Abel Ferreira once again showed concern with Palmeiras’ schedule of games, on the eve of starting the dispute of the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores.
Sunday, in the 2-2 draw with Avaí, the coach of the Brasileirão leader spared half of the team that should start against Cerro Porteño, on Wednesday, at 19:15 (Brasilia time), in Paraguay. He decided to change after keeping a base in the two classics with São Paulo in the last week.
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Abel Ferreira, coach of Palmeiras, during the game against Avaí — Photo: Cesar Greco
Despite the frustration with the result, since he was ahead of the score, Abel valued the fact that he did not lose players due to injury in Ressacada. Then, when asked about the calendar, the Portuguese even appealed to his faith.
– I am religious and I pray. For the amount of games there are, I just pray. You can see the number of injured players in Flamengo, Atlético-MG, Corinthians… I’m not a magician, I just ask for health – he said.
– I don’t ask you to help us in the game because God doesn’t meddle in the game, but that he gives us health to play. I don’t know what the future will be, I know we have a series of decisive games with two days apart. This only happens in one place in the world, maybe the others are wrong – he added.
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Abel’s statement gains strength when comparing the number of games in 2022 between the teams classified for the round of 16 of the Libertadores.
Palmeiras is the one that entered the field the most in the year (43 times), followed by the also Brazilians Fortaleza (41), Athletico-PR (40), Flamengo (39), Atlético-MG (38) and Corinthians (37).
The foreign team that played the most is Tolima, from Colombia, with 35. Estudiantes (31) and Boca Juniors (30) come in sequence, while Cerro Porteño, opponent of the palm treeshas 27 appearances in 2022. That is, Verdão played 16 times more than the Libertadores rival.
Against Avaí, Marcos Rocha, Murilo, Piquerez, Dudu, Gabriel Veron and Rony were on the bench, while Danilo did not play due to suspension. The tendency is for all of them to return to the team against Cerro.
The team is always chosen by Abel Ferreira and his coaching staff, with the support of the Health and Performance Nucleus, which assesses the wear and tear of each athlete. And management has paid off.
Despite Palmeiras’ tighter schedule, at the moment there is only one player in the medical department: Jailson, who tore a ligament in his knee. Raphael Veiga spent the month of June with a right thigh injury, but returned to work at Ressacada.
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