Botafogo vs Corinthians - Match Preview
Botafogo went into last weekend’s match with Vasco de Gama having won five of their last six matches, but they lost that match 1-0 – probably deservedly – and were then slightly fortunate to escape with a point against second-bottom Avai thanks to a 96th minute equaliser from Marcos Vinicius.
However, both of those matches were away from home, and now back in Rio, Botafogo could prove to be a different proposition altogether – they have already won eight league matches at the Estádio Nilton Santos this season, a record bettered only by three teams (including Monday’s opponents Corinthians).
Jair Ventura’s side had created a lot of good scoring opportunities in their seven games prior to that Vasco de Gama loss - an xG of 13.61 - and, given their good process, there's no reason why they can't pick up where they left off despite the absence of leading scorer Roger.
Corinthians are clear at the top of the table with a +21 goal difference, thanks to Jô leading the line to great effect and a good defence which has only conceded 18 goals all season. Despite that, Corinthians have looked more vulnerable in their last two matches, and have conceded four goals in their last three away matches, including two in a 2-0 loss to Bahia last weekend.
Although not as free-scoring as earlier in the season, Corinthians still pose a big threat going forward, having produced a total xG of 13.14 in the six matches prior to their recent wobble.
Jô has 14 goals in the league this season, only a couple behind Fluminese hot-shot Henrique Dourado, and the striker has continued where he left off at Spartak Moscow rather than how he finished his spell at Manchester City.
Despite neither side coming into this match in red-hot form, both Botafogo and Corinthians have shown this season that creating good chances and scoring goals is not a concern. Botafogo will be looking to build on their excellent home record and inflict a second defeat in three matches on the visitors, which is not out of the question, however the likelihood of plenty of goals looks more certain. Over 2.5 goals looks the best bet at 6/4.
Over 2.5 goals at 6/4