Flamengo vs Sao Paulo: Betting Preview
Flamengo vs São Paulo betting tips. Two of Serie A’s ever-present sides, Flamengo and São Paulo, clash in Rio de Janeiro this weekend. The Infogol Analyst takes a look at the game, using stats and data to select the best bets.
Flamengo finished third in the Brazilian Série A last season, and are sitting in the same position after ten games. They are unbeaten in four at home, despite something of a sluggish start to the campaign in which they drew their opening two matches, including against Atlético Mineiro who have struggled for consistency all season and who currently sit in the bottom half of the table.
Things have picked up since, defeating Ponte Preta 2-0 and thumping Chapecoense 5-1 in their latest home fixture, though they were perhaps fortunate to score so many from the chances they had, recording an expected goals (xG) of 2.89. Flamengo won at struggling Bahia last weekend before beating Santos in the Copa do Brasil in midweek, but will need to step up a gear if they are to avoid a frustrating third home draw of the league season.
Key Man: Diego is a crucial part of Flamengo’s attacking force
While teams such as Fluminese and Ponte Preta have relied on the likes of Henrique Dourado and Lucca respectively, Flamengo have shared out goalscoring duties between main strikers Paolo Guerrero and Leandro Damião. However, it is Diego, who also has three goals to his name this season, who makes the team click. He averages 44 passes per game and has also set up two goals, so he is the key player that São Paulo will need to restrict if they are to come away from the match with anything.
São Paulo achieved a mid-table finish last season, finishing in 10th position, and have made a stuttering start to the current campaign, taking just one point and scoring only two goals in five games on the road – the fourth-worst record in the division. All three of São Paulo’s wins have come at home, each by a 2-0 scoreline, however the Infogol model suggests that they were slightly fortunate to score as many on all three occasions and Rogério Ceni’s men will hardly be travelling to Flamengo full of confidence.
Lucas Pratto: Needs to concentrate on his shooting rather than his tackling
Their key player going forward is likely to be the Argentinian striker Lucas Pratto. He has three goals to his name this season, though all have come at home, and he will need to take his chances better if he is to make Flamengo pay for any sloppy defending: 20 of his 31 shots this season have been off target.
However, it is in defence where São Paulo’s strength lies. They’ve conceded only nine goals in ten matches this season, with eight of those games featuring under 2.5 goals in total. Aside from a 3-2 defeat to table-topping Corinthians, São Paulo’s most recent away matches in the Brazilian Série A have finished 1-0, 0-0 (shown below), 1-0, and 1-0.
A lack of clear-cut chances at both ends in São Paulo’s game vs Sport Recife
Flamengo have been in good form of late, however five of their eight home goals scored came in one match against Chapecoense and the much tighter defence of São Paulo will prove much stiffer opposition. These two teams drew 0-0 in this fixture last season and another low-scoring match is on the cards.
Flamengo @ 7/10
Under 2.5 goals @ 5/6