Preview: Santos vs. Corinthians

Preview: Santos vs. Corinthians

Two of Brazil’s most successful ever sides go head to head for a place in Copa do Brasil’s quarter-finals on Thursday.

However, Santos have a mountain to climb if they are to overturn a 4-0 deficit from the first leg against Corinthians.

Peixe suffered a nightmare defeat in the first leg three weeks ago, with Vinicius Zanocelo’s 62nd-minute dismissal compounding his side’s misery.

In fairness, Corinthians had already raced into a 3-0 lead at half time, with Giuliano adding to his tally in the second half to ensure his side made full use of their man advantage.

With Marcelo Fernandes recently installed as interim manager for the sixth time in his career, it is unlikely the 51-year-old will give up on the tie as he seeks to be trusted with the job on a full-time basis.

However, despite Fernandes starting his potentially brief reign in a positive manner with a 1-0 win over Atletico Goianiense, it would take a miracle for Santos to find themselves in the quarter-final of this season’s Copa do Brasil.

Former Porto and Fenerbahce boss Vitor Pereira’s main concern ahead of Thursday’s tie will be any potential complacency among his talented Corinthians group of players.

The 53-year-old – who was linked with a move to Everton’s vacant managerial position in January – has made a strong impact since joining Timao in February, losing only seven of his 33 matches in charge so far.

Moreover, Corinthians are currently second in Serie A – only a point behind league leaders Palmeiras – and are still in the hunt for a first Copa Libertadores title since 2012.

The Brazilian giants have not won Copa do Brasil since 2009 either, so ensuring his team hold onto their sizeable lead in Thursday’s clash against Santos is of the utmost importance.

Santos Copa do Brasil form:
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Santos form (all competitions):
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Corinthians Copa do Brasil form:
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Corinthians form (all competitions):
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We say: Santos 0-0 Corinthians
Given the extent to which this tie already feels concluded, we can envisage a fairly drab affair ensuing on Thursday.

Neither side are likely to wish to exert too much energy ahead of important matches at the weekend, so Corinthians should comfortably progress having already put in the hard yards in the home leg.

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