For the first time after 18 straight matches in the Brazilian Championship, coach Sylvinho will be forced to change Corinthians’ starting defense duo. Without Gil, suspended for the third yellow card received in the last round, João Victor will have the company of Raul Gustavo in the defense in the duel against Atlético-GO, on Sunday (12), in Goiânia. It will be the first time they will play together for Alvinegro in the national competition.
The commitment in the Midwest is a test for Sylvinho and his followers. Since the beginning of the national competition, the defense line mounted with João Victor and Gil was not used in the opening round of the Brasileirão, just in front of Atlético-GO, but in the Neo Química Arena. On that occasion, with Raul Gustavo and Gil, Timão lost at home, 1-0.
From then on, Sylvinho adopted the defensive system with Fagner, João Victor, Gil and Fábio Santos — he made changes only in cases of suspension or injury — and Corinthians conceded 15 goals in the following 18 games, and in seven of them the team was not leaked. Currently, Timão has the third best defense in Serie A, only behind Atlético-MG and Sport.
This Sunday, the scenario will be different. For the first time with this technical committee, young João Victor (23 years old) and Raul Gustavo (22 years old) will be in the defense. The duo has already played together in the Campeonato Paulista, under the command of Vagner Mancini, but always with a partner at their side. At the time, Timão had been playing with three defenders.
“The expectation is the best possible. I didn’t play with Raul on base, but I played with him right here in the pro, when we were playing with a three line. The two of us as a double will be the second time, I think. He has a lot of quality, I’m sure it will take the field and add a lot to our team,” said João Victor, the great revelation of Corinthians in this Brazilian Championship.
In addition to the novelty in defense, Corinthians should also count on the debut of attacking midfielder Willian. The shirt 10 will be listed, but the coaching staff remains a mystery whether the reinforcement starts the game as a starter or on the bench.