Flamengo vs Parana
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 11 June 2018
Kick-off: 00:00 CET
Flamengo are leading on 23 points from 10 matches, they’ve just beaten Fluminense 2-0 in Brasília, they have qualified for the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores, they have four wins in a row without having conceded a single goal, so things, really, couldn’t be much better. Or… could they? This game against Paraná, is expected to be the last one of youngster Vinicius Junior at Maracana, wearing Flamengo’s jersey. Remember, he was signed by Real Madrid over a year ago, but the agreement between the two clubs was that he would remain in Brazil, for an undetermined period of time. His evolution these last months has been a blessing and a curse for Fla. They benefited from his… coming of age (football-wise), he has been a key-figure in their successes, but on the other hand, he has made Real Madrid feel that he’s ready to cross the Atlantic. Flamengo tried to keep him until December, but Real Madrid wouldn’t listen. It’s not just Vinicius Junior; Felipe Vizeu, scorer of two of their last three goals, is expected to leave (Fla have almost agreed terms with Udinese), meaning that after the World Cup finals, the Rio de Janeiro giants will be a significantly different team.
From no win in eight matches, Paraná have gone to winning back-to-back games(!), over Fluminense and Bahia. Both were at home though. On the road, all they have managed in four matches was a draw, at Chapecoense. Cléber Reis, a center-back who makes a difference at Paraná, is back from injury. Torito is also available, a relief for coach Rogério Micale, as Leandro Vilela saw his third yellow card of the season, and cannot be in Paraná’s midfield in this game. The Curitiba side remain below the relegation line, but their situation has improved spectacularly this last week, “jumping” from three points to nine.
Previous five matches:
Fluminense vs Flamengo 0-2
Flamengo vs Corinthians 1-0
Flamengo vs Bahia 2-0
Atletico Mineiro vs Flamengo 0-1
River Plate vs Flamengo 0-0
Parana vs Bahia 1-0
Parana vs Fluminense 2-1
Vasco da Gama vs Parana 1-0
Parana vs Atletico Paranaense 0-0
Parana vs Gremio 0-0
Flamengo’s next game is at Palmeiras, on Wednesday. Same day, Paraná will be hosting Cruzeiro (both Brazil Série A matches).
Flamengo vs Parana: Head to head Stats
Flamengo and Paraná drew 1-1 last year in a Primeira Liga game, a smaller competition. Before that, Flamengo hadn’t hosted Paraná since 2007. Back then, in July, the visitors had actually won (1-2, Série A), while four months earlier, Fla had beaten their Curitiba rivals 1-0 in a Copa Libertadores game.
Flamengo vs Parana: Prediction
Any other result but a Flamengo win will be one of the biggest surprises of the season thus far.
Flamengo vs Parana: Betting Tips
A simple Flamengo win pays just 1.35. They have been awesome defensively in their last games, while Paraná have scored very little away from home. “Flamengo to win and keep a clean sheet” is at 1.95. For more than that, I would risk with “Flamengo and over 2.5 goals”, at 2.40. Last time they scored three goals in a single game was a month and a half ago, at Ceará, so… numbers are not on my side. It’s mostly a hunch, rather than… result of thorough examination of stats, form, records.