Luiz Felipe Scolari made his choices when he selected the Grêmio team for the first leg of the Copa do Brasil quarterfinals against Flamengo, this Wednesday, at 9:30 pm, at the Arena. Felipão’s predilections are mainly for the use of Lucas Silva in midfield and a defense without Geromel.
Probable lineup of the Grêmio: Chapecó; Vanderson, Rodrigues, Kannemann and Rafinha; Thiago Santos; Douglas Costa, Lucas Silva, Villasanti and Alisson; Borja.
The coach Felipão already showed the high confidence he had with Lucas Silva – he was one of the highlights in the match. Everything indicates that the defensive midfielder will go to his second game in a row as a starter, even as a way to give more support to the middle against an offensive rival.
By the way, the coach also revealed that the player himself had a proactive posture and sought out the coaching staff to understand where he could improve. And this has given practical results.
— From what I see of Lucas, he is a player who has behaved very well in training, has asked for details on how he can improve. We talk, let’s say once a week, about the game, the positioning that went right and wrong. He has been looking for alternatives for improvement. I have had more confidence in him, both in the position of 5 and 8 – said Felipão after his victory against Bahia.
Lucas Silva in action for Grêmio in the victory against Bahia — Photo: Lucas Uebel/DVG/Grêmio
This should happen even with the return of Thiago Santos, who served suspension in the match valid for the Brasileirão. Thus, Paraguayan Villasanti will complete the set of defensive midfielders, even though he and Lucas Silva are a little ahead of Thiago.
Scolari’s main idea is to reinforce the marking in midfield, where the coaching staff understands that Flamengo is more dangerous and where creative plays come from.
It is an act of defense by the team, while a counterattack can be set up by Lucas Silva in long passes or in the intensity of Villassanti. A more offensive alternative is the entry of Campaz, a reinforcement that will be on the bench.
Grêmio’s ideal defense duo would be Geromel and Kannemann. But this has been little seen on the field. Both have been living with physical problems for almost two seasons and have lost regularity together as teammates in defense.
For the game against Bahia, there was an expectation that both would act. However, Geromel felt muscle discomfort and was out and will start on the bench against Flamengo, precisely because he is not fully recovered. Kannemann, on the other hand, was a reserve for Ruan and Rodrigues, but returns against Flamengo.
Kannemann training at Grêmio — Photo: Lucas Uebel/Divulgação Grêmio
The Argentine has recovered from a blow to his left knee and has not played since July 20, when Grêmio was eliminated for the LDU in the round of 16 of the Sudamericana. Ruan is in Italy and will only return to Porto Alegre on Thursday, which reduces the alternatives. He went to resolve contractual issues with Sassuolo, a trip already foreseen in the finalized negotiation.
That left Rodrigues and Paulo Miranda. The first was chosen by Felipão. There is an understanding in the technical committee that Geromel and Kannemann acting together against Flamengo, considering the lack of game rhythm of both, each with its own scenario, would be a risk.
With a cautious posture and without placing much expectation on the Copa do Brasil, Grêmio meets Renato Portaluppi and tries to go to the semifinals. The return game takes place on September 15, the tricolor anniversary date.