Avai vs Sport Recife
Competition: Brazilian Serie A
Date: 4 June 2017
Kick-off: 16:00 CET
Avai have decided to bet on experienced players, going that far as to sign Maicon, despite his 36 years, and the fact that he hasn’t played a single official game in a whole year. Center-back Betao is 33, attacking midfielder (and captain) Marquinhos is almost 36, and Juan, a left-back who signed for Avai a few days ago, is 35. The club signed younger players as well, attacker Willians joined the team a couple of days ago, he’s 29, but it’s clear that Avai have prioritized experienced, hoping that it will have kept them in the Serie A once the season is over. Last weekend they lost 2-0 at Chapecoense, looking very-very poor. Right-back Leandro Silva got sent-off last weekend and is unavailable.
Last weekend, Sport earned an unbelievable 4-3 win over Gremio in Recife, in what was possibly the most entertaining match of the first three game weeks in Serie A. Midweek they drew 1-1 to Botafogo at home in the return leg of their Copa do Brasil tie, and were left out of the competition, having lost 2-1 in Rio de Janeiro in the first leg. That was Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s first game in charge, after agreeing terms with Sport to be their new coach. Left-back Eugenio Mena got sent-off last weekend and is unavailable. Right-back Raul Prata has recovered from an injury but is not yet fit to play. Another right-back, Samuel Xavier, who got injured in the Copa do Nordeste final against Bahia, seems ready to play again. Same with center-forward Leandro Pereira, Sport’s number 9. Generally, these last days, Luxemburgo spent a lot of time in one-on-one conversations with his players, explaining to many of them exactly what he expects.
Avai vs Sport Recife: Head-to-head Stats
Avai have one win in their last two home games against Sport, with the other game ending in a draw. Before that, their previous game was in 2009, since they spent years playing in different categories.
Avai vs Sport Recife: Prediction
Avai are considered slight favorites to win. Despite the fact that Sport had a Copa do Brasil game midweek, I’m backing them to earn at least a draw, because they had some up and downs these last weeks, while Avai have only had… downs.
Avai vs Sport Recife: Tips
‘Draw or Sport’ is at 1.55. Between the two, I feel a draw is more probable, at 3.00. I’m avoiding goals, because Sport, in their game against Gremio last weekend, scored in 45 minutes more goals than what they had scored in their previous six games combined(!).