Sport Recife vs Flamengo
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 18 November 2018
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
In less than nine hours, on Friday, Sport Recife sold more than 17,000 tickets for their home game against Flamengo, and 30 hours before kick-off there was little doubt the stadium will be full to the brim by kick-off time. Sport drew with Vitória at home midweek, a huge opportunity missed to leave a direct rival five points behind them. “Direct rival” in Sport’s struggle to avoid relegation. They are on 38 points, right above the relegation line. Milton Mendes told reporters on Friday that this is not a “final”, there are three more games after this one, but deep down he must know this is a massive game, much more defining than what he wanted to admit in public. Sport’s next match is at Chapecoense, another direct rival. Then, they’ll be visiting Sao Paulo, and on the last day of the season they will be hosting Santos, who may still be in with a chance to finish in the top-6 and play in the Copa Libertadores next season. Attackers Rogério and Morato, as well as midfielder Nonoca are out, all three injured.
It was interesting seeing who… gave Flamengo those three points midweek, in their 1-0 victory over Santos, at home. Their goal was scored by Henrique Dourado in the 73rd minute. He signed for them from city rivals Fluminense after the end of last season, of which he was the top scorer. It’s… remarkable that despite being sent to the bench right away, he never created a single problem, and every time he was sent it, nine out of 10 times as a substitute, he really gave his all, despite having the crowd at Maracana usually disapproving his presence on the pitch, mostly because of his Fluminense past. On Thursday, he scored a super important goal. Then, in the 89th minute, goalkeeper César denied Gabigol from the penalty spot, keeping a clean sheet. It was his best game since the day he became Fla’s number one, after Diego Alves was left aside by Dorival Júnior. Pará, Rodinei and Diego are out due to cards. Flamengo are third in the table, seven points behind leaders Palmeiras.
Previous five matches:
Sport Recife vs Vitoria 0-0
Fluminense vs Sport Recife 0-0
Sport Recife vs Ceara 1-0
Gremio vs Sport Recife 3-4
Sport Recife vs Vasco da Gama 2-1
Flamengo vs Santos 1-0
Botafogo vs Flamengo 2-1
Sao Paulo vs Flamengo 2-2
Flamengo vs Palmeiras 1-1
Parana vs Flamengo 0-4
Sport’s next game is at Chapecoense, on Thursday. Flamengo are hosting Gremio on Wednesday (both Série A matches).
Sport Recife vs Flamengo: Head to head Stats
Two wins for Sport, one for Fla, and two draws, in the last five games between these two in Recife.
Sport Recife vs Flamengo: Prediction
Flamengo are considered relatively clear favorites to win the game; I don’t trust them.
Sport Recife vs Flamengo: Betting Tips
Sport’s double chance is at 1.83, which I prefer to Flamengo’s win at 2.00. The Recife side haven’t lost in their last five games, home and away. Especially at home, they have lost just one of their last seven games, and that was to leaders Palmeiras, conceding in the last few minutes.