Sao Paulo Vs. Corinthians, 2011 Brasileirao Round 24: Battle At The Top Of The Table

Corinthians

Corinthians and Sao Paulo fight for the top of the Brasileirao table on Wednesday night

Because of Brazil's growing economy, the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A - better known as just the Brasileirao - might be the most rapidly improving league in the world. Star players stick around longer, while players who don't stick with their first club in Europe are often coming back. This phenomenon seems to have affected a number of clubs equally, so it hasn't made for any kind of stabilization or regularity in the league's table.

Sao Paulo and Corinthians are two of the biggest sides in Brazil, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they're competing for a title once again. They currently sit second and third in the table, just one point back of first place. Their fortunes haven't changed, but the contenders sure have.

After making some tough player sales, previous contenders Cruzeiro are in the bottom half of the table. Santos FC, the club of Neymar and Ganso, currently sit there as well. Ronaldinho's Flamengo and Leandro Damiao's Internacional are sitting in sixth and seventh, fighting for Copa Libertadores places. Teams with big support and big name players are struggling, paving the way to a title for one of Sao Paulo and Corinthians. They just need to get surprise sides Vasco de Gama and Botafogo out of their wat.

When the two teams face off on Wednesday night, it could be quite possibly the most important fixture of the Brasileirao so far. Unfortunately, some of the luster is taken off of the fixture by the fact that many of the biggest names on the two clubs are not expected to play, while in the case of Corinthians, some of their best players have recently been sold.

Bruno Cesar and Dentinho are gone, off to Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk, respectably. Corinthians has the strength in depth to replace them, but whether or not they can replace them fast enough and well enough to win a title remains to be seen. They suffered a 3-1 loss to Santos at home last week, and Ganso wasn't even in the lineup.

Meanwhile, fitness is not currently being kind to Sao Paulo. None of Lucas, their young starlet, or Denilson and Luis Fabiano, players with national team experience who have returned from Europe, are expected to play. However, the club does have star central midfielder Casemiro and Bundesliga veteran Cicinho available.

Sao Paolo's injuries and Corinthians' sales might keep them from the title this season, but both has as good of a chance as anyone at taking the throne. Both can go a long way towards securing a title by beating the other on Wednesday night. Kickoff is at 8:50 pm ET from Morumbi in Sao Paolo. The game can be seen on GolTV in both the USA and Canada.

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