Sunday’s standout Brazilian Serie A clash sees two of the nation’s giants doing battle, with Flamengo hosting Corinthians. The league leading home side will be looking to claim the three points in front of their own fans.
It was business as usual for the Maurício Barbieri revolution at Flamengo in midweek, with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Bahia maintaining Mengao’s top spot in Serie A. Barbieri has worked wonders since coming in a couple of months ago and having lost just 1 of his 14 games in charge, has brought a stability to the club seldom seen in recent campaigns.
Under Barbieri, Flamengo have improved greatly, particularly in defensive lines, something evidenced by the fact the side have recorded 10 clean sheets from the last 12 matches, with defensive solidarity key to success. Unbeaten in 7 games at home, 4 of which wins, confidence is certainly flowing in Flamengo ranks and building on their current 17 point total from 8 matches is undoubtedly the target coming into the game.
Meanwhile, as unconvincing as it was, Corinthians managed to pick up their first victory since iconic boss Fabio Carille departed with a 1-0 home win over newly promoted America Mineiro midweek.
Carille had transformed Timao into by far the strongest team in Brazil but his departure to Saudi Arabian football has sent shockwaves throughout the club, something more than apparent from defeats to both Millonarios and Internacional under Osmar Loss, Carille’s former assistant. Still holding a strong third place on the standings, the visitors will be hoping the midweek win will provide a platform to build on under the new regime but travelling to a Flamengo side in such strong shape certainly does look a tall order.
Last time out on the road, in the defeat to Internacional, Corinthians were dominated from start to finish despite only losing 2-1 and have been noticeably affected by losing their manager.
Flamengo meanwhile, are in truly fantastic shape and as such, we feel you simply have to back them to pick up the three points. Flamengo won this fixture 3-0 last season, when Corinthians were at the peak of their powers and now a far less frightening proposition, the visitors should fall to defeat against their rivals once again.
It’s not likely to be a high scoring game but Flamengo’s defensive strength should aid them to securing an important win via a 1-0 margin.
Flamengo possible starting XI: Alves, Rodinei, Rhodolfo, Duarte, Rene; Cuellar, Everton. Paqueta, Diego, Vinicius Jnr; Dourado.
Corinthians possible starting XI: Walter; Mantuan, Balbuena, Henrique, Sidcley; Gabriel, Maycon, Jadson, Rodriguinho, Vital; Roger.
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Flamengo won this fixture 3-0 last season whilst drawing 1-1 away at Corinthians. Overall, Flamengo have won 3 of their last 5 home matches against their visitors.
Centre backs Rever and Juan join right back Para and forwards Orlando Berrio and Geuvanio on the sidelines.
Goalkeeper Cassio is away on international duty with right back Fagner. Ralf, Rene Junior and Clayson remain sidelined.