Friday, 20 May 2011

Brasileirão In Focus: Corinthians

Corinthians, o Timão, the biggest team in São Paulo state and truly one of the giants in the Brazilian game. They have a significantly different team to the one that finished 3rd in last season’s Brasileirão, with the retirement of Ronaldo Fenômeno and the departures of Roberto Carlos, Jucilei and Elias. Despite these losses, they still managed to make the final of the Campeonato Paulista, partially thanks to the signing of former Sporting Lisbon forward Liedson.

This transfer window has been a busy one for Corinthians, and there seems to be a lot more to come. Bruno Cesar will leave in June to sign for Benfica, and striker Dentinho has sealed a move to Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk. The really interesting part is the players coming in. Since the end of the 2010 Brasileirão, o Timão have recruited names like Liedson, Fábio Santos, Adriano, Emerson and ex-Spartak Moscow midfielder Alex. Roma’s Fábio Simplício appears to be close to signing, and there are strong rumours regarding the signings of AC Milan’s Clarence Seedorf, Paulo Henrique Ganso from Santos and André of Dynamo Kiev.

This is a team who certainly have what it takes to win the league, with some of the best players in Brazil at their disposal, especially if they go on to sign any of the other names mentioned. Perhaps their only weak spot is their coach, Tite. Not a bad coach by any means, but since he has been in charge of Corinthians it has not seemed like the fans have been particularly won over by him. He failed to win the 2010 Brasileirão last season, was knocked out by Deportes Tolima in the qualifying rounds of the 2011 Copa Libertadores, and now suffered in the Paulistão final. You feel that Tite needs instant results, and any more disappointment in the near future will leave him out of a job.

Without knowing the extent of their activity in the transfer market, it is hard to pinpoint a formation for Corinthians, but with the players they have under contract currently, they will play a 4-2-3-1. Fábio Santos and Alessandro play left and right back respectively, dominating the flanks. In the midfield, Ralf is the holding man, and he is partnered by Paulinho, who is a little more athletic and mobile. The attacking three (for the time being) should line up with Jorge Henrique, Alex and Willian, and Liedson is the first choice at centre forward.

Expected formation:
football formations


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