Cruzeiro begin title defence against Bahia
The Campeonato Brasileiro will begin in earnest on April 20 this year, without Portuguesa who had been contesting their exclusion for the top flight. The league will serve a sabbatical from June 1 to July 20 as the country hosts the World Cup for the first time since 1950.
In the opening round of matches, the defending champions Cruzeiro, who won last season's trophy at a canter, will play Bahia. The two most intriguing contests see Sao Paulo host Botafogo and Corinthians travel to play Atletico Mineiro.