Fluminense vs Ceara
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 19 November 2018
Kick-off: 23:00 CET
On the last day of October, Fluminense celebrated a big victory in Montevideo over Nacional, in the Copa Sudamericana. They secured a spot in the semifinals, earning themselves 25% chances of winning the competition. Less than three weeks later, looking back, it feels like everything has gone to… hell ever since then. They lost to Vasco da Gama in the Série A, lost 2-0 at Atlético Paranaense in the first leg of their Sudamericana semifinal, only drew with Sport Recife at home, and last week lost again, at Palmeiras, 3-0. Four matches, not a single goal scored. They have fallen 13th in the Série A table, not 100% safe of avoiding relegation, and they are with their back against the wall in the Copa Sudamericana semis, not only because of that 2-0 defeat in Curitiba, but also, probably mostly, because Atlético Paranaense are screaming out loud that they are a much better team. Center-back and captain Gum is back from injury. Fluminense are expected to start with Julio César, Paulo Ricardo, Gum, Digão, Igor Julião, Richard, Airton (or Dodi), Sornoza, Ayrton Lucas, Everaldo and Luciano.
Ceará players told reporters after their 2-1 defeat at Bahia last Wednesday that they felt very tired. All Série A teams are playing twice a week these days, but truth is, Ceará’s roster is not that deep, it’s pretty much the same guys playing over and over again. If it’s from one weekend to another, they have time to recover, physically. If it’s weekend-midweek-weekend-midweek, teams like Ceará, suffer. They finished the 34th game week right above the relegation line, on 38 points. On another note, midfielder Pedro Ken got assaulted in Salvador a couple of hours after Wednesday’s match. His girlfriend is from Bahia, he took a taxi to go visit her, but a group of people circled around the taxi, someone opened the door, and grabbed Ken’s small backpack. He had some credit cards stolen, some cash, his ID, and Zé Rafael’s jersey(!). He’s the guy who scored one of Bahia’s two goals in the match, and had exchanged jerseys with Ken.
Previous five matches:
Palmeiras vs Fluminense 3-0
Fluminense vs Sport Recife 0-0
Atletico Paranaense vs Fluminense 2-0
Fluminense vs Vasco da Gama 0-1
Nacional Montevideo vs Fluminense 0-1
Bahia vs Ceara 2-1
Ceara vs Internacional 1-1
Sport Recife vs Ceara 1-0
Ceara vs Atletico Mineiro 2-1
Cruzeiro vs Ceara 0-2
Fluminense’s next game is at Bahia, on Thursday. Same day, Ceará will be hosting Paraná (both Série A matches).
Fluminense vs Ceara: Head to head Stats
Fluminense haven’t hosted Ceará since 2011. Back then, they beat them 4-0. A year earlier they had won 3-1.
Fluminense vs Ceara: Prediction
Despite Fluminense’s bad moment, I’m backing them to win this one. With Gum back, they have a leader on the pitch, even if he’s a defender, and not the guy you expect to score a crucial goal (which he has actually done several times, mostly with headers).
Fluminense vs Ceara: Betting Tips
Fluminense’s win is at 2.00.