Botafogo vs Gremio by Enzo
After two consecutive victories in Serie A, over Sport Recife and Sao Paulo, Botafogo comes from a narrow 1:0 defeat last Tuesday evening when the team visited Atletico PR. Only goal was scored already in seventh minute via Hernani, as the hosts took quite professional victory without jeopardizing the result later on.
They did what was needed very early during the game, lowered the pace of the game later on and didn't have much problems walking away with a victory in last phase of the match. Busy schedule for Botafogo continued already on Friday (actually it was Thursday evening as for Brazilian time), when the team suffered quite ugly 2:5 defeat in front of own fans in last sixteen phase of the Cup competition to Cruzeiro. The team needs to react badly now after such performance and almost sure exclusion from Copa do Brasil.
Botafogo should be playing in 4-3-1-2 formation with Sassa and Neillton as forwards, plus Camilo as central offensive midfielder. Goalkeeper Jefferson remains long term absentee, without performing so far in the season. Central defender Emerson Santos (14/0) is also injured and out. Their coach Jair Ventura doesn't have very deep roster at his disposal, so we should see similar squad even though they lost the previous game to Cruzeiro in Copa do Brasil.
Gremio was quite a bit favorite last weekend playing at home against Atletico MG, but the team was only able to get a point in a 1:1 draw. However, it needs to be said that the final result is surely a bit unfair for the home side, who missed plenty of chances to seal the victory during the match.
They took the lead in 53rd with a goal from Luan, after making many chances and the team continued in the same tempo later on, but got punished for their chances missed with an equalizer in 87th via Robinho, leaving not enough time for the players of Gremio to react further on. As for the Cup competition, Gremio is now really close to the quarter-finals stage, since the team won over Atletico PR 1:0 away from home ten days ago and are now awaiting the second leg in much better situation than the opponent.
Gremio is set to play in 4-3-1-2 formation with Almeida and Luan as forwards, plus Douglas as their support as a central offensive midfielder. Goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe (18/0), central defender Geromel (15/3) and forward Miller Bolanos (10/1) are all away on international duty. This means that they should be replaced by quite reliable Bruno Grassi, Henrique Almeida and Walter Kannemann. Right back Edilson should be able to play after recovering from a knock.
- Gremio have won their last 4 matches against Botafogo.
- Gremio have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches against Botafogo.
Gremio isn't having very reliable performances this season, but in case of a victory here, they could improve the chances not only of getting the Copa Libertadores spot, but also improve their title bid. Botafogo conceded five goals in the midweek against Cruzeiro and even though they are desperate to bounce back to positive ways here and the draw can't be excluded, I still see players of Gremio being much closer to the victory this time.