São Paulo are one of the teams looking to make it into the finals of the 2014 Copa Sudamericana.
They suffered a setback in the first leg of the semi-final after losing to their opponents Atlético Nacional. The second leg, crucially, will be at home, and manager Muricy Ramalho says that the home support will have a major say on the final result. São Paulo need a victory in order to have any hopes of reaching the finals, but they also need to shut out of their opponents in order to prevent an away goal.
Luiz Ruiz scored the only goal of the game in the first leg. This kept their incredible run in the competition going.Atlético Nacional are yet to suffer a defeat in this competition so far. However,Ramalho expects that run to come to an end when the opponents visit São Paulo’s ground which can hold more than 65,000. Former Arsenal midfielder Denilson was part of the team that lost in the first leg. He is likely to retain his place given that the 26-year-old has been one of the better players for the club this season. A victory is essential for São Paulo given that they lost the Brazilian Serie A season to Cruzeiro.
“It will be a very tough match. Teams like them play better abroad than at home, because they know how to control a match. We should not let them play.We really expect São Paulo fans to attend the Morumbi and do what Nacional supporters did in Colombia, pushing all the time. It will not be easy to turn it around, but we’ll fight a lot for that. I hope the strategy we set will work, but I think we have the right to have the illusion. We can play them at the same level, equalise their intensity,” saidRamalho.