River Plate vs Flamengo
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 24 May 2018
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
River Plate have already qualified. On 11 points from five matches, Marcelo Gallardo’s team need a draw to finish first in the group. They started their campaign with back-to-back draws, including a 2-2 at Flamengo, and have won all three games since then, all three by one goal. They haven’t played in almost 10 days. Their last match was on May 14, at home, a 2-0 victory over San Lorenzo, which allowed them to finish – at least – 8th in Argentina’s championship, low, not enough to given them a Copa Libertadores ticket for next season. To play there next year, they need to win either the Copa Argentina, or, obviously, this season’s Copa Libertadores. Central midfielder Ignacio Fernández is expected to start the game, as Gonzalo Martinez is injured. Attacking midfielder Ezequiel Palacios should start as well, as Juan Quintero already joined Colombia’s preparations for the World Cup finals. Generally, River are expected to have Armani, Montiel, Maidana, Martínez Quarta (or Javier Pinola), Saracchi, Palacios, Ponzio, Pérez, Fernández, Scocco and Pratto in their starting lineup.
Just like River Plate, Flamengo have already qualified, as third-placed Santa Fe are five points behind them. To finish first in the group, Fla need to win. Center-backs Réver and Juan, and right winger Geuvânio are injured and didn’t travel to Buenos Aires. Vastly-experienced attacking midfielder Diego didn’t make the trip to Argentina either, serving a ban for accumulated yellow cards. Last weekend, Fla drew 1-1 to Vasco da Gama. They are second in Brazil’s Série A, two points behind leaders Atlético Mineiro. They remain unbeaten in their Libertadores group, and generally have lost just one of their last 11 official matches, in all competitions.
Previous five matches:
River Plate vs San Lorenzo 2-0
River Plate vs Estudiantes 2-0
Colon vs River Plate 0-0
Santa Fe vs River Plate 0-1
River Plate vs Emelec 2-1
Flamengo vs Vasco da Gama 1-1
Flamengo vs Emelec 2-0
Chapecoense vs Flamengo 3-2
Flamengo vs Ponte Preta 0-0
Flamengo vs Internacional 2-0
River don’t have a next game scheduled yet. Flamengo will be visiting Atlético Mineiro on Saturday (Brazil Série A).
River Plate vs Flamengo: Head to head Stats
River have hosted Flamengo three times in the past. They lost 3-0 in 1982 (Copa Libertadores group stage), drew 1-1 in 2000 (Copa Mercosur group stage), and beat Flamengo 4-3 later that year, same competition, in the quarterfinals.
River Plate vs Flamengo: Prediction
River are considered rather clear favorites to win the game. They have been in awesome form for weeks now, and are playing at home. Personally though, I would leave winners and losers aside, and bet on goals instead.
River Plate vs Flamengo: Betting Tips
“Over 2.5 goals” is at 2.10, and I like it for several reasons. River got a very good rest these last 10 days, and Flamengo are a team blessed with several quality attacking players.