Friday, 20 May 2011

Brasileirão In Focus: Figueirense

Another newly promoted side from the Série B, the Figueira always used to be the biggest side in Santa Catarina state, often as mid-table mainstays in the Brasileirão. In recent years they have been overshadowed by little local rivals Avaí, who have made a meteoric rise while the Figueira have floundered in lower divisions.

They had a very successful Série B season last year, unspectacular yet effective, and finished in 2nd position, boasting the league’s best goal difference. They have few recognizable names in their side, so it looks like they may lack the quality to compete in the top league.

Two players who may catch the eye this season are two of their attacking options, Lenny and Wellington Nem. Lenny, 23 years old, was a youth prodigy in his years at Fluminense and Palmeiras, but his problem is that he is ridiculously injury prone. At Palmeiras, he was always regarded as a star of the future, but whenever he managed to get a run in the first team, he would be struck down with an injury. When he plays, he is obviously talented, unbelievably fast and a big danger to the defence. If he manages to stay fit, he will be a definite starter for the Figueira and hopefully he will start to live up to his potential.

The other is 19 year old attacking midfielder Wellington Nem, on loan from Fluminense. Left footed, superb dribbler, and with superb intelligence for someone his age. I have watched him for a long time through various youth levels, and he looks like a player who can make it on the big stage, certainly at a mid-table side in Brasil. He should get a lot of playing time this season, so this is going to be his most important year yet.

It is quite hard to predict how Figueirense will get on this season, they could go on a surprising run pulling off some big results, but over the course of the season I think they will struggle for consistency and fail to stay in the league.

Expected formation:
football formations


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