Brazil Serie A GW16 Review
GW16 of Brazil’s Serie A was brought to a close in Sao Paulo on Monday, with interesting stories developing at both the top and the bottom of the table. Using expected goals (xG), Infogol’s Analyst takes a look at the action, assessing performances and not just results. The Analyst will aim to paint a clearer picture of the week’s matches, including selecting a Team to Watch for GW16.
Actual vs Expected Goal (xG) totals GW16
Surprisingly, Sao Paulo are still in the relegation zone after 16 matches, however recent performances give reason to be optimistic. They gained a point against Gremio in their last match, a deserved result from an even game, and they are only a point from safety. There is still work to do, but don’t expect to see them in the bottom four for much longer.
Flamengo and Santos both gained home wins in GW16 after dominant displays. Flamengo were very impressive against Coritiba, creating a host of high-quality chances, but needing a late penalty to secure the three points. Mengão generated 3.63 xG, their highest of the season so far, and there is definitely more to come. Bruno Henrique scored all three in Santos’ 3-0 win over Bahia as they too racked up a lot of good chances, recording their fourth win in five matches, continuing their progress up the table.
Bruno Henrique firing Santos to another win
Bottom side Atletico Goianiense shared the spoils with Botafogo after a tight game. They are now eight points from safety and need to start winning matches. Chapecoense beat Vitoria 2-1 in Salvador, a game in which both teams created chances and both earned – and converted – penalties. In the end, Verdão edged proceedings and deserved the three points.
Top of the table Corinthians beat Fluminense 1-0 away from home, bouncing back from successive draws. They were fortunate once again though, scoring early in the second half before weathering a storm and holding on. Fluminense generated 1.93 xG, with Infogol calculating just a 14.5% chance they would fail to score. This result increased Corinthians lead at the top to eight points, but have a tough game coming up in GW17.
Wasteful Flu – Fortunate Timão
Palmeiras and Ponte Preta both registered away wins in somewhat fortunate fashion, beating Sport Recife and Atletico Paranaense respectively by 2-0 score lines. Palmeiras’ game with Sport was a tight one, with a draw being the fairest outcome according to xG. Ponte Preta created very few chances (0.86 xG) and their non-penalty xG was 0.09, an extremely low figure suggesting Paranaense were unfortunate to lose. Lucca got both of Macaca’s goals, making him the league’s top scorer with 10 goals after 16 games.
GW16 team to watch, Cruzeiro, were narrowly beaten by Avai, though they were dominant throughout, missing several golden opportunities, and were just unlucky on the day to come away empty-handed.
Not the result they were looking for – Cruzeiro beaten by struggling Avai
Atletico Mineiro’s week couldn’t have been any worse. They were beaten at home in midweek by Bahia, and followed that up with another home defeat, this time against Vasco da Gama at the weekend. They were unlucky, though, as their opponents found the net twice having created few goal-scoring chances. This result leaves them just three points above the relegation zone, and they need to improve drastically if they are to make anything of the rest of the season.
GW17 Team to Watch – Flamengo
Flamengo have been performing very well in recent weeks, creating a lot of chances, and though results haven’t been going their way, they have reached a level of consistency that deserves respect. They travel to league leaders Corinthians, who haven’t been at their best recently, and look good value to end Corinthians’ unbeaten run.