Bahia vs Cruzeiro
Competition: Brazilian Serie A
Date: 9 June 2017
Kick-off: 02:00 CET
After two defeats at Vasco da Gama and Botafogo, Bahia returned to victories last weekend, beating Atletico Goianiense 3-0 at the impressive Fonte Nova in Salvador, in what was Jorginho’s first game in charge. The fact that they have a second consecutive game at home is exactly what they needed to build on what they succeeded just a few days ago. Bahia are super close to signing attacker Mendoza from Corinthians, on loan, until the end of 2017. They also prolonged the contract of 21-year-old striker Joao Paulo, a player they have high hopes for. All in all, it’s looking good for Bahia, especially because Jorginho, their new coach, seems to have found a way to boost his players’ self-confidence.
On Sunday, Cruzeiro were considered big favorites to win their game at home against Chapecoense, but I explained why I backed the visitors to upset the high-profile Belo Horizonte side, and Chape ended up winning 2-0(!). As I explained before that game, Cruzeiro did have seven points in three games, but they had been very boring, and sooner or later someone would ‘read’ their weaknesses. Chapecoense did. In this game, Mano Menezes is going to make at least five changes in his lineup, compared to that 2-0 defeat at home to Chapecoense. Defensive midfielder Lucas Silva and left winger Alisson are out, due to muscular problems. Ecuadorian center-back Luis Caicedo joined his national team, something Cruzeiro could do nothing about, since these dates are included in FIFA’s calendar as ‘national team window’. Defensive midfielder Hudson, attacking midfielder Rafinha and center-forward Rafael Marques will also be missing from the first eleven, at least based on what Menezes tried in practice the last couple of days.
Bahia vs Cruzeiro: Head-to-head Stats
Cruzeiro have four wins in their last five visits at Bahia, with the remaining game ending in a draw.
Bahia vs Cruzeiro: Prediction
Bahia were very good in their last game against Atletico Goianiense, I backed them to win and keep a clean sheet, they did win 3-0, Cruzeiro failed big at home versus Chapecoense, so I can see why someone can get enthusiastic about Bahia’s chances to pick up a second consecutive win at home, but personally I’m backing Cruzeiro to… pull themselves together, and get at least a draw, looking way better defensively than against Chapecoense.
Bahia vs Cruzeiro: Tips
‘Draw or Cruzeiro’ is at 1.57. ‘No’ on ‘both teams to score pays 1.80. Despite their three goals over Atletico Goianiense just a few days ago, this time I don’t expect Bahia to score, but I’m hesitant to back Cruzeiro to win. For more than 1.80, I would take the risk to bet on a draw, at 3.20, and, more specifically, on a 0-0 draw, which pays 8.00.