Cruzeiro vs Flamengo
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 25 November 2018
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
Cruzeiro beat Vitória 3-0 on Wednesday, a game in which the biggest news was that Fred scored twice. He spent most-most of the season on the sidelines due to a serious injury, he returned to action about a month ago, scored against Paraná, and on Wednesday he showed that he feels… really well. This will be the first time this season that he’ll start a second game in a row. Center-back Dedé and attacking midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta are back from international duty. Sidnei Lobo, Cruzeiro’s assistant coach, remains in charge, as Mano Menezes is still watching things from a distance, following a treatment for a health issue he’s dealing with. Cruzeiro are expected to start with Fábio, Edilson, Dedé, Léo, Egídio (or Patrick Brey), Henrique (or Lucas Romero), Lucas Silva, Robinho, Thiago Neves, Arrascaeta and Fred. They are 8th in the table, on 52 points, sure of a spot in next season’s Copa Libertadores group stage, after winning the Copa do Brasil title.
Flamengo did their… duty midweek, beating Gremio 2-0 at Maracana. They remain five points behind leaders Palmeiras, with just two matches left, but their players say they still believe in the… miracle. Who don’t believe? Many of their fans. Flamengo have enjoyed awesome attendances throughout the season, they had more than 60,000 people on the stands of Maracana for their game against Ceará for example, but things were very different midweek, with thousands of seats empty. They hope Vasco da Gama will oblige Palmeiras to drop points in Rio de Janeiro, so as to retain their mathematical chances of leapfrogging them on the last day of the season. Dorival Júnior is expected to have César, Pará, Réver, Léo Duarte, Renê, Cuéllar, Arão, Paquetá (or Diego), Vitinho, Éverton Ribeiro and Uribe in the starting lineup.
Previous five matches:
Cruzeiro vs Vitoria 3-0
Sao Paulo vs Cruzeiro 1-0
Cruzeiro vs Corinthians 1-0
Atletico Paranaense vs Cruzeiro 2-0
America Mineiro vs Cruzeiro 1-2
Flamengo vs Gremio 2-0
Sport Recife vs Flamengo 0-1
Flamengo vs Santos 1-0
Botafogo vs Flamengo 2-1
Sao Paulo vs Flamengo 2-2
Cruzeiro are visiting Bahia on Sunday. Same day, Flamengo will be hosting Atlético Paranaense (both Série A matches)
Cruzeiro vs Flamengo: Head to head Stats
Two wins for Cruzeiro, two for Flamengo as well, and a draw, in the last five games between these two in Belo Horizonte.
Cruzeiro vs Flamengo: Prediction
Very tricky game… It starts the same time Vasco vs Palmeiras kicks-off in Rio. If Palmeiras score first, and especially if they take a two goal lead, I expect Flamengo to… pretty much give up. Not stop playing, not stop trying, but definitely lose their focus, their determination. Plus, they are visiting a very good team, the Copa do Brasil title-holders.
Cruzeiro vs Flamengo: Betting Tips
I feel this is the end of the line for Flamengo. I’m backing Cruzeiro to win. Their victory pays 2.75, or 1.83, in “draw no bet”. Their double chance is obviously way lower, at 1.45.