Botafogo vs Santos
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 17 September 2017
Kick-off: 00:00 CET
Botafogo and Gremio kind of neutralized each other midweek, in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal. My suggestion was “under 1.5”, at 2.40, and the game ended in a goalless draw. The return leg will be held next week, in Porto Alegre, Botafogo’s coach Jair Ventura didn’t rule out the possibility to rotate his squad “somewhat”, stressing out though that this game against Santos is super important for them, because they are only 7th in the table of the Serie A, and absolutely need to finish in the top six (if not top four), so as to play Copa Libertadores football next season as well (the first top spots lead directly to the group stage, the 5th and 6th will have to go through qualifiers).
Just like Botafogo, Santos had a Copa Libertadores quarterfinal midweek, they drew 1-1 at Barcelona (Guayaquil), and they have the return leg at home in a few days). A huge difference between Botafogo and Santos, is that Levir Culpi, Santos’ coach, made it all too clear that he is willing to… kind of “sacrifice” this game, so as to have the best possible lineup against Barcelona. Only two of the eleven players who started the game in Guayaquil are going to start against Botafogo as well, goalkeeper Vanderlei and center-back David Braz. Argentine attacking midfielder Emiliano Vecchio is back after recovering from an injury, and will replace Lucas Lima. Levir Culpi’s approach is rather… pragmatic. Santos are sitting third in the table in the Serie A, nine points behind leaders Corinthians, and seven from 7th-placed Botafogo. Their main target in the championship at this point is to finish in the top four, they can kind of… afford not to win this game against Botafogo, even a defeat won’t be a disaster, so Culpi does what he considers self-evident, given that Santos are very close to reaching the Copa Libertadores semifinals after that 1-1 draw in Guayaquil.
Previous 5 matches:
Botafogo vs Gremio 0-0
Botafogo vs Flamengo 2-0
Bahia vs Botafogo 1-2
Flamengo vs Botafogo 1-0
Ponte Preta vs Botafogo 2-1
Barcelona vs Santos 1-1
Santos vs Corinthians 2-0
Cruzeiro vs Santos 1-1
Coritiba vs Santos 0-0
Santos vs Fluminense 0-0
Botafogo’s next game is on Wednesday, at Gremio, a Copa Libertadores quarterfinal return leg. Same day, Santos will be hosting Barcelona (from Guayaquil), in another Copa Libertadores quarterfinal.
Botafogo vs Santos: Head to head Stats
Two wins for Botafogo and three for Santos in the last five games between these two in Rio de Janeiro. Only two of those five matches went over 2.5 goals.
Botafogo vs Santos: Prediction
The fact that Santos are going to play with nine reserves, is a… coin with two sides. Obviously their reserves are not as good as their regulars, but they are still good, and, very important, they are not tired. If Botafogo play with just two or three changes in their lineup, this could turn against them, could, just could. My point is, the fact that Santos are going to play with so many reserves, does not necessarily… condemn them to defeat, as someone could think.
Botafogo vs Santos: Betting Tips
Despite Santos’ extensive rotation, I’m very hesitant to suggest a Botafogo win. Botafogo’s double chance pays just 1.34, not worth it, so I’m going with goals instead, expecting the game to have no more than one. Under 1.5 is at 2.60 betting odds.
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