Flamengo vs Santos by Isaiah
Flamengo lost 1:0 away to Cruzeiro during the weekend, conceding a goal early in the second half without ability to react from then on. It was their third consecutive defeat away from home, as the team also has only one victory in their last six matches and are remaining very low at the standings, being tied with Atletico MG which is currently at relegating position.
Coach Mano Menezes admitted that Cruzeiro was much superior than them in previous game, saying that the result was a reality of their performances, while his team was unable to play well mostly because of the quality of their opponents. As he said, the team needs a lot of improvement and will have to work out much more in order to reach it, while they were also disappointed with their 4:0 defeat against Corinthians ten days ago. Atmosphere in the team isn't the best one, as everyone understands the team isn't playing well, but they are in a situation where they have to seek for immediate improvement. Hosts will miss goalkeeper Felipe (25/0), left back Ramon (4/0), left midfielder Andre Santos (9/0), while defender Chicao (12/1) comes back into the squad. Striker Marcelo Moreno (19/4) is also back in the team following his international duties with Bolivian national team.
Santos is coming from another great victory, this time against Internacional away from home with the score of 1:2. They managed to score a goal in each half, and sealed the victory despite the fact their rivals reduced it later. They are looking way better in recent weeks and lose their matches very difficulty, having only three defeats in eighteen matches.
As it could be understood, the team is rising constantly at the table and are approaching the top for positions that will be leading to Copa Libertadores, although they have a game less played. They are currently at seventh position and having seven points less than fourth placed team, but in case of continuation of their good form, Copa Libertadores ticket might not be unrealistic. Coach Oliveira was pleased with the effort of his players, saying that their fans should be proud of them. However, added that the players have to look at each game separately and not be carried away with the talk about getting the first four positions. Midfielders Montillo (17/2), Arouca (13/0) and Alan Santos (15/0) are injured, same as offensive player Giva (11/3), while defender Edu Dracena (20/1) is suspended. Left back Eugenio Mena (9/0) is coming back in the team returning from national team of Chile.
Santos is surely in way better form than Flamengo, but that's still not convincing enough to be a favorite away from home. Both teams are struggling to find their way to goal and it won't be such a big surprise in case we see a goalless match or something very close to that.