Thursday’s Brazilian Serie A action sees league leaders Flamengo looking to continue their excellent start to the season while hosting Bahia.
Flamengo’s momentum under interim boss Maurício Barbieri showed no signs of stopping at the weekend, with Mengao picking up an excellent 1-0 away win at Atletico Mineiro. Barbieri looks to have finally shored what has been a rocky ship in recent periods, losing just 1 of his 13 games in charge and all focus is on continuing such strong showings in this match.
Flamengo sit top of the pile in Serie A, having taken 14 points from 7 matches. Whilst perhaps not playing the most breathtaking of football, the hosts are certainly grinding out results well, mainly due to the fact they’ve kept clean sheets in 9 of their last 11 matches. 6 matches unbeaten as hosts, the side arrive with confidence at peak levels and will be desperate to hold onto top spot by claiming the three points.
Meanwhile, it’s been a good week for Bahia after pressure was beginning to mount on Guto Ferreira. Tricolor first advanced from the first round of the Copa Sudamericana with a 4-0 win over Blooming last week, prior to lifting themselves out of the Serie A drop zone with another big home win; running out 3-0 winners against Bahia.
However, problems haven’t been coming back in Salvador and a return to the road will surely lower confidence once again. The visitors are like two different sides home and away; 16 matches unbeaten as hosts but wretched on the road, losing 4 of the last 5 games without scoring a goal in any of the defeats.
Said sequence leaves Bahia pointless on the road in Serie A after 3 away outings and travelling to a Flamengo side in such strong shape is the last thing the visitors need right now.
Any morale picked up by Bahia’s two recent home wins should be quickly dispersed by this Flamengo team and we’re more than happy to back the hosts to win with a clean sheet intact.
Flamengo won both meetings between the two last season and performing so well defensively, it’s hard to seem them being too troubled by a Bahia team that’s toothless away from their own fans. All things considered, a 2-0 Flamengo win looks to be on the cards and is a scoreline worth backing in addition to our main tip.
Flamengo possible starting XI: Alves; Rodinei, Rhodolfo, Duarte, Rene; Cuellar, Everton, Paqueta, Diego, Vinicius Jr; Dourado.
Bahia possible starting XI: Douglas; Joao Pedro, Pagnussat, Fonseca, Leo; Gregore, Elton; Elber, Vinicius, Ze Rafael; Brumado.
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Flamengo won both games between the two last season, running out 1-0 winners at Bahia and hammering them 4-1 on home soil. Bahia have not won away at Flamengo since 2011.
Centre backs Rever and Juan are likely to miss out alongside right back Para. Forwards Orlando Berrio and Geuvanio also miss out.
Young midfielder Marco Antonio remains sidelined. Goalkeeper Douglas is expected to return from injury but defender Rodrigo Becao and forward Edigar Junio will probably miss out having only just returned from injury. A late call will be made on left back Leo.