Fluminense vs. Figueirense / Brazilian Serie A – After a longer break we have a pick for a match that comes from the strongest Brazilian league. It is late match of the 18th round between Fluminense and Figueirense. The home team is ninth after 21 matches and has even eight points more than 18th-placed Figueirensea. We need to add that their both championship matches played last season had ended as victories of home teams. Begins: 03.09.2016 – 21:00 CET
Following that logic in Fluminensea’s ranks expect now a safe victory over Figueirense, especially as if the win they would catch up with team that occupy positions that lead to the Copa Libertadores, which are currently just six points away. Recently Fluminense was in a great series of three wins and one draw but in previous, 22nd, round they were defeated at home by leading Palmeiras 2-0, so they urgently need a good result to restore the self-confidence.
They need good result because of one more reason and that is draw at home with Corinthians 1-1 in the first leg of round of 16 of the Brazilian Cup, although coach Culpi managed to rest in that match several standard starters and consequently we expect that they will be much readier for this far more important match of the Serie A. Regarding absences, due to injuries still out of action are just defender Jonathan and forward Richarlison. This time they might change a bit the tactical set-up all with an objective to show on Saturday evening to their opponents from the start that are interested only in victory.
Probable lineups Fluminense: Cavalieri – Wellington Silva, Gum, Henrique, William Matheus – Douglas Augusto – Marcos Junior, Cicero, Scarpa, Marquinho – Henrique Dourado
Figueirense belongs to less known Brazilian teams and by that they are doomed on survival struggle as they only occasionally make a good result and reach continental club competitions. For example, last season they qualified for the Copa Sudamericana after a long pause but were eliminated in the first round after a knockout by Flamengo, who last week defeated them at home by 3-1 and thanks to better aggregate score they passed further.
Coach Guimaraes can console themselves with fact that they defeated them at home in the first leg by 4-2 and they won Santos away in previous championship round by 1-0. In that way they managed to break a series of two defeats in a row and won very important points for the survival struggle, given that now they need only two points to reach the safe zone. Right because of that we expect to see the same 11 players against favoured Fluminense who faced Santos in previous round, especially as due to injures still out of action are stopper Marquinhos and midfielders Elicarlos and Jocinei.
Probable lineups Figueirense: Fernandez – Ayrton, Bruno Alves, Werley, Pedroso – Renato, Caucaia – Ferrugem, Carlos Alberto, Rafael Silva – Rafael Moura
Fluminense – Figueirense PICK
Given that Fluminense would come to just three points behind fourth-positioned Corinthians if it wins we doubt that they will miss one such chance, especially as their guests are this season feeble Figueirense.
Pick: Fluminense wins
Odds: 1.60 at bwin (down to 1.55 can be played)