FINAL Preview & Poll Look familiar? Well, for the second season in a row, we have West Ham (under a different manager) and Gremio facing off in the Coppa Tradizione Final. And for the 6th time in 8 seasons, we have a matchup between a Serie A and Serie B team. Adding even more intrigue to the match, the matchup is also between last season's Coppa Confederazione and Coppa Tradizione champions. @WingedHelmet has tasted plenty of success in two seasons throughout TFS, and now is on the verge of both a cup championship and a promotion from Serie B with West Ham. If Winged can make the leap up to the top league, this match could be a good indicator of his future success. @shiftee has long been one of the most talented managers in TFS dating back to Season 1, and he is looking to become the first manager to ever win back-to-back Coppa Tradizione titles. Now with the two about to face off, who will come out on top? (WingedHelmet) WEST HAM -- GREMIO (shiftee) Road to the Final First, let's run through how each team has fared this season and their path to the Final. West Ham Serie B: Finished 3rd Place, 11-4-5, 31 GF, 20 GA, +11 GD, 37 points Coppa Group G: 1st Place, W 1-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven, W 3-0 vs. Sunderland, W 3-2 vs. Sao Paulo Coppa Round of 16: W 5-3 vs. Bologna Coppa Quarterfinals: W 3-1 vs. Hannover 96 Coppa Semifinals: W 1-1 (4-3) vs. Barcelona B After winning Serie C a season ago with Sporting CP, along with the Coppa Confederazione, Winged couldn't quite get a third title after falling short in the Supercoppa. But that didn't deter him from coming back even stronger this season. Up against stiffer competition, Winged finished in third place in Serie B and now needs to win one of two promotion playoff games to clinch his spot in Serie A next season. Yet despite Winged's quick rise, he hasn't often been touted as "The Next Best Thing" like some other double-promotion managers in the past. Why? Well, perhaps because Winged's style of play isn't the high-flying, goal-scoring, "I'm just going to outscore you," type of play. Instead, his success is backed by strong defensive play. In Serie C a season ago, his Sporting CP club allowed just 6 goals in 16 games, a TFS record. And now in Serie B, sure his offensive output might ranked 6th in the league (1.55 goals per game), but his league-best 1.00 goals allowed per game led him to finish just 5 points back of the Serie B champ. With top-notch defense, West Ham has also found nothing but success in the Coppa this season. With 6 wins in 6 games, West Ham has defeated 2 Serie A managers, 1 ex-Serie A manager, and the Serie C Champion. Gremio Serie A: Currently 3rd Place, 11-1-5, 31 GF, 17 GA, +14 GD, 34 points Coppa Group D: 1st Place, L 1-2 vs. Norwich City, W 5-2 vs. Southampton, W 4-0 vs. Aston Villa Coppa Round of 16: W 3-0 vs. Seattle Sounders Coppa Quarterfinals: W 0-0 (3-2) vs. B. M'gladbach Coppa Semifinals: W 2-1 vs. Anzhi After having his success stay exclusively to Serie A play, shiftee finally broke through with a Coppa Tradizione title a season ago. After winning 4 Serie A titles, this breakthrough finally put him in the group with @Broncos218 and @CxMacx10 as the only managers to ever win both a Serie A title and a Coppa Tradizione title. Now, the decorated manager is attempting to solidify his status as perhaps the most dominant manager ever with another cup title. For Serie A play this season, Gremio appears likely to finish 2nd or 3rd, with an outside shot at the title should Seattle lose their last 3 matches. But like his usual self, strong play on both sides of the pitch have made this season a relative success for shiftee. Gremio is 3rd in goals per game (1.82) and 2nd in goals allowed per game (1.00). As for the Coppa, shiftee suffered a rare group stage loss to Norwich, yet still managed to take first place in the group with a pair of convincing wins afterwards. Then with knockout wins against the current top-2 in Serie A and a penalty shootout win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Gremio undoubtedly deserves their place in the Final. Match Analysis Next, we'll go through the clubs position-by-position to see where each team holds the advantage. Goalkeepers West Ham: Jussi Jaaskelainen Gremio: DidaNeither goalkeeper is overly dominant in terms of ability. Sure, Dida may have played at AC Milan not too long ago, but at age 38, his skill set has begun to diminish (rated at 75 overall in-game). However, his rating is still higher than Jaaskelainen's (73). And when it comes to league play, splitting hairs is pretty much impossible. Both keepers are allowing exactly 1.00 goals per game in their respective league. Jaaskelainen does edge out Dida in number of clean sheets (7 to 5), but he's also played 3 more games. In the Coppa, Dida has the slight edge with one more clean sheet, and each keeper has succeeded in winning a penalty shootout. So when it comes to splitting these two apart, well, you just really can't do it. Advantage: Even Defenders West Ham: James Tomkins, James Collins, Winston Reid Gremio: Para, Werley, Cris, Fabio AurelioBetween Tomkins, Collins, and Reid, West Ham has 3 strong, tall center backs capable of keeping any less-powerful forwards out of the box. And while West Ham is likely to go with a 3-man backline, don't necessarily consider the wings to be wide open. Both Tomkins and Reid have ample speed to contain the sides should they be pushed out there. And with strong defensive numbers in league play, it's obvious that these three work well together. Width may still be necessary for Gremio to earn a victory, but it will likely take some mis-positioning somewhere among West Ham's back three to break them down. And while West Ham's defense is built around 3 pillars, Gremio's is what you would expect from a Brazilian defense- quick, not overly-enforcing, and able to strike on the attack as well. Fabio Aurelio has the ability to also play as a side midfielder, while Para's speed makes him a threat to start a quick-counter down the sideline. Werley and Cris are serviceable in the center, but don't be surprised to also see CB Bressan at some point as well. All three center backs are exactly 6-feet tall, making defending headers a weakness at times. But by having numbers in their own box, Gremio might just be able to avoid any headed goals. Gremio's defense certainly has performed well in Serie A though in also allowing just 1 goal per game, but they will certainly be put to the test again in this one. Advantage: West Ham Midfielders West Ham: Mohamed Diame, Mark Noble, Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole, Kevin Nolan Gremio: Adriano, Kleber, Elano, Ze RobertoExpect West Ham to pack the midfield in this match. Diame and Noble's role in defensive midfield could easily make or break West Ham in this match, as both will be tasked with preventing Gremio from getting too much space near the net. Moving farther up the pitch, Jarvis, Cole, and Nolan are all talented midfielders capable of changing the game on any play. Jarvis gives West Ham some much needed speed on the side, while Cole and Nolan both play well on the ball. But despite all the talent in midfield for West Ham, they haven't quite put up the numbers you would expect at times. Nolan has contributed with quite a few goals and assists, and Noble has picked up a pair of MOTM performances in Serie B, but outside of those statistics, it's hard to find the rest of the midfield really putting their stamp on West Ham's results. For Gremio, many of their midfielders have starred in Europe before settling back in Brazil. In fact, of the projected starters, only Adriano has yet to make his way overseas. Kleber, Elano, and Ze Roberto certainly give Gremio a strong midfield presence. The attacking-minded trio are a better grouping than West Ham's attacking mids in terms of ability, and who can root against the 38 year-old Ze Roberto still going strong. Don't forget Adriano- even if he doesn't appear to be the best midfielder around, one team in the last round already found out the hard way that he too can find the back of the net from outside the box . All in all, don't discount the Gremio bunch, as they are all capable of MOTM-worthy performances. Advantage: Gremio Forwards West Ham: Andy Carroll, Modibo Maiga Gremio: Welliton, Eduardo VargasLastly, the forwards. For all of these two clubs' strong defensive work, both teams have some of the most potent strikers in TFS. Modibo Maiga has already set a Coppa record with his 12 cup goals, and that only adds to the 12 he's tallied in Serie B. But after being the lead man for West Ham much of the season, the English club got a big boost when Andy Carroll was put back onto the team. At 6'3'' and known for his aerial ability, it certainly wouldn't surprise anyone should Carroll beat out Gremio's weak defenders for a goal or two. The tandem of Carroll and Maiga could easily wreck havoc on Gremio's backline, so it will be up to the Brazilians to prevent West Ham from getting the ball to their forwards in the first place. On the other side, we have the speedy Welliton and the almost-as-speedy Eduardo Vargas. Neither striker will be a menace in terms of winning headers like the West Ham duo, but they'll be able to simply run around anyone in their way instead. Welliton has matched his skill set with plenty of production this season as well. He leads Serie A in goals (20), MOTMs (5), and is tied for the lead in assists (7). With his 27 combined goals and assists, he's played a part in 27 of the team's 31 goals. Vargas has 6 goals and 6 assists himself, often playing as a the more deep-lying attacker. He's also second in the Coppa with 4 assists. Both groups of forwards are talented and have shown they can produce goals, and they both have the tools to exploit the opposition's weakness. But if you gotta pick one... I'll take the big boys in Serie A anyday. Advantage: Gremio Past MatchupsWith Winged only in his second TFS season, and never in the same league as shiftee, these two could have only met in a previous cup. And they haven't. While Winged might be Serie A next season, this will be the first time these two face off in a TFS match. With this in mind, don't be surprised to see an early goal quickly shift momentum. PredictionTwice a Serie B team has come out on top in the Coppa Tradizione, and it'd make sense for West Ham to be the third to do so seeing as they have been the most dominant team in the Coppa thus far. And when it comes to the match, I think West Ham will be able to score at least once on Gremio's lackluster backline. Yet while West Ham's defense has the potential to withstand Gremio's attack, I don't see the English side capable of stringing together 90 minutes of brick wall defending against one of TFS' best. Gremio 3-1 Good luck to both managers!