Campeonato Brasileirao Serie A: Santos v Flamengo

By on May 26, 2014

Santos FC will host Flamengo at the Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo for their 7th game of the season as both sides are separated by just two points with a lot to play for in this game.

Santos FC have not had the best of starts to the season but much of that can be put down to injuries. Most of their forwards are out with injuries and that has resulted in them not being able to get good results. Coach Osvaldo de Oliveira appreciates the injury worries and he knows that his side to grind out results during this tough period if they are to maintain hopes of a good season when their squad regains full strength. If Santos are unable to control their results and get points during this difficult phase, then there might not be much left to fight for once their players get fit. They are currently 13th in the Serie A rankings with just seven points from six games which really showcases how poor a start they have had. They find themselves just one point ahead of 14th placed Atletico PR and two points ahead of both Flamengo and Vitoria who are 16th and 15th respectively. However, they are just three points behind Atletico MG who are 8th in the rankings and thus have a chance to finish the matchday in the top half of the table. A win in this game will allow them to extend their lead on the teams that are behind them and go level on points with Atletico Mineiro, however, they will have played one extra game. If they fail to get all three points from this one, it might allow the teams below them to capitalize and potentially overtake them. It will also increase the gap between Santos and the teams in the top half. So a win in this one is absolutely necessary.

Their main problem has been the number of draws and that has effected their league position. They’ve drawn four of their first six games of the season while losing one and winning just one. Again, the injuries to the first team forwards are the real cause for this and the Osvaldo will hope that they can grind out a result in this one even in the absence of their starting strikers. Their solo defeat of the season so far came against Atletico Mineiro. Their last game was a 2-2 draw against Goias.

Flamengo have their own worries ahead of this game as they are in the bottom half of the table and if the start of the season is any indicator, and they continue like this, they could very well be in the mix for relegation come the end of the season. They are currently 16th in the league standings with 5 points from seven games. Their main problem has been bad results like other sides but the difference is that they donot have a lot of players missing and have actually lost three games out of the first six. They are currently just one point above the drop zone and anyone from the bottom three could go level on points or overtake them if Flamengo lose this game and those rock bottom sides get all three points in their games. However, they do have a chance to end the matchday in the top hald of the table as they are only three points behind 10th placed Bahia and a win in this game could take them level on points with them. Ney Franco must make sure that his side get at least something from this game as failing to get anything could put them at risk of an early involvement in the relegation battle. Meaning, that they have had a poor start to the season and if this is a sign of things to come, and they fail to improve their form, such results could see them in the relegation mix when we approach the end of the season.

They have not been in very good form recently having won only one of their last five games while losing three. The solo win came against Palmeiras and Ney Franco will be hoping that his side can emulate that display and get something from this one as well. Santos are vulnerable themselves in this game and could be the key Franco uses to motivate his team. They come into this game on the back of 1-1 draw with Bahia, following two straight defeats.

Santos will be without Edu Dracena, Gustavo Henrique, Rildo and Thiago Ribeiro who are all out with injuries. Leandro Damiao is also doubtful for this game. Stefano Yuri could be handed a start for this one.

Flamengo will be without Chicai, Gabriel, Hernane and Elano who are all injured. Alecsandro is doubtful but will be assessed closer to kickoff. Negueba is expected to start upfront.

DATE: May 25, 2014

TIME: 8:00 PM BST

VENUE: Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo (Morumbi) — Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:
Santos FC (4-2-2-2):- Aranha; Mena, Braz, Neto Cicinho; Arouca, Santos; Cicero, Lima; Yuri, Geuvanio
Flamengo (4-2-2-2):- Felipe; Santos, Wallace, Samir, Moura; Caceres, Araujo; Mugni, Everton; Paulinho, Negueba

LAST MEETING: September 13, 2013 | Campeonato Brasileirao Serie A | Flamengo 2-1 Santos FC

RECENT FORM:
Santos FC:- D L W D D
Flamengo:- D L L W L

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: Santos 2-1 Flamengo

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