Flamengo vs River Plate
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 1 March 2018
Kick-off: 01:45 CET
Just a few days before facing River Plate, an alternative Flamengo team got butchered by Fluminense in the Carioca championship, in a game that was held in Cuiabá (Mato Grosso, absolutely nothing to do with Rio de Janeiro). Coach Carpegiani defended his young players in public, claiming that the early goal they conceded (less than two minutes into the match), complicated things more than what they were capable of handling. They lost 4-0, but as previously mentioned, they played with a very alternative lineup. Against River, their starting 11 will be very different. Paolo Guerrero is not eligible to play, the Peruvian is still banned, but he will be available after May 3, and Flamengo included him in the 30-player list for the Copa Libertadores. Vinícius Júnior, the youngster who got signed by Real Madrid last year, has scored three goals in Flamengo’s last four games. He will stay at Flamengo until June, that’s the deal with Real Madrid.
Looking at the Argentina Superliga table, you are left… speechless, seeing how low River Plate are. Incredible as this may look, after 17 game weeks, they are just 20th among the 28 participants. There is time left for them to improve their position. If they don’t, they won’t play international football in 2019, which would be a major blow to their prestige. Coach Marcelo Gallardo is trying to find solutions on the pitch, but… somehow, nothing seems to be working. Last weekend they lost 1-0 at Vélez Sarsfield, getting left with 10 men in the 66th minute, and conceding right after that. They have just one win in their last five matches. It’s… River, you expect them to… draw a line, eventually, go on a prolonged counterattack, but… the weeks are passing, and they are not getting any better. The Copa Libertadores presents them with a wonderful opportunity to draw that line, start afresh. Their main difference compared to last season, is that now they have Lucas Pratto among them, on his return to Argentina from Brazil.
Previous five matches:
Fluminense vs Flamengo 4-0
Flamengo vs Madureira 4-0
Boavista vs Flamengo 0-2
Flamengo vs Botafogo 3-1
Nova Iguaçu vs Flamengo 0-1
Vélez Sarsfield vs River Plate 1-0
River Plate vs Godoy Cruz 2-2
Lanus vs River Plate 1-0
River Plate vs Olimpo 2-0
Huracan vs River Plate 1-0
Flamengo’s next game is on Saturday, against Botafogo (Carioca championship). River Plate are hosting Chacarita Juniors on Sunday (Argentina Superliga).
Flamengo vs River Plate: Head to head Stats
Flamengo have hosted River Plate three times in the past. In 1982 they beat them 4-2 in a Copa Libertadores group stage game. In 2000 they hosted them twice, in the Copa Mercosur. The group stage game ended in a 2-1 River win, same as their quarterfinal later that season.
Flamengo vs River Plate: Prediction
Important detail; the game is held in Rio de Janeiro, but at the Olympic Stadium, which serves as home to Botafogo. Flamengo are banned from having fans in their first two home games in the Copa Libertadores group. Even so, I expect them to justify their favourites tag, and beat River.
Flamengo vs River Plate: Betting Tips
Flamengo’s win pays 2.20, which I consider good enough to avoid risking further with special bets.
More Copa Libertadores betting tips and match previews:
- Monagas vs Cerro Porteno
- Defensor Sporting vs Gremio
- Racing Club vs Cruzeiro
- Colo Colo vs Atletico Nacional
- Nacional Montevideo vs Estudiantes
- Delfin vs Bolivar
- Alianza Lima vs Boca Juniors
- Junior vs Palmeiras
- Millonarios vs Corinthians
- Real Garcilaso vs Santos
- Deportivo Lara vs Independiente
- Santa Fe vs Emelec