Flamengo vs Vasco da Gama
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 20 May 2018
Kick-off: 00:00 CET
It’s official, Flamengo have rescinded Paolo Guerrero’s contract (on Friday), following the TAS decision to extend the Peruvian’s ban to 14 months. The experienced striker had just returned to action, he had even scored a goal for Fla, but the TAS decision left the club hardly any choice. They have already been paying a player they couldn’t see in action for months, and he won’t be back any time soon, so… Midweek, Flamengo beat Emelec 2-0 at Maracanã in the Copa Libertadores, securing a spot in the last 16 of the competition. They are about to visit River Plate in Buenos Aires, but they have already qualified, mathematically. Bad news from that game on Wednesday was that vastly experienced center-back Juan got injured, had to leave the pitch, and remains unclear if he’ll manage to return to action before the World Cup finals break. Flamengo are co-leading in the Série A, on 10 points from five matches. They’ve lost just one of their last 10 official matches, last weekend, to Chapecoense (3-2).
The Brazilians use to say “não existe nada tão ruim, que não possa ficar pior”, meaning – something like – “there is no bad situation that can’t get even worse”, and that definitely applies to Vasco da Gama these days. Something over a month ago, they lost their State championship on penalties to Botafogo. More recently, they got eliminated from the Copa Libertadores, lost 3-0 to Bahia in the first leg of their Copa do Brasil round of 16 tie, and just last weekend lost to Vitória as well, at home, in the Série A. As if their on-the-field struggles weren’t enough, they have been dealing with a major political crisis, with opposition groups trying to kick out the club president, involving “fans”, “ultras”, who have used force to “promote” their agenda. The overall feeling at Vasco right now, is that if things on the field in this Rio de Janeiro derby don’t go well, things at the stand that will be hosting their fans will get ugly, between different fan groups. Midfielder Thiago Galhardo has recovered from an injury and is at Zé Ricardo’s disposal.
Previous five matches:
Flamengo vs Emelec 2-0
Chapecoense vs Flamengo 3-2
Flamengo vs Ponte Preta 0-0
Flamengo vs Internacional 2-0
Ponte Preta vs Flamengo 0-1
Vasco da Gama vs Vitoria 2-3
Bahia vs Vasco da Gama 3-0
Vasco da Gama vs America Mineiro 4-1
Vasco da Gama vs Cruzeiro 0-4
Vasco da Gama vs Racing Club 1-1
Flamengo’s next game is at River Plate (Argentina), on Wednesday. A day earlier, Vasco will have visited Universidad de Chile (both Copa Libertadores games).
Flamengo vs Vasco da Gama: Head to head Stats
One win for Fla and four draws(!) in the last five Rio de Janeiro derbies between these two with Flamengo as hosts.
Flamengo vs Vasco da Gama: Prediction
I wish I trusted Vasco to bounce back in this derby, their double chance is at 2.30, but… I don’t.
Flamengo vs Vasco da Gama: Betting Tips
Flamengo’s win at 1.65 is not paying too much, but given how both teams have looked lately, I find it hard to imagine Fla not winning this game. If I left winners and losers aside, I would go for “over 2.5 goals”, at 2.05, expecting Flamengo to score at least twice, and a third goal to come from either side.