Finally, after over a year of utter dominance, it looked as though Cruzeiro may have company at the top of the Campeonato Brasileiro table. The reigning champions were defeated 2-0 last weekend by São Paulo, who then proceeded to lose to relegation candidates Coritiba, moving back to seven points adrift going into the final three months of the season. However, without wishing to jinx anything before it materialises, we may still have a title race on our hands.
But while things are beginning to simmer at one end of the table, there’s a full-scale battle royale raging at the other. The scrap against relegation could hardly be more dramatic: while Flamengo appear to have done enough to stave off the threat, everyone from Figueirense down will be fighting to the death from here on in.
With margins so small, things really could be settled by a few hardy warriors. For WhoScored, I have picked out five players who could shape the relegation battle in Brazil.