Cruzeiro vs Botafogo
Competition: Brazilian Serie A
Date: 6 August 2017
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
Just when things started getting really tough for Mano Menezes at Cruzeiro, the team won 3-0 at Vasco da Gama, to get a deep-deep breath. Cruzeiro had four draws and a defeat before that, struggling offensively, but somehow they managed to score three times at Vasco, which was as much as in their five previous games combined. Alisson, the 24-year-old left-back who missed the game at Vasco, is back, Menezes said he is ready to play after recovering from an injury. Cruzeiro’s coach looked much more cautious regarding 27-year-old center-back Manoel and 24-year-old right-back Ezequiel, who also missed the game midweek in Rio de Janeiro due to injuries, but their coach seems unwilling to risk them against Botafogo.
Botafogo look like someone… cast a spell on them after their huge 3-0 win over Atletico Mineiro in the return leg of their Copa do Brasil quarterfinal, a result that sent them through to the semis. Right after that, Botafogo lost 3-4(!) at home to Sao Paulo, despite the fact that they were winning 3-1 in the 84th minute(!!). Then, midweek, in another home game, another defeat, this time to Palmeiras, 2-1, conceding again in the dying minutes of the match. Actually that huge win over Atletico Mineiro in the Copa do Brasil is the only one in their last five games. Botafogo have another huge game ahead of them, the return leg of their Copa Libertadores last 16 tie with Nacional (Montevideo). Coach Jair Ventura admitted that for the club, the game against Nacional is a top priority, and will rest key players against Cruzeiro, avoiding though giving specific details.
Cruzeiro vs Botafogo: Head to head Stats
Three wins for Cruzeiro and two for Botafogo (no draws) in the last five games between these two in Belo Horizonte. Three of those five matches had three goals or more.
Cruzeiro vs Botafogo: Prediction
Cruzeiro should win, and given that Botafogo will play with an alternative lineup (because of their upcoming Copa Libertadores match), I’m counting on them to keep a clean sheet as well.
Cruzeiro vs Botafogo: Tips
A simple Cruzeiro win pays 1.50, but combined with a clean sheet this goes up to a much better 2.20.