Friday, 20 May 2011

Brasileirão In Focus: Ceará

Fresh from a dominant campaign in the Campeonato Cearense, during which they strolled to the trophy ending rivals Fortaleza’s run of four titles in a row, Ceará are looking forward to another Campeonato Brasileiro season. The Vozão performed well above expectations last year, spending a surprising amount of time in the top four, and ending up in 12th position with a place in the Copa Sulamericana 2011. Their home support was truly fantastic, with an average home crowd of over 20,000, a typical trait of clubs from the northeast region. This will be in threat for this year however, as their Castelão stadium has been closed for refurbishment for the World Cup in 2014, and they will play their home games in the Domingão stadium in neighbouring city Horizonte.

Ceará are currently on an extended cup run, taking on Coritiba in the semi-finals of the Copa do Brasil. It has been an excellent campaign so far, in the quarter finals they eliminated Flamengo 4-3 on aggregate, showing great character over both legs. This series of results has earned the team the fantastic nickname of a Carroça Desembestada, the runaway train.

In the off-season they conducted a very good piece of business by bringing in veteran striker Iarley on loan from Corinthians, his experience is sure to serve them well in what will be a very challenging season for them. Along with the great form of their top scorer Marcelo Nicácio, they should be decent going forward.

Ceará go with the generic Brazilian 4-4-2 formation, but with their full-backs allowed to get really far forward, with one of the defensive midfielders tucking in to cover. In attack, they work as a fluid unit, midfielders Thiago Humberto and playmaker Geraldo orchestrate the attacks, while Iarley supports the centre forward, often dropping into midfield.

Certainly the Vozão are currently in very high spirits thanks to some great results, and rightly so, but I fear that they do not have the squad to keep up their form on more than one front. With the effort expended during the Campeonato Cearense and their extended cup run, not forgetting the Sulamericana later in the year, they may spread themselves too thin and their league position could suffer. Personally I hope they manage to stay in the league, as with the dominance of teams from Brasil’s south-east, it is about time that a team from the North-east got some success.

Expected Formation:
football formations


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