MERLIN SAYS :
Sport Recife v Nautico Recife
lives and works in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil and follows the local league with a passion.
He also looks after the Brazil without Borders
website where you can find out more about Brazilian football :
Football: Brazil, Serie A 2009
Venue: Estádio Ilha do Retiro in Recife
Sunday 26th July 2009 at 4.00pm (local) 8:00pm (GMT)
The Lion is more like a pussycat at present especially when you consider it was only a month or two ago that Sport were representing Brazil in the Libertadores (by virtue of beating Corinthians in last years Cup Final).
But even pussycats win sometimes, more especially when playing against mice. They have a better, or at least a more positive profile than Nautico this year (some say every year) but are still languishing in 16th place, 2 points to the good of today’s opponents.
On Thursday night they grabbed a good point away to Coritiba which would have boosted their confidence, and signals a positive they will most certainly be looking to build upon.
SPORT LEAGUE STATS :
Games played: 13
Away Wins: 0
Home Wins: 3
Red Cards: 6
Yellow Cards: 50
Goals Scored: 19 (from 114 shots/headers on target)
Goals Conceded: 22
Passing Errors: 29.23%
Náutico are my team, when I say my team, I mean the team I support and follow in Brazil. I know, I know, Yes! I am depressed right now, heck, how would you feel if your team was sitting at the bottom of the league and almost certain to go down this season?
Anyways, end of season destiny is one thing, today’s game is another, right?
Believe it or not, Nautico are a decent footballing side, they pass the ball well, work very, very well as a team too and when lady luck is present, scores goals too.
However, the fact is, as in other leagues around the world, the team that play a good passing game don’t always prevail, notwithstanding Nautico lack the 2 or 3 star players that really make a difference to sides, coupled with having a very small squad.
Moreover, their frustration can be summed by the number of yellow cards issued so far this season, Nautico players are averaging nearly 4 per game – Bottom-line is; they are big time up against it not only today, but for the remainder of the season.
NAUTICO League Stats :
Games played: 13
Away Wins: 1
Home Wins: 1
Red Cards: 5
Yellow Cards: 49
Goals Scored: 13 (from 134 shots/headers on target)
Goals Conceded: 28
Passing Errors: 29.54%
The Betting VERDICT :
Lots of Brazilian teams blow hot and cold, none more so than Sport.
One week they can be scoring goals for fun and the next they resemble a Serie C outfit. However, and this is a BIG however, they are playing Nautico today, and we have already discussed the merits of Nautico's season, and it isn’t pretty.
This game is a big Recife derby game, the Classic of Classics is the local billing, and believe me, there will be blood spilt.
Just take a look at both teams disciplinary record so far this season. They have 11 Red Cards between them, not far off 1 per game with a combined Yellow Card average of nearly 8 per game – I think the referee will be quite busy today!
Confuscious say “don’t bet on derby”, but even the old wise one is wrong sometimes and this will be a convincing Sport victory (and it pains me to write that).
If you are not yet convinced and believe I’m just being too pessimistic about Nautico’s chances just take a look at the stats: Since 2007 Sport have beaten Nautico 6 times, LOST only 1 game and drew 3.
I suppose a draw is entirely possible and it maybe worth saving on a correct score of 1-1 or 2-2, but I won’t be playing that, it’s a Sport win all the way for me.
FIXED ODDS BETTING :
The moment of truth, this is where I stick my neck on the block.
It’s Sport to win
all the way at 1.75