Flamengo vs Emelec
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 1 August 2019
Kick-off: 02:30 CET
Flamengo could issue 60,500 tickets for this game, obliged to leave a part of the stands empty for safety reasons. That’s exactly how many tickets they sold, which was not really a surprise, given that they manage to attract 60,000 or more fans to Maracana even in Brazil Série A matches against average teams. It feels like… a lifetime has passed since last time Fla won the Copa Libertadores, it is no secret winning it again is their top priority, bigger than winning the championship in Brazil, so nothing could keep their fans away, not even that super disappointing 2-0 defeat in Guayaquil last week. Over the weekend, they beat Botafogo 3-2 at home, exactly what they needed to boost their morale, after a sequence of poor results. Jorge Jesus has problems, centre-back Rodrigo Caio and striker Lincoln are out, injured last weekend, Diego is of course out, he will be for months after his serious injury in Guayaquil last week, while both Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Everton Ribeiro just returned to training properly, with ball, having recovered from injuries themselves. It’s unclear if they are fit enough to play at least in the second half.
What made Flamengo look even worse in that 2-0 defeat of theirs last week, was that Emelec scored their second goal in the 79th minute, despite playing with 10 men since the 54th! Leandro Vega saw a direct red card (he is expected to get replaced by Marlon Mejía), but even so, Emelec managed to score that all too precious second goal. Ismael Rescaldo, Emelec’s coach, told reporters in Rio de Janeiro that his team will try win, which is a bit of a cliché in this sort of cases. I can’t imagine Emelec attacking with more than 2-3 men, while having the luxury of that 2-0 first-leg advantage.
Previous five matches:
Flamengo vs Botafogo 3-2
Emelec vs Flamengo 2-0
Corinthians vs Flamengo 1-1
Flamengo vs Athletico Paranaense 1-1
Flamengo vs Goias 6-1
Tecnico Universitario vs Emelec 2-2
Emelec vs Flamengo 2-0
Emelec vs Deportivo Cuenca 0-1
Fuerza Amarilla vs Emelec 1-4
Emelec vs Aucas 2-1
Flamengo’s next game is at Bahia, on Sunday (Brazil Série A). Same day, Emelec will be hosting Delfín (Ecuador championship).
Flamengo vs Emelec: Head to head Stats
Fla have hosted Emelec three times in the past, and have beaten them all three, by a total score of 6-1.
Flamengo vs Emelec: Prediction
Going against the odds, I’m actually backing Flamengo to qualify(!).
Flamengo vs Emelec: Betting Tips
Fla’s qualification is at 2.35. Their win is not paying more than 1.25, but goes up to 1.91 if combined with “over 2.5 goals”.