Flamengo vs Palestino
Competition: Copa Sudamericana
Date: 10 August 2017
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
No more Zé Ricardo at Flamengo. Sunday’s shocking 2-0 defeat at home to Vitoria, their third loss in four matches, was the 46-year-old coach’s swan song at Fla. According to reports, the Rio de Janeiro side has prioritized Renato Gaucho, Gremio’s coach, but given how he’s doing at the Porto Alegre club, it looks almost impossible to leave them in the middle of the season. Flamengo’s plan B seems to be Roger Machado, who worked at Atletico Mineiro from the 1st of January, this year, until July 20, when he got fired, paying the price for Atletico’s poor season in the Brasileirao. Flamengo’s 5-2 win in Santiago de Chile in the first leg, five weeks ago, was their fifth consecutive back then, in three competitions. A sixth one followed, at Vasco da Gama, but ever since then, the team have won just one in eight(!). Obviously they have… practically already qualified for the next round of the Copa Sudamericana (they will face Chapecoense), they are in the semifinals of the Copa do Brasil (about to face Botafogo), and they are fifth in the Brasileirao, not too bad, but the board of directors decided to bid the coach farewell, disappointed at their results and displays this last month.
Palestino went 1-0 down in the first leg, in the first minute of the second half (Réver, Flamengo’s captain, scored literally without realizing how that happened), but they found it in them to go 2-1 up in a matter of minutes(!). Then, they simply collapsed, unable to keep up with what was a very ‘in the mood to play and win’ Flamengo side. They have zero chances to qualify, but they will be playing at Maracanã, you never know if you’ll ever be given again the chance to play there, so I’m sure they are going to try enjoy it, knowing that no one back home will blame them for failing to beat Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro.
Flamengo vs Palestino: Head to head Stats
Flamengo hosted Palestino last year, in a Copa Sudamericana last 16 second leg, and actually the Chilean side did the… unthinkable, they won 2-1, and they qualified, despite the fact that they had lost at home in the first leg (1-0).
Flamengo vs Palestino: Prediction
Flamengo are desperate for a big win, something to help them regain some of their self-confidence after their poor results the last four weeks that led to their coach’s dismissal on Monday. Despite going through a very bad period, I still expect them to win, and in style.
Flamengo vs Palestino: Tips
A simple Flamengo win pays just 1.20. Their win, combined with over 3.5 goals (yes, 3.5, not 2.5) is at 2.30, and I really think it’s worth the risk, also because I expect Palestino to contribute to that over 3.5, by scoring at least once themselves.