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Campeonato Paulista preview: Sao Paulo v Portuguesa

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Apr 2011

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Sao Paulo host Portuguesa in the quarter-finals on Sunday, fully aware that they have not won the Paulista since 2005.

But under coach Paulo Cesar Carpegiani, the Morumbi club have assembled an impressive squad and is now confident it they can put the record to an end.

With 39 goals in 19 goals, Sao Paulo have the second-best attack in the competition.

The man responsible for doing much of the work up front is 28-year-old striker Dagoberto.

The forward has scored eight times and is probably in his best form since his arrival at the Morumbi in 2007 from Atletico Paranaense.

Goals also continue to come from goalkeeper and captain Rogerio Ceni, who continues to break records and hit his 100th goal in March.

As well as playing effective football up front, Sao Paulo have also been solid at the back.

Long-serving defenders Miranda and Alex Silva have been joined by Rodolpho.

The 24-year-old arrived from Atletico Paranaense in February and is having an excellent campaign.

But the name on everyone’s lips this season is attacking midfielder Lucas Moura.

After less than a year as a professional, Moura has already been called up by Brazil.

The 18-year-old is regarded so highly by Sao Paulo that they slapped an 80 million Euro price tag on his head.

Possessing fantastic ability and stunning acceleration, Moura’s talent is being banked on by the Tricolor to get them to the finals.

But while Sao Paulo finished top of the table in the regular season, they managed to beat only one of their major rivals.

The 2-1 win over Corinthians on March 27 put an end to a three-year drought against their arch enemies, and it may be a sign that their six-season wait for the Paulista title could be coming to an end.

Portuguesa will be looking to their top scorer Jael to add to his six in the campaign.

But despite having three Paulista trophies in the bag, it is hard to imagine the Caninde outfit making it to the semi-finals to face Santos or Ponte Preta.

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