São Paulo barely got rid of the relegation and has already changed its attention in Brasileirão. Against América-MG, away from home, Rogério Ceni’s team will try today (9), at 21:30 (GMT), the unlikely spot for the preliminary phases of the Libertadores. For that to happen it will be necessary to win at Arena Independência and do math.
Currently, São Paulo is in 13th place in the Brasileirão with 48 points, two less than América-MG itself, eighth place, first team within the classification zone for the continental tournament. The problem is that four teams are between the two: Inter (48), Santos (49), Ceará (50) and Atlético-GO (50).
São Paulo only gets a spot for the Libertadores in the following scenario: if they beat América-MG and the four clubs above do not emerge triumphant from their confrontations. Santos will face Cuiabá, Inter will face Red Bull Bragantino, Ceará will play against Palmeiras and Atlético-GO will face Flamengo.
Coach Rogério Ceni will have at his disposal a heavily modified team for the mission. There will be seven embezzlements for the duel: defenders Arboleda (suspended) and Miranda (spared), defensive midfielder William (arthroscopy), midfielders Gabriel Sara (sprained knee) and Liziero (suspended) and forwards Luciano (suspended) and Eder (muscle pain).
In this scenario, a likely São Paulo will have: Volpi; Igor Vinícius, Bruno Alves (Diego Costa), Léo, Reinaldo; Igor Gomes, Gabriel Neves, Rodrigo Nestor, Vitor Bueno (Marquinhos); Rigoni and Calleri.
The opening at Libertadores would be seen as a profit for a season well below São Paulo. Despite being São Paulo champion, the team fought until the penultimate round against relegation, something unprecedented in the club’s history since the implementation of the straight points.