Fluminense vs Botafogo
Competition: Brazilian Serie A
Date: 13 July 2017
Kick-off: 02:00 CET
A few days ago I backed Fluminense to earn at least a draw at Bahia, they did, but in a second straight game they failed to protect their lead and had to settle for nothing more than a single point. Even worse, Henrique Dourado, top scorer in this season’s Brasileirao so far, scorer of nine goals already, received his third yellow card at Bahia, and is unavailable. Richarlison is expected to take his place, a guy who has had a 2017 full of ups and downs so far, but interestingly, his two best games since the start of this calendar year have been against Botafogo, in the Carioca championship. Especially in the one back in March, he was the one who lifted the team from 2-0 down, and helped them make it 3-2, scoring twice himself.
I expected Botafogo and Atletico Mineiro to produce a game that wouldn’t have more than two goals last weekend, and it ended 1-1, with the hosts scoring in added time to salvage at least a point. The draw versus Atletico was important mostly for psychological reasons. The team had just beaten Nacional in Montevideo in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores round of 16 tie, putting an end to a series of defeats in the championship and the Copa do Brasil. They wanted some sort of continuity, and their… dramatic draw against Atletico, especially the way it came, with an added time goal, showed that Botafogo players mean it when they say that the Libertadores is their priority, but they won’t give up on any of the other two targets they have as well (success in the championship and the Copa do Brasil, where they are still alive, despite losing 1-0 at Atletico Mineiro in the first leg).
Fluminense vs Botafogo: Head-to-head Stats
Four wins for Fluminense, one draw, and one win for Botafogo, in the last six games between these two with Flu as hosts.
Fluminense vs Botafogo: Prediction
Fluminense have just one win in their last eight Brasileirao games, with half of those being at home. It’s hard to trust them to win, especially with their most effective scorer out, due to suspension.
Fluminense vs Botafogo: Tips
I don’t see a winner in this game. Draw pays 3.30, and it may look (and be) a risk, but really, neither Fluminense nor Botafogo give me reasons to believe they have an advantage one over the other. In a… light-hearted bet, I would put money on 0-0. It pays 7.50.