Vitoria vs Flamengo
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 3 December 2017
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
In the Vasco da Gama vs Ponte Preta match preview you can find an account of the… incredible things that happened last weekend in Campinas, when Vitoria visited Ponte. Thanks to… Rodrigo, Ponte’s captain, an about to collapse Vitoria got resurrected, and won the game 3-2, going 15th in the table, one point above Sport Recife and Avai, who both find themselves below the relegation line. What’s… extraordinary in the case of the four teams that are fighting to avoid relegation on the last day of the season, including Vitoria, is that one of those, not only will be in the Serie A next season as well, but could well play international football as well, even finishing 15th, if Flamengo win the Copa Sudamericana this season, freeing up an extra CONMEBOL ticket for another Serie A side. At this point, this comes second for Vitoria. Their priority is to avoid relegation, and they have the upper hand, they are the best positioned team, among all four, entering the last day of the season. A draw may not be enough. To not depend on others, they need to win. If they draw, or if they lose, they will need two of Coritiba, Sport and Avai to lose as well, or else…
It would be totally inappropriate to include “smileys” in a match preview, but let me assure you, I am smiling as I’m writing these lines, thinking about the last two Flamengo weeks. Two weekends ago, during their 3-0 home win over Corinthians, Rhodolfo and Vizeu practically headbutted each other(!), and things would have turned even uglier if Diego Alves, their experienced teammate/goalkeeper, hadn’t intervened. Later on, when Vizeu scored, his first reaction was to show the middle finger to his teammate(!). A few days later, they beat Junior 2-1 at home, in the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana semifinal. Last weekend, given that Diego Alves cannot play in the Sudamericana, coach Reinaldo Rueda gave even more game time to Muralha, his Sudamericana goalkeeper. He failed, big, big, and not for the first time this season. Fla lost 2-1, Muralha made huge mistakes, and a day later, when Fla’s squad flew to Barranquilla for the return leg of the Sudamericana semi, he had to get protected by armed police officers at the airport(!), as fans were abusing him verbally. Rueda made the decision to ditch Muralha, fearing that his trashed morale would cost the team. The Colombian coach trusted Cesar, a 25-year-old guy who had played in… 25 official matches in his career before that match in Barranquilla. Guess what he did… Started the game with an awesome instinctive save, and in the second half he saved a penalty (at this point I’m laughing, literally, I’m not just smiling). Fla won 2-0, with Vizeu scoring both goals, they qualified for the final, but that’s not the end of the story. Remember that Rhodolfo-Vizeu “fight” in the game against Corinthians? They heard from the disciplinary committee of the Brazilian Football Confederation. The referee of that match didn’t punish them, but CBF did. Oooh… they did… Five-match ban for Rhodolfo, four for Vizeu, but the ban is good only in CBF competitions, meaning that both are eligible to play in the Copa Sudamericana final(s).
Previous five matches:
Ponte Preta vs Vitoria 2-3
Vitoria vs Cruzeiro 1-1
Chapecoense vs Vitoria 2-1
Gremio vs Vitoria 1-1
Vitoria vs Palmeiras 3-1
Junior vs Flamengo 0-2
Flamengo vs Santos 1-2
Flamengo vs Junior 2-1
Flamengo vs Corinthians 3-0
Coritiba vs Flamengo 1-0
Vitoria’s next official game is on January 16 (Copa do Nordeste). Flamengo are visiting Independiente on Wednesday, in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.
Vitoria vs Flamengo: Head to head Stats
One win for Vitoria, two for Flamengo, and two draws, in the last five games between these two in Salvador da Bahia. Four of those five matches went over 2.5 goals.
Vitoria vs Flamengo: Prediction
Under different circumstances, I would be backing Flamengo to earn at least a draw, if not win. But… they just played a Sudamericana semi far-far from home, they have the first leg of the final in a few days, they will be playing with a super alternative lineup, not to mention the banned players. And, last but not least, Vitoria are… playing their whole season in this game, needing a win so as not to depend on others, with their morale boosted after their triumph last weekend at Ponte Preta. All things considered, I feel I have to trust the hosts.
Vitoria vs Flamengo: Betting Tips
Vitoria’s win is at 2.00 betting odds, and that’s my only tip, avoiding any special bets, because of how… special the game itself is, the conditions under which it’s held.
More Brazil Serie A betting tips and match previews: