Flamengo vs Santos
Competition: Copa do Brasil
Date: 29 June 2017
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
The timing couldn’t be better for Flamengo. They had been struggling ever since they committed football suicide on the last day of the Copa Libertadores group stage, but gradually they got their act together, and especially in the last two games, having welcomed back key players who were missing due to injury, but also joined by new signings, like Everton Ribeiro, who made his debut on Sunday in their 1-0 win at Bahia, they have been looking very-very good. Especially at their new home, the Ilha do Urubu (that’s the name the fans chose for the stadium officially called Estádio Luso-Brasileiro), Fla have have been impressive, beating Ponte Preta 2-0, and, last Thursday, Chapecoense, by a very emphatic 5-1.
Santos lost 1-0 to Sport Recife at home, their first defeat since Levir Culpi took over as coach, but the result is kind of misleading. Santos had four huge chances to score, but missed them all. Sport scored with practically their only chance. Culpi acted like a bigger person and congratulated Sport for their victory, but also ‘warned’ his players that the roster is full of alternatives, and whoever doesn’t deliver on what is expected from him, will be sent to the bench, with another player coming on, hopefully hungrier for success, personal and collective. Culpi really didn’t like the attitude of some of his players, but he avoided mentioning names. One name he did mention was Lucas Lima’s, calling the Santos fans to ’embrace’ him, instead of attacking him verbally. According to reports, Santos’ number 10 is close to leaving the club, he denied it, but the rumors were enough for some of the fans to turn against him in the game versus Sport.
Flamengo vs Santos: Head-to-head Stats
Three wins for Flamengo, one draw, and one win for Santos, in the last five games between these two in Rio de Janeiro.
Flamengo vs Santos: Prediction
Flamengo are in such a fine form that I find it really hard not to trust them to win this one, even by just one goal.
Flamengo vs Santos: Tips
Flamengo’s win pays 1.75. Before losing to Sport (1-0), Santos had kept five consecutive clean sheets, so despite the fact that Fla seem to be ‘on fire’ at home, for more than 1.75, I’d go with ‘Flamengo and under 2.5 goals’, which pays 3.60.