Brasileirão: What can happen in the final two rounds?
Brasileirão: Fighting for the title
A three point gap at the top of the table never felt so good for Palmeiras. After a routine 4-0 victory over America MG in the Brasileirão, it was those behind that slipped up.
Flamengo faltered at the Maracanã as Atletico Mineiro's clinical finishing brought Felipe Scolari's side into title contention with a 2-0 victory. Paulinho was once again at the heart of it, combining with Hulk as he scored his 18th league goal of the season - putting him in pole position for the golden boot.
Tiquinho Soares, also fighting for the top goalscorer award, thought he had sealed all three points against Coritiba with a 97th minute penalty. His 17th goal of the season wasn't enough, as once again Botafogo's fragile mentality couldn't see out the game.
Edu was found unmarked in the 99th minute to rescue a point for the already relegated team.
This was the third match in their last four that Botafogo have thrown away vital points. Not to mention their 4-3 defeats to Palmeiras and Gremio in recent weeks saw them throw away their advantage having led for 30 matchdays.
Despite their current eight match winless run, it isn't technically over for them. Thiago Nunes will have to pick his players up and convince them there's an outside chance - albeit rather slim.
How it stands
Palmeiras host Libertadores champions Fluminense on Sunday 3rd December, before a trip to relegation threatened Cruzeiro the following Wednesday. Two wins will retain their title, but if this campaign has taught us anything, it's never quite that simple.
Real Madrid bound Endrick was stretched off during their win over America MG, but confirmed in an interview afterwards he would be fine for the remaining fixtures.
Flamengo's 2-0 defeat to Atletico Mineiro saw Scolari's team leapfrog them on goal difference. With Cuiaba and Sao Paulo next for Tite, the former Brazilian coach will be bitterly disappointed with his team's midweek display.
The controversial decision for Scolari to leave Athletico PR during the season to join Atletico certainly ruffled a few feathers, but the 75-year-old has squeezed every last drop of quality out of his current squad - and they now have a chance.
They will need Palmeiras to slip up once more, but a home tie against Sao Paulo, who have won one away match all season, and a trip to Bahia may be one of the more favourable fixtures out of those mentioned.
There's two unwanted places up for grabs at the wrong end of the table - however, that could become one if Goias fail to get a result against Gremio on Thursday evening.
Although Bahia are occupying 17th spot, a trip to America MG on the weekend may just determine whether they are in or out of the bottom four come the final game week on Wednesday 7th December.
Vasco are just about keeping their heads above water, but tough fixtures against Gremio and Bragantino - who are both looking to finish in the top four and avoid Libertadores qualification rounds - await.
Santos have never been relegated from Serie A - but this might come to an end. Years of poor leadership have led them to this position - a main feature in Issue III - and after a 3-0 loss to Fluminense at home, they need to pull something special out of the bag.
A trip to Athletico PR, who are fighting for a Libertadores spot, before facing Fortaleza, who aren't out of the woods yet either, will see their survival race go to the wire.
Cruzeiro's late winners vs Fortaleza and Goias have almost seen them home and dry. Yet Athletico PR, Botafogo and Palmeiras are far from the easiest fixtures in the current circumstances and they too, may require one more victory.
Where to watch Brasileirão
For those based in the UK, all games on Sunday 3rd December and Wednesday 7th December can be found on Brasileirao Play UK for a small fee.