Santos vs Botafogo
Competition: Brazilian Serie A
Date: 8 June 2017
Kick-off: 02:00 CET
Huge news at Santos is that coach Dorival Junior got fired after their latest defeat at Corinthians, the third in four games in the Serie A. After the game, he had a quick talk with some members of the board of directors, and soon the news was out, he was gone. He did take the time to thank the players and the fans though, ‘reminding’ everyone, the board of directors included, where the team were two years ago when he took charge, and where they are today. Back then, they were struggling to avoid relegation, and under him the team finished seventh. This year, they haven’t started well in the Serie A, they failed to win the Paulista championship, but they have qualified for the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores (the only Brazilian team that did so undefeated this season), and they continue in the Copa do Brasil as well. It remains to be seen how his absence from the bench will affect the team.
After two home wins over Ponte Preta and Bahia, Botafogo were held to a 0-0 draw at Flamengo last weekend, not conceding for a third consecutive game, but also looking kind of poor offensively. The worst news for Botafogo was that defensive midfielder Airton got seriously injured, he has already undergone a surgery, and will stay sidelined for no less than three months. Left-back Victor Luis also got injured in the game against Flamengo, and his presence versus Santos is a major doubt. Botafogo were already missing players, and the latest injuries made coach Jair Ventura say “there is a limit on everything… Enough…”, referring to how unlucky his team have been these last weeks, losing one player to injury after another.
Santos vs Botafogo: Head-to-head Stats
Santos have three wins in a row at home over Botafogo, but that’s not the most impressive stat. In these last three games they have scored a total of ten goals, not conceding a single one(!).
Santos vs Botafogo: Prediction
Super tricky game, because Santos will play for the first time in two years without Dorival Junior at the helm, and also because Botafogo have had a better run than Santos in these first weeks of the season. Santos are considered, for some reason, huge favorites to win, but personally I don’t see why’s that, (excluding their record against Botafogo the last three years) and I’m backing the visitors to earn at least a draw.
Santos vs Botafogo: Tips
‘Draw or Botafogo’ is at 2.25, and I consider it infinitely better than a simple Santos win at just 1.66.