Copa São Paulo fixtures preview (4 January)

A look ahead to Friday's matches at the Copa São Paulo.

The Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior kicks off on Friday with a feast of footballing action, as three of Brazil's giants get their campaigns underway.

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First to get their tournament started will be Santos, in the second game of the day. The Paulista (São Paulo state) champions of 2012 always possess a squad capable of challenging in this tournament and that will once more be the case in 2012.

Forward Givanildo was the star of their state championship campaign, while midfielders Lucas Otávio, Pedro Castro and Leandrinho are all relative veterans at this level and decent prospects.

Left-back Emerson played for Brazil Under-17s at the 2011 World Cup, while central defenders Gustavo Henrique and Jubal are solid in defence, while providing a goal-threat in attack.

The club's too biggest stars eligible for the competition, Victor Andrade and Gabriel Barbosa, have been left out in order to focus on pre-season.

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Later in the evening, Under-20 Campeonato Brasileiro champions Cruzeiro get their campaign underway against Série B side São Caetano. The Paulista underdogs endured a torrid state championships in 2012, but will be hoping for improvement to start 2013 on a positive note.

Cruzeiro for their part are weakened from their recent title success, with five players moving up to the senior squad, but will still expect to go far in the tournament.

Attacking midfielder Lynneeker (pictured) enjoyed a fine tournament in the Brasileiro, excelling from the right-flank, while central midfielder Bruno was also widely praised for his performances at the heart of the team. Attacking midfielders Cristian, Juninho and Daniel are also all veterans of the 2012 edition.

In attack, the side boast one of Brazil's better centre forward prospects in Pedro Paulo, a pacy forward who often plays from the left for his side. While, likely off the bench, they can count upon the services of Judivan—star of the club's Under-17 side.

Goalkeeper Charles is another veteran of the 2011 Under-17 World Cup and yet another fine young keeper coming through the Cruzeiro ranks.

In the final big match of the day, São Paulo take on União Rondonópolis from Mato Grosso state. Although the visitors will not be expected to challenge, anything can happen in youth football—particularly at the Copinha.

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Taking a look at the São Paulo side, then, the midfield looks particularly strong. Rodrigo Caio has played a fair number of first-team games over the past year and is a highly-rated defensive midfielder, while João Felipe enjoyed a good showing at the Copinha in 2012. Lucas Evangelista, linked to Manchester United, is the side's stand-out player, currently on loan from Desportivo Brasil.

Full-backs Lucas Farias and Henrique Miranda are both veterans of 2012 also and come with burgeoning reputations, while Luiz Eduardo will hope to stake a claim for senior football at centre-back. Likely substitutes Daniel and Diego are both also Desportivo loanees and will be desperate to impress their new club.

Finally, the team's wildcard comes in the form of striker Adelino—who will play off centre-forward Tiago, star of the Taça Belo Horizonte. Adelino was tracked for a long-time by the club while at Guarani and has signed a five-year contract at the Morumbi. Much is expected. Tall centre-forward Joanderson could be a threat off the bench.

Veteran of 2012, attacking midfielder Mirrai is recovering from a serious knee injury, but will hope to play a part later in the competition. João Schmidt is tipped for first-team football and may also start in midfield, while likely substitute Eduardo is another loanee, joining with Adelino from Guarani.

 

Friday's fixtures (Serie A/B in bold):

 

Group M

  • São Carlos x Guaicurus 21.00 GMT
  • São Paulo x União Rondonópolis 23.00 GMT

Group U

  • São José-SP x São Francisco-BA 19.00 GMT
  • Cruzeiro x São Caetano 21.00 GMT

Group V

  • São Mateus x Corinthians-AL 16.00 GMT
  • Santos x Remo 18.00 GMT

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January 11, 2015
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October 20, 2013
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October 18, 2013
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October 17, 2013
21:43Hard work is paying off insists Bayern Munich defender Rafinha
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October 16, 2013
19:53Report: Tottenham Hotspur set to offer Paulinho extended deal
09:12Report: São Paulo could terminate Lúcio’s contract if injury concerns prevail
October 13, 2013
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14:49Vanderlei Luxemburgo: ‘Simulation part of football’
October 09, 2013
20:37Mineiro learn Club World Cup fate
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22:39Oswaldo de Oliveira in hospital after Botafogo defeat
11:55Sambafoot Sunday: Cruzeiro cruising at the top of the Brasileirão
April 20, 2015
22:55Hellas Verona goalkeeper Rafael happy hard work paid off after saving Alessandro Diamanti's penalty
18:04Report: Liverpool to rival Juventus bid for Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto
17:15Manchester City midfielder Fernando pleased with West Ham United win and wants strong end to the season
15:22Report: Manchester United scout Internacional midfield duo Eduardo Sasha and Rodrigo Dourado
14:04Report: Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto happy to join Juventus as reserve to first choice Gianluigi Buffon
April 19, 2015
20:54Milan Assistant Coach Mauro Tassotti explains why Alex started the Derby della Madonnina
17:26Report: Roma consider mutual termination for defender Maicon after injury hit season
16:07Roma Head Coach Rudi Garcia unsure when Maicon will return from knee injury
11:24Grêmio manager Luiz Felipe Scolari refutes suggestion that he is set to move to China
09:55Juventus Director General and Sports Department CEO Giuseppe Marotta discusses Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto
April 17, 2015
19:58Orlando City SC defender Rafael Ramos credits Kaká for helping early season form
18:51Chelsea manager José Mourinho confident of finalising deal for Atlético Paranaense midfielder Nathan
17:03Report: Juventus to compete with Manchester City for defender Alex Sandro
08:11Report: Roma make progress on deal for Torino wing-back Bruno Peres
07:54Report: Napoli tracking Cruzeiro full-back Mayke
April 15, 2015
20:51Fiorentina Head Coach Vincenzo Montella admits goalkeeper Neto is not 100% fit for Dynamo Kyiv tie
16:03Bayern Munich Head Coach Pep Guardiola name-checks FC Porto's Casemiro as possible threat
15:34Barcelona Director of Football Ariedo Braida denies interest in Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson
14:42Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc denies a proposal has been made to Barcelona's Daniel Alves
12:54Atlético Paranaense midfielder Nathan confirms on Twitter that he is set to sign with Chelsea
April 14, 2015
08:02Report: Chelsea remain on track to secure deal for Atlético Paranaense midfielder Nathan
07:21Report: Corinthians reject approach from Roma for forward Malcom
April 13, 2015
16:32Report: São Paulo ready to make surprise offer for veteran Lazio forward Miroslav Klose
15:28Barcelona defender Daniel Alves insists he is yet to decide his future
14:44Manager Adrian Heath admits Orlando City SC were fortunate with Kaká penalty retake in 2-0 win at Portland Timbers
13:56Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson explains why it took him time to settle in Italy
13:43Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson hails Head Coach Stefano Pioli's influence on his development
April 12, 2015
19:29Sandro refuses to blame former manager Harry Redknapp for Queens Park Rangers' struggles
17:14Head Coach Caleb Porter confident Portland Timbers can stifle Orlando City SC star Kaká
14:42Barcelona Head Coach Luis Enrique not interested in "nonsense" surrounding Neymar substitution
13:21Report: Former Argentina Head Coach Alejandro Sabella to choose between Manchester City and São Paulo
12:56Brazil Head Coach Dunga doesn't want Lazio's Felipe Anderson compared to Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar
April 07, 2015
18:25Report: Sampdoria ready to extend forward Éder's contract until 2021
17:32Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda concedes Real Madrid are "probably the best in the world"
07:46Report: Fluminense ready to sell forward Kenedy to investment group ahead of possible Chelsea switch
07:25Internacional President Vitório Píffero confirms defender Fabrício will leave the club
April 06, 2015
20:57Report: Napoli, Porto, Roma and Sporting CP set to battle for Torino wing-back Bruno Peres
18:54Report: Paris Saint-Germain duo David Luiz and Thiago Motta doubtful for UEFA Champions League clash with Barcelona
17:52Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi admits loss of David Luiz and Thiago Motta to injury is "distressing"
16:46TSG 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino believes playing in the Bundesliga has helped him develop
07:36Report: Tottenham Hotspur to sell midfielder Paulinho as part of summer clear-out
April 05, 2015
17:35Report: Paris Saint-Germain ready to make big bid to secure Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira
17:30Report: Benfica to target Livorno full-back Maicon
10:28Agent Bernardo Silva: Bruno Peres "will certainly leave Torino this summer"
April 03, 2015
07:56 Owner Sourav Ganguly hints that Orlando City SC's Kaká could play for Atlético de Kolkata in the 2015 ISL
April 01, 2015
19:04Agent Stefano Castagna suggests Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool want Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto
19:00Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tătărușanu praises counterpart Neto
18:51Agent Luciano Ramalho confirms Milan loanee Pablo Armero could move to Flamengo
March 31, 2015
08:02Report: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United to compete for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino
07:22Report: Avellino's Rodrigo Ely and Livorno full-back Maicon turn down Italy to represent Brazil
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