a bang.
Brazilian Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Gremio: WDDLL
- Sao Paulo: DLDLD
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