Zé Rafael knows Coritiba well, Palmeiras’ next opponent in the Brasileirão. Formed at the base of Coxa, the midfielder will meet the former club again seeking to keep the São Paulo team in the isolated leadership of the national competition.
Without losing for three games and coming from a draw at home against São Paulo, Coritiba appears in fifth place in the Brasileirão, four points below Palmeiras.
That is, in addition to maintaining the leadership, the confrontation also serves for Verdão to open up even more advantage over a team at the top of the table.
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– Playing in Couto is always very difficult. Coritiba’s team is well assembled, has good players and is doing well in the championship. But we are going to work these two days that we still have to get there, play a great game and come back with a great result because we also need to score away from home – said Zé Rafael.
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Zé Rafael training at Palmeiras — Photo: Cesar Greco/SE Palmeiras
Zé Rafael also commented on Palmeiras’ sequence of nine unbeaten games in the Brasileirão – there are 16 in the season. According to the midfielder, it is important to open up an advantage and build the famous “fat” to be able to have greater peace of mind in the national competition with the beginning of the knockout stages of the Copa do Brasil and Libertadores.
– I think our mentality is very strong. We have been preparing every day and for all competitions. We know that the Brazilian is a long championship and that we need to score the most points now to get there at the front and have, who knows, a little fat to burn when deciding. And, in the same way, these intense matches of the Brazilian also serve as preparation for the knockouts that we will have for the Copa do Brasil and Libertadores – he analyzed.
At 28 years old, Zé Rafael is the most experienced player in the Palmeiras midfield. It is up to the number 8 to advise the younger ones, cases of Danilo and Gabriel Menino (21 years old each) and Fabinho (20 years old).
– This exchange with the boys is too cool. I’m happy to help you with some tips, with some positioning. And they also, at some points, help me. So, this exchange of experiences is very good. They are very young, but they are always wanting to learn new things and evolve. We have everything to keep growing a lot and I hope we can continue on this good streak and win even more titles for Palmeiras – concluded the midfielder.
With 19 points, Palmeiras leads the Brasileirão alone and with one point ahead of Corinthians, vice-leader. In addition to the best campaign, Verdão has the most positive attack (17 goals) and the least leaked defense (five goals). They are just over 63% of success in the competition.
Palmeiras enters the field again for the Brasileirão next Sunday, at 6 pm, against Coritiba, at the Couto Pereira stadium, in Curitiba. The game is valid for the 11th round.
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