Botafogo vs Cruzeiro
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 3 December 2017
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
Botafogo were the ones dying for the points last weekend at Palmeiras, but excluding a couple of chances in the first half, they spent most of the game just… watching their opponents visit their box practically any time they wanted. Two goals relatively early in the second half put even a single point beyond Botafogo’s reach, their third defeat in four matches now, in which they have scored just one goal. They haven’t been doing any better at home, losing three matches in a row. If the Brasileirao was already over, if the 38th “rodada” wasn’t held, Botafogo would be in next season’s Copa Libertadores, grabbing the last ticket to the qualifiers (not directly to the group stage). Their 8th spot in the table is good enough for that, but if they don’t win this game, they run a major risk of having to settle for a Copa Sudamericana ticket, which would definitely be a let-down. If they finish 9th, they will depend on city rivals Flamengo, hoping they win the Sudamericana this season, so as to free up a Libertadores ticket to another Serie A side, the 9th in the final table.
Cruzeiro were considered huge favorites to beat Vasco da Gama at home last weekend, Vasco’s double chance was at 2.15(!), that was my suggestion, and Cruzeiro failed to win the game indeed. They couldn’t even earn a draw (0-1), which felt kind of harsh to them, given the number of chances they had to score, and how big some of those chances were. Cruzeiro have now won just one of their last five games, they are 5th, they can’t finish 4th, the worst they can finish is 6th, which either way won’t make any difference. The day they won the Copa do Brasil, they also earned a ticket to next season’s Copa Libertadores group stage. In other words, they are facing Botafogo with hardly any motive, other than… enjoy themselves, leave their fans with some good last impressions. Win or lose, they’ll be in the biggest club competition in South America next season, without having to go through the risky qualifying stages.
Previous five matches:
Palmeiras vs Botafogo 2-0
Sao Paulo vs Botafogo 0-0
Botafogo vs Atletico GO 1-2
Botafogo vs Atletico PR 0-1
Sport Recife vs Botafogo 1-2
Cruzeiro vs Vasco da Gama 0-1
Vitoria vs Cruzeiro 1-1
Cruzeiro vs Avai 2-2
Cruzeiro vs Fluminense 3-1
Flamengo vs Cruzeiro 2-0
Botafogo’s next official game is on January 17 (Carioca championship). Same day, Cruzeiro will play their first Mineiro championship match in 2018.
Botafogo vs Cruzeiro: Head to head Stats
Just one win for Botafogo, three for Cruzeiro, and a draw, in the last five games between these two in Rio de Janeiro. Three of those five matches went over 2.5 goals.
Botafogo vs Cruzeiro: Prediction
Seeing at 1.72 the win of a team that have earned just one point from their last four games, and are hosting a better side, may look weird at first, but as previously mentioned, Botafogo are the ones with the motive in this match, the ones who do care about the points, unlike Cruzeiro. Plus, they are playing at home. Not that it has helped them much lately (three losses in a row as hosts), but still… this is a “final”, and deep down I have to trust them to rise to the occasion.
Botafogo vs Cruzeiro: Betting Tips
Botafogo’s win, at 1.72, is my main tip. For more than that, I would gamble with Botafogo and under 2.5 goals, at 3.20 betting odds, seeing how they have been struggling offensively for weeks now.
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