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Paulista planning title assault

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Apr 2011

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Brazil’s Campeonato Paulista has reached the quarter-final stage, with Palmeiras on course to repeat their title win of 2008.

Second-placed Palmeiras will host Mirassol, who ended the season seventh on the table, in a one-legged, sudden-death clash.

The Greens have suffered only two defeats and have conceded just eight goals heading into their clash with Mirassol, and Palmeiras have talented individuals spread across the pitch.

Deola, an injury replacement for goalkeeper Marcos, has played a key role in his side’s 12 clean sheets in the group stage.

Centre-back Thiago Heleno is on a high having scored three goals this season, while Chile international midfielder Jorge Valdivia, who has been frustrated by injury, could prove an invaluable asset for Palmeiras in their title assault.

Former Brazil and Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who initially endured a slow start with the club last year, has managed to build a competitive side capable of expanding its trophy cabinet with a 23rd Paulista title.

Palmeiras’ opponents, Mirassol, who they defeated in the group stages, are in their fourth straight season in the first division of the Sao Paulo competition’s top flight.

Midfielder Xuxa, who has put away eight goals in addition to some great assists, has been a standout performer for Mirassol, while Fernando Leal has played a pivotal role in front of goal this campaign so far.

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