Figueirense hosts Botafogo SP in round 8 of Brazilian Serie B. The match will be played on Wednesday, June 11th at Estádio Orlando Scarpelli (Florianópolis)
The fans could serenade last year's Figueirense of Milton Cruz, but only in the first leg of Serie B. One of the strongest teams of Serie B fell down in the second half of the tournament. Cruz was replaced by the ex-coach of Vila Nova Emerson Maria, who lacked only three points to promote in the class last year. Obviously, the team from Florianopolis has ambitions to be in Serie A. However, after the home victory over Atletico GO, the dreams of Figueirense to get closer to the G-4 went up in flames at Barueri. Figueira earned only 1 point in the away game with Oeste, playing a goalless draw.
10 points in the asset and -5 points to the relegation zone are not so tragic, but the attack was and is the main problem of Figueirense. This is understandable, because Figueira parted at once with the three best scorers of the last year’s championship. Elton moved to Recife, Ferraris was returned from the loan, and incredible Henan is now in the team of upcoming visitors, Botafogo from Sao Paolo.
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None of the six forwards, used and constantly shuffled by Maria, has scored a goal yet, and two of them are unlikely to appear in the first eleven. Figueira scored only 4 goals, and it was done by the midfielders and defenders. The coach can confide in veteran Rafa Marquez, but even this decision does not guarantee success to the well-known defense proctor. Of course, all the teams of Maria are good at choosing positions in defensive lines. Meeting one of the leaders of the competition, Maria will rely on defense in the first place: Figueira conceded only 2 goals in the last five matches, but this happened in the away game with the strongest Bragantino. In the last two home games, Figueirense won Atletico and Pelotas (both with a 1-0 score).
However, the defense of the two above mentioned teams, in turn, should not be compared with the defense of Botafogo. The start of Sao Paolo team can be considered a surprise, because this team is a debutant of Serie B. Of course, if you do not know that the squad of Ribeirão Preto is one of the four most expensive in Brazilian Segunda. According to Transfermarkt estimates, the cost of Botafogo is 1/3 higher than the price of all Figueirence players taken together.
The Panthers have 16 points (5-1-1) like Bragantino, but the only loss was at home. Botafogo is the best away team of Serie B, perfectly defending and deadly stinging its opponents. It hasn’t conceded even a goal, and, without taking into account the last parity in the away game with a very strong Preta, Botafogo cynically beat America MG (0:1), San Bento (0:1) and Operario (0:2) on the road. There is a great chance to go on a break, not allowing Braga to come off in terms of earned points.
Cavalo will field the left back Para, who was disqualified, and he will renew the best four starting defenders. In addition, we may wait for the same Henan, who has already scored 2 goals, and midfielder Nadson. They will be very useful in a match against a team that has not lost at home even once (2-1-0). However, away statistics of the Panthers are even more convincing.
Prediction for the match: Botafogo SP to win with +0.5 handicap and Under 3.5 goals scored