Bahia vs Cruzeiro
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 2 December 2018
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
Bahia have reasons to be glad about, just before their last game of the season. Two days before kick-off, they had already sold 20,000 tickets for this match, which is not held at Fonte Nova, their usual home, but at Pituaçu, far from the city center. It’s a sign that fans in Salvador appreciate what the team did this season, both domestically and internationally. They are finishing 11th (or 12th), earning a Copa Sudamericana ticket, having done great in that competition in 2018, leaving promises for doing even better next season. Plus, they reached an agreement with Palmeiras for the sale of Zé Rafael, their number 10, an attacking midfielder who was very-very good these past months. The deal is at 14.5m reals, about 3.3m euros. This may not look much to most of you, I guess, but it’s the biggest sale in Bahia’s history, and allows them to spend money on keeping players they had on loan this season, and further strengthen the team’s roster. Last weekend they lost 1-0 at América Mineiro.
Important detail: Cruzeiro are going to play with reserves against Bahia. It’s not because of injuries or suspensions, it’s simply because points don’t really matter to them in this game, and Mano Menezes decided that it would be better to let his regulars, the guys who played most games this season, go on vacation a bit earlier. Menezes is… out as well, has been far from the fields for weeks now, due to the treatment he is following, dealing with a health issue (nothing too important). His assistant, Sidnei Lobo, remains in charge. Cruzeiro lost 0-2 at home last weekend. They are 8th in the table, may finish a bit lower, but won’t make any difference; they won the Copa do Brasil long ago, securing themselves a spot in next season’s Copa Libertadores group stage.
Previous five matches:
America Mineiro vs Bahia 1-0
Bahia vs Fluminense 2-0
Atletico Mineiro vs Bahia 1-0
Bahia vs Ceara 2-1
Vitoria vs Bahia 2-2
Cruzeiro vs Flamengo 0-2
Cruzeiro vs Vitoria 3-0
Sao Paulo vs Cruzeiro 1-0
Cruzeiro vs Corinthians 1-0
Atletico Paranaense vs Cruzeiro 2-0
Both teams’ next scheduled official game is in seven weeks.
Bahia vs Cruzeiro: Head to head Stats
One win for Bahia, three for Cruzeiro, and one draw, in the last five games between these two in Salvador.
Bahia vs Cruzeiro: Prediction
Bahia will play at a mostly full stadium, thanking their fans for their support throughout the year, hosting Cruzeiro’s… reserves. I like their chances of winning the game.
Bahia vs Cruzeiro: Betting Tips
Bahia’s win is at 2.20. I’m staying with that.