Brazil Serie A GW12 Review
GW12 came to an end in Curitiba on Monday, meaning it’s time for the Infogol Analyst’s review of the action. Looking at performances and not just results (using expected goals (xG)), the Analyst will aim to paint a clearer picture of the week’s matches, including selecting a Team to Watch for GW13.
Actual vs Expected Goal (xG) totals GW12
Leaders Corinthians remain unbeaten this season after yet another victory, this time beating Ponte Preta 2-0 in Sao Paulo. Timão were deserved winners even though the expected goal total suggest the game was a close one. They cruised to a 2-0 lead with Ponte Preta’s xG total coming mainly from a late penalty – which Lucca missed. Corinthians are now nine points clear at the top of the Campeonato, but have a big week ahead, as in GW13 they face Palmeiras in Derby Paulista.
Cruzeiro extended their good home form with a win over Palmeiras, a game in which they just shaded. The xG totals show the score-line to be slightly fortunate, but Cruzeiro created the better chances even though Palmeiras had the majority of the match, with the 3-1 score-line completed with a fast breakaway goal.
Thiago Neves – Cruzeiro star player so far
Flamengo did enough to deservedly edge the Clássico dos Milhões against Vasco in GW12, in what was, as predicted, a tight affair with few chances. It was a good defensive display by Flamengo to limit Vasco to just 0.48 xG, and a result that moves them up to second in the table.
Bahia and Fluminense played out a 1-1 draw, as did Botafogo and Atletico Mineiro in GW12, with both on the surface deserved draws. Bahia levelled late in Salvador to get them a much needed point, as did Botafogo in Rio, although there was more drama around their equaliser, as a penalty was given in the 93rd minute, missed by Roger before he finished the rebound. Mineiro can rue a missed penalty of their own while the score was 1-0 to Galo, but all in all a point was fair.
Late drama: eventful end to Botafogo vs Atletico Mineiro
Vitoria, Sport Recife and Avai all registered away wins in GW12, beating Atletico Goianiense, Coritiba and Gremio respectively. Vitoria beat fellow strugglers Goianiense in a cagey match thanks to a late winner, though the xG totals suggest a draw would have been a fair result. Sport Recife went to Curitiba and picked up all three points thanks to a 3-0 win, though the home team created the better chances with just an 18.6% chance Sport would score three from their chances.
Avai’s victory away at Gremio was the most unlikely win of the weekend, and looking at the xG figures, it suggests that they were very fortunate to get the three points. Gremio can regret a penalty miss with the score at 0-0, and failed to take any of their other chances as they slumped to their third defeat in a row. Infogol calculates only a 9.1% chance that Gremio wouldn’t score from the chances they had, and have been very consistent in their creation of scoring opportunities so far this season, so don’t back against them scoring a few in GW13 and 14.
Luck on Avai’s side: Percentage chance of scoring (x) from xG created
Chapecoense’s bad run was extended by a 1-1 draw with Atletico Paranaense, meaning they remain without a win in five matches. They were unfortunate not to get all three points in GW12 though, as they created much better chances, and were denied a stone wall penalty, having to settle for a point.
Sao Paulo’s season seems to be going from bad to worse, and after sacking manager Ceni last week, they were beaten yet again – losing 3-2 to Santos. A Jonathan Copete hat-trick leaves them second bottom of the table, but they fought back valiantly having been 3-0 down and could have snatched an unlikely draw. It was an improved performance, despite the result, and for this reason, they are the team to watch in GW13.
Hard work without reward: Sao Paulo need results
GW13 Team to Watch – Sao Paulo
Without a win in seven matches heading into GW13, Sao Paulo are desperate for a win, and after plenty of positive signs against Santos by creating some good chances and showing great spirit they should end the winless run and get a result in GW13.