Relaxed, planning the 2018 season and owner of the best campaign in the second round of the Brasileirão, Cruzeiro faces this Wednesday, October 18, the desperate Coritiba. As part of the schedule of the twenty-ninth round of the Brazilian Championship, the match will take place at the Couto Pereira stadium in Curitiba, starting at 7:30 p.m. (Brasília time).
Coritiba’s recent performance
The scenario is the same where the Thigh suffered a hard thrashing on the day of number 28. On Sunday, October 15, after having dominated the Grêmio for most of the match and wasted opportunities to score, he ended up taking a goal in the extras of the second time. He lost by 1 to 0 further complicating his situation in the final stretch of the Brasileirão.
The coaches’ projections indicated that four in-home wins would be necessary if the club were to escape relegation. Without scoring against the tricolor, the club went into a kind of depression and even the leaders gave signs of throwing the towel.
This can be reflected in the statement in which President Rogério Bacellar said that coach Marcelo de Oliveira will stay until the end of the tournament in charge of the alvverde. He did not justify his decision using the trainer’s job as a motive, but rather the fact that he had no other option to replace him.
With 28 points (seven wins, seven draws and 14 losses), Thigh is in the nineteenth (penultimate) position. It has four points of disadvantage in comparison with Chapecoense, sixteenth placed and first team outside the relegation zone. It is not an impossible difference to be taken. What discourages the Paranaans is the performance of the team, which has not been able to win since August 6, when they scored 2-0 at Chape. Since then there have been six defeats and three draws.
Thus, in this final stretch of tournament Coritiba must bet on the use of athletes of the U-20 team, which is in the final of the Brazilian Championship of the category. It is the last hope of a reversal of the situation. Even if it does not work, it will set up a base for the B-Series in 2018.
The current form of the Cruise
The 2018 season is also Cruzeiro’s priority at the end of the year. With the championship cup of the 2017 Brazil Cup in its trophy gallery and the vacant place in the Copa Libertadores of America, the club undergoes a process of change of board that accelerated the planning process for next year.
In that direction, the main issue in the club is not the next game, but whether coach Mano Menezes will renew his contract and remain in charge. He would have received a proposal to exchange the club for Palmeiras, but he is still considering whether to remain in Belo Horizonte.
The disdain for the remaining games of the Brasileirão can be measured, even, by the posture of Mano. To deal with health problems, he even commanded the team in the last two rounds. It does not seem to have been lacking. Cruzeiro, with interim Sidney Lobo in charge, defeated Ponte Preta 2-1 at home and Grêmio 1-0 away in the last two rounds.
Besides the six points accumulated, the victories still gave an advantage to the Raposa in the match of Wednesday. While Coxa performed on Sunday night, the Minas Gerais team had some time off. As the confrontation with Ponte Preta was anticipated and disputed during the qualifying period for the 2018 World Cup, the team had their last game against the Gremistas on October 11.
With 47 points (13 wins, eight draws and seven losses), Cruzeiro is fifth in the Brasileirão. The title fight is a distant goal. The team has 11 points less than Corinthians. However, the possibility of reaching the second place is real. The difference for Santos, vice-leader, is only two points.
History of the bouts between Coritiba and Cruzeiro
The duel has had 40 occurrences in the Brasileirão since 1971. There were 18 victories Cruzeirenses, 12 draws and ten successes alviverdes. In the first round of 2017, the miners won 2-0.