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Analysis | Tuesday, April 9, 2024 9:56 AM

Brazil Serie A Prediction Outright Ante-Post Preview: Winners, Top Six, Golden Boot and Relegation

Brazil Serie A Prediction Outright Ante-Post Preview: Winners, Top Six, Golden Boot and Relegation
Hulk of Atletico Mineiro celebrates after scoring the first goal of his team during the match between Atletico Mineiro and Goias, for the Brazilian Serie A 2023

The 2024 Brazil Serie A kicks-off this weekend and bettingexpert’s very own South American football expert Nathan Joyes is back to provide his insight, knowledge and his best outright picks for the upcoming campaign in this prediction preview.

Last year, Palmeiras were victorious after Botafogo crumbled when in front, while Flamengo were left chasing the pack in 4th. Both are likely to be at the top come the end of the campaign, but another team – and striker – catches the eye.

Read Nathan’s recommended tips for the title, top six, Golden Boot and more below.

  1. Brazil Serie A Outright Tip 1: Atletico Mineiro Each-Way
  2. Brazil Serie A Outright Tip 2: Paulinho Top Goalscorer
  3. Brazil Serie A Outright Tip 3: Hulk Top Goalscorer
  4. Brazil Serie A Outright Tip 4: Internacional Top Six
  5. Brazil Serie A Outright Tip 5: Criciuma to be Relegated

Brazil Serie A Outright Prediction 1: Milito to muster up a title charge

Brazil Serie A, April 12th, 20:00 (UK)

Although I tipped Atletico Mineiro to win Copa Libertadores in my midweek column, I’m very keen to back them for domestic success as well. I’ll be very surprised if they don’t win a trophy or come close this season.

The decision was made only a couple of weeks ago to bring in Argentine manager Gabriel Milito which could be the difference for Galo this campaign.

One of the best head coaches in South America, Milito excelled with Argentinos Jrs last year, only to lose his job during a sticky period. However, he successfully guided them out of a difficult Libertadores group and only came unstuck to Fluminense, the eventual winners, in the knockout stage.

Upon closer inspection, key injuries made that tie particularly tough, who had to field their third choice goalkeeper at the Maracana.

Rubbing Hands

Now with Mineiro, Milito will be rubbing his hands with the attacking options at his disposal. With Paulinho, Hulk and now the addition of Gustavo Scarpa, he arguably has the best front three combination in the league. (More on those strikers later).

Mineiro had a late charge for the title last campaign out of nowhere, finishing third only behind Gremio and Palmeiras.

Gremio has lost Luis Suarez who scored 17 goals and provided 11 assists last campaign, Endrick will leave Palmeiras on 1st July for Real Madrid, while Botafogo are very much an unknown quantity under their new manager Artur Jorge.

Flamengo remain the favourites, but with the season taking place during Copa America, and with Tite’s side expected to lose plenty of their best players, this opens up a window for someone else.

Being able to back Mineiro each-way at 6.00 means it’s a rare maximum bet from me, and I’m very confident they’ll be in the running come the end of the season under their new manager.

  • Brazil Serie A Outright Prediction 1: Atletico Mineiro Each Way (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 6.00
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 10/10

Brazil Serie A Outright Prediction 2: Paulinho to defend his crown

If I’m going to back Mineiro to lift the title, it only makes sense to back their striker Paulinho to win back-to-back golden boots. However, there’s more logic to this than just 2+2.

Paulinho was lethal last campaign. He scored 20 goals in the league, none of which were from the penalty spot, showing how dangerous he was after rejoining the league after it didn’t work out for him with Bayer Leverkusen.

The first part to focus on for this particular bet is the fact that plenty of last season’s competition are no longer in the league.

I’ve mentioned Luis Suarez, who is now at Inter Miami, but Marcos Leonardo (13) and Vitor Roque (12) are both in Europe. Endrick (11) will leave in July, and his odds around 15.0 are just baffling, considering the season finishes in November.

Tiquinho Soares had his best-ever season with 17, but at 33, he has looked leggy in the early stages of the campaign, and with Botafogo buying numerous attacking players, he may no longer be the main man.

Front Runner

Pedro is the front runner and main danger, who has been prolific for Flamengo. However, at 5.00, the price is way too short to go back in this kind of market, and instead, a focus on Mineiro’s forwards looks to be the right way to play this in a market that has been priced wrongly.

The second part, which adds depth to my selection is the fact Copa America runs throughout the season. Brazil’s Serie A won’t take a break, and with Paulinho unlikely to be part of Dorival Junior’s squad, he can stay in Brazil and do what he does best.

It’s also very much worth backing his strike partner, Hulk, to be in the thick of the action at a generous price.

Despite being 37, the former Porto striker hit 15 goals last campaign as well as 11 assists. If he isn’t scoring (Mineiro’s dedicated set-piece taker), he’s putting it on a plate for Paulinho.

If and when the each-way market opens, Paulinho and Hulk are both maximum bet recommendations, particularly the former.

  • Brazil Serie A Outright Prediction 2: Paulinho Top Goalscorer
  • Best Odds: 10.00
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 8/10

  • Copa Libertadores Prediction 3: Hulk Top Goalscorer
  • Best Odds: 8.50
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 7/10

Brazil Serie A Outright Prediction 4: New improved Internacional catch the eye

Last year, Internacional were minutes away from the Libertadores final before a ten-minute collapse cost them dearly. Finishing 9th was a disappointing campaign for the Brazilians, who will now compete in the Sudamericana.

However, don’t be fooled by their disappointment. Internacional has recruited extremely well without only losing plenty of deadwood in the off-season. They did lose Johnny Cardoso to Real Betis, but there’s plenty to like about who they have brought in.

For £5.5m, Internacional have signed Frankfurt striker Rafael Borre. The former River Plate forward hasn’t excelled in Europe, but his previous spell with the Argentine champions saw an incredible striker light up El Monumental.

We saw with Paulinho returning to a familiar league how well these players returning can perform, and at the age of 28, this could be a masterstroke from Internacional.

Striker Wesley Ribeiro has joined from Cruzeiro, while Coritiba’s standout midfielder Bruno Gomes has come in to replace Johnny.

They’ve also brought in Thiago Maia on loan from Flamengo, as well as Celtic’s Alexandro Bernabei, who’ll no doubt help out when the fixture list becomes congested.

Aside from their new transfers, Internacional have Wanderson and Mauricio on either wing, and the latter was subject to plenty of interest and bids from MLS clubs during the off-season. However, he chose to stay and the 22-year-old will be an integral player if he is to remain uninjured after an unfortunate 2023 campaign.

Creative Juices

Behind the striker is where you’ll find Alan Patrick. The former Shakhtar player was easily their most creative player last season, who excelled in the Libertadores with five goals and five assists in 12 appearances.

Just in front of Patrick is Enner Valencia. Having scored 29 league goals in 31 appearances for Fenerbahce, the Ecuadorian has now settled in Brazil where he scored 13 goals in less than 30 games.

In between the sticks, they brought in Nacional’s and Uruguayan number on Sergio Rochet in 2023, who is easily one of the best goalkeepers in South America.

I haven’t even mentioned Robert Renan, who they have brought in on loan from Zenit. The 20-year-old centre back has such a high ceiling, and if he can kickstart his career back in Brazil, Internacional have a highly-talented individual on their hands.

Based on the odds, Internacional will be fighting with Fluminense, Sao Paulo and Gremio for a top six spot.

However, Flu will be prioritising their Libertadores campaign, who also had the third-worst away record in the Brazil Serie A last year. Gremio have lost their front three from the last campaign, while Sao Paulo have lost Dorival Junior to Brazil and brought in Thiago Carpini – who has never managed at this level.

  • Copa Libertadores Prediction 4: Internacional Top Six (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 1.75
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 9/10

Brazil Serie A Outright Prediction 5: Relegation favourites justified

A market which I can agree with is that the bookmakers have priced Criciuma as the favourites to be relegated. All four sides which came up are expected to drop according to the market, but Criciuma looks nailed on to go down.

Having finished third in an incredibly weak Serie B, Criciuma will compete amongst Brazil’s best in 2024. However, while they may have performed well at home, securing 43 points from 19 matches, their away record is concerning.

Having picked up 21 points from 19 matches, Criciuma only scored 12 goals on the road in Serie B. Now stepping up into the top flight, where there is currently a huge gulf in quality between the leagues, they haven’t done much to rectify their goalscoring woes.

Their marquee signing was Swansea’s Yannick Bolasie, who, at 34, struggled to compete in the Championship last season, failing to score or assist in any of his 12 appearances for the Welsh club.

Other signings don’t fill me with confidence. Tobias Figueiredo (30) signed for Fortaleza from Hull City but failed to make more than four league appearances, while Matheusinho was brought in from America MG, who struggled to hold down a regular spot in a side which were relegated.

It may not be the most exciting selection within this antepost special, but it’s hard to look beyond any of the four which came up surviving, but unfortunately for Criciuma, they stand out as the number candidates to finish bottom of the pile.

  • Copa Libertadores Prediction 5: Criciuma to be Relegated (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 1.75
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 10/10

Copa Libertadores Predictions odds via bet365 as at 15:00, April 8th, 2024. Odds may now differ.

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