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2016 Brasileirão Preview: Corinthians

The 2016 State Championships (Estaduais) came and went, and it is finally time for our most favorite league to begin this weekend – the Brasileirão.
From now until the first weeks of the new season, I’ll be choosing a team to review and predict how I see them for the new season.


First semester: after near-impeccable first phase campaigns in the Libertadores & Paulista State Championships, Timão faced premature eliminations in both competitions (round of 16 to Nacional-URU & semifinal to Osasco Audax).
Status: the most successful team in the last decade, where alongside rivals São Paulo FC, they’ve attained 3 League titles.

The seemingly indestructible champions of Brazil get ready to defend their title, with an all-too-similar scenario unfolded before their eyes.  The 2015 champions edition of Corinthians lost over half their team and in less than 6 months, coach Tite was forced to make good with what was available – which quite honestly, wasn’t much.  Players who arrived like Guilherme and André have been considered major flops, the latter carrying a major weight of missing a last minute penalty in their Copa Libertadores elimination match vs Nacional (URU), at home, the same place a year before Corinthians were also eliminated, for the 2015 edition of the continental club competition to Guaraní (PAR).

Players like former Santos midfielder Marquinhos Gabriel, and Paulistão sensation side Audax's Camacho and Bruno Paulo can perhaps give the defending title holders a new face, especially with the touch of head coach Tite, still the nation’s best coach.  However, in order for Timão to attain the back-to-back title, two or three new players must arrive in Itaquera for the intensely compressed schedule of the Brasileirão, as well as for the Copa do Brasil – the shortest and most efficient path in order to make it to the Copa Libertadores.

2015 Brasileirão: 1st (24-9-5)
Strength: fans.  The Fiel are an essential component of Corinthians' strengths, seeing the team often drawing strength from the nonstop support coming from the stands, no matter what the result.  Leadership of Adenor, coach Tite, still the best coach in the country.  Home ground advantage – despite eliminated to Audax and Nacional (with 2-2 ties in both matches), Corinthians are nearly unbeatable inside their arena (50 wins – 13 draws – 4 losses – 141 goals scored – 41 goals against)
Weakness: PENALTIES – of 11 PK’s taken already in 2016, Corinthians missed an incredible 7 of them.  There’s also a lack of malice in their players, who often stick to being too correct most of the time.  Plus a lack of confidence that the successive eliminations have instilled in Itaquera is naturally expected.  The only way to surpass this problem, is winning, and Corinthians are a team known in finding ways to overcome difficult times.
Prediction: a finish among the top-4

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