Flamengo vs Cruzeiro match previews
Competition: Copa do Brasil
Date: 8 September 2017
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
Cruzeiro vs Flamengo preview and predictions
Who would have thought that a Primeira Liga quarterfinal, a competition Flamengo were never particularly interested in, and used it mostly to give game time to players who don’t usually feature as regulars in the first team, would cause such a mess. Fla lost on penalties to Paraná a week ago, after a 1-1 draw in regular time, in a game that (this shows how seriously Flamengo took this competition) didn’t even take place at Flamengo’s proper home, not even somewhere else in the State of Rio de Janeiro, but in another State, just north, Espirito Santo. Alex Muralha, Flamengo’s goalkeeper, didn’t have a good day, and truth is, he had made a series of mistakes in his previous games as well. Next day, a well-known newspaper posted an “announcement” on their front page, including a small photo of the player, informing their readers that from now on, Muralha’s last name (which is not really “Muralha”, this is simply how he has become known), will not be mentioned(!!). Ever since then, the newspaper editors have called this a joke, but reiterated their decision not to write the word “Muralha” when referring to this specific player. Muralha himself went public, saying that he felt humiliated by the newspaper. The club and his teammates also went public, backing him and of course cutting off any communication with this specific newspaper, until they apologize (which they haven’t done yet). What does all this have to do with Flamengo’s Copa do Brasil final? Well, given how he’s been feeling these days, Muralha is anything but sure to play. Diego Alves, Flamengo’s newly-signed goalkeeper, well-known from the ten years he spent in Spain playing in La Liga, is not eligible to play in the Copa do Brasil. If Muralha doesn’t play, it will be youngster Thiago who will be called to protect Fla’s goal, in front of almost 70,000 spectators, in a packed Maracanã (the last remaining tickets “disappeared” on Monday).
Cruzeiro too took part in the Primeira Liga, unlike Flamengo they won their quarterfinal, at home, against Gremio (2-0), but lost in the semifinal on Sunday, at Londrina, on penalties, playing – it goes without saying – without regulars, without even Mano Menezes on the sidelines. It was Cruzeiro coach’s assistant who led the team in Londrina. Cruzeiro are glad to have the return leg at home, in three weeks, another game that will be played in front of full (to the brim) stadium, in Belo Horizonte. Keep in mind, the winner of the Copa do Brasil doesn’t get just this title, but also a spot in next season’s Copa Libertadores group stage, regardless of what they do in Brazil’s championship.
Previous 5 matches:
Flamengo RJ vs Parana 1-1
Flamengo RJ vs Atletico PR 2-0
Flamengo RJ vs Botafogo RJ 1-0
Flamengo RJ vs Atletico Goianiense 2-0
Botafogo RJ vs Flamengo 0-0
Londrina vs Cruzeiro 2-2
Cruzeiro vs Gremio 2-0
Cruzeiro vs Santos 1-1
Cruzeiro vs Gremio 1-0
Cruzeiro vs Sport Recife 2-0
CR Flamengo’s next game is on Sunday, at Botafogo RJ. Same day, Cruzeiro EC will be visiting Chapecoense. Both will be Brazil Serie A matches.
Flamengo vs Cruzeiro: Head to head Stats
Flamengo have won four of their last five home head to head games against Cruzeiro, with the fifth one ending in a 1-1 draw. Only two of those five matches went over 2.5 total goals.
Flamengo vs Cruzeiro: Prediction
Flamengo are considered clear favorites to win the game, and one way or another they should win, even by just… half a goal.
Flamengo vs Cruzeiro: Betting Tips
Flamengo’s win pays 1.75. Betting companies expect this to be a low-score match, which suits me just fine, because I do see Cruzeiro score, but Flamengo still winning the game (I feel 2-1 is the most probable final score). “Flamengo and over 2.5 total goals” is at 2.90 betting odds. I expect no clean sheets so both teams to score might also be a valid bet.