A distraught Atletico Mineiro host Flamengo in one of Sunday’s standout Brazilian Serie A clashes.
Atletico arrive off the back of a, quite frankly, embarrassing midweek exit from the Copa Libertadores, at the hands of Bolivian outfit Jorge Wilstermann, who hadn’t avoided defeat away from home in the competition for almost two decades, prior to the 0-0 draw.
The result saw the side eliminated 1-0 over two legs, and was yet another show of attacking impotence on home soil, with Galo having now failed to find the net in 4 of their last 5 home outings. Rogerio Micale may have only recently come into the dugout, but he and his troops can expect a less than friendly welcome come Sunday afternoon, as they seek to improve upon an equally as bad 14th place standing domestically.
Meanwhile, opponents Flamengo are certainly no strangers to coming under fire from their own supporters, but take to the field in buoyant mood after a 5-0 crushing of Palestino in the Copa Sudamericana.
It was Mengão’s first outing since the departure of the much maligned Ze Ricardo, who fans had wanted removed from the dugout for weeks following some wretched showings, and the side really looked as though the shackles had been lifted, playing some fantastic attacking football. Stand in boss for that game, Jayme de Almeida, will take charge here for the last time, and will be striving to sign off with a win.
The game features two sides in vastly different moods. Atletico are at rock bottom, and on current form are in great danger of being dragged into a relegation battle. The side are noticeably lacking in confidence, particularly on home soil, and look nervous and lacking in the final third.
Flamengo, on the other hand, now look ready to make use of the undoubted talent present in the squad. if the midweek performance is anything to go by. The playing squad has cost an unbelievable amount of money to assemble by Brazilian standards, and each individual will surely now be wanting to live up to their respective price tags and impress incoming boss Reinaldo Rueda.
Overall we see fantastic value in backing the visitors with protection in case of a draw. They look the far more likely victors and we feel they will make it 5 losses from the last 6 at home for the struggling hosts, with a 2-0 win.
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