Botafogo RJ hosts Palmeiras in round 6 of Brazilian Serie A. The match will be played on Saturday, May 25th at Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos (Rio de Janeiro)
After three games in a row in Rio, where Botafogo scored maximum points, but the victory over Fluminense in the derby (0:1) was undeserved, Fogao had a week to prepare for the marathon. The team has already cut through 7,000 km and flew to Goiânia, where it lost to Goiás (1:0). From there, the team went to Rio and immediately to Paraguayan Asuncion where beat the local Sol de America in the 1/16 finals of Copa Sudamericana (0:1). As in the match with Fluminense, the victory of the Brazilians was again obliged to the favor of fortune, and not only because the hosts of the match did not convert a penalty. The contender was weak and took only the 8th place in the Apertura, where 12 teams play. Having problems with the creation and the highest sloppiness in terms of passes, Fogao was saved only by a goalkeeper's blunder. The coach Barroca is still in search of the ideal formation, personnel and tactical.
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From Paraguay, Fogao flew back to Rio, but it will not play at home. The management decided to earn extra money from an audience that would gladly attend the meeting with the participation of the strongest club in the country, but this is not Botafogo but Palmeiras. The Lone Star will lose the support of Nilton Santos, but a large army of Verdao fans will fill the Garrincha stadium in the capital, Brasilia, wearing green colors.
The coach of Botafogo, Barroca, will not be able to count on his two main players: the disqualified back Carli and the best striker Erik, who is on loan from Palmeiras. These are depressing losses, especially in the light of the current marathon. The loss of Erik even looks like a catastrophe, especially considering the best defense of the Scolari’s team in Brazil.
In addition to the refusal from the home stadium, Botafogo played in Asuncion with all its might. Verdao also had a compromise in the middle of the week, but not so exhausting. In the first match of the 1/8 finals of Brazilian Cup, in San Luis, Palmeiras won the first of the doubles against Sampaio Correa (0:1). The coach Scolari played at Castellane with the completely reserve squad.
Thus, Felipe saved his strength for the capital match and, obviously, he will make every effort to continue the current unbeaten streak of 28 games in Serie A, which began last season. Having won Santos (4: 0) at home, Palmeiras became the leader of the competition, breaking away from Sao Paolo and Atletico Mineiro, whom it also beat in the last away match of Serie A (0:2). Now the Greens have 13 points (4-1-0), and they are ready for the fifth victory. Felipe Scolari restored midfielder Scarpa, who can already return to his usual position in the midfield. Of course, it doesn’t imply goal extravaganza, like in the romp of Santos. Palmeiras showed scoring football away rather rarely. It made a bet on a reliable defense, a goal or two, and the saving of advantage to the victorious outcome.
Under normal conditions, it would have been a difficult task for Botafogo to win the reigning champion, although Fogao could count on some points in the home arena. At another stadium, in another city, with the loss of two important players of the first eleven, a tired team hardly has some chances against the current champion, which is gaining cruising speed.
Prediction for the match: Palmeiras to win and Under 3.5 goals scored