Flamengo v Emelec Preview & Tips: Brazilians to take care of business

Flamengo to secure safe passage in Rio de Janeiro
Flamengo's 17-year-old Vinicius Junior came off the bench to score twice in the 2-1 win against Emelec in Ecuador on March 14, 2018. (RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Flamengo v Emelec Preview & Tips


Flamengo host Emelec at the Estádio Luso-Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro in the penultimate group stage game. A win for the Rubro-Negro will secure their place in the Copa Libertadores knockout rounds. 

Flamengo


The 1981 Copa Libertadores champions finished runners-up in the 2017 Copa Sudamericana as they attempt to re-establish themselves in the higher echelons of South American football. 

The Rubro-Negro fell to a 3-2 defeat at Chapecoense on Sunday, their first defeat in nine games but still lead the Brazilian Serie A after five matches. New manager Maurício Barbieri hasn’t had a lot of time with his new team but takes over a club with a good mix of youth and experience. 

Diego, Diego Alves, Juan and Paulo Guerrero are joined by exciting young talent in 17-year-old’s Vinícius Júnior and Lincoln, not to mention 20-year-old forward Lucas Paquetá.

Emelec


The 2017 Ecuadorian champions are fourth in the table after a 2-1 home win against Delfin on Saturday. Manager Alfredo Arias could be tempted to rest most of his stars in Rio with their Copa Libertadores campaign all but over.

One draw and three defeats has Emelec staring elimination in the face. They have been atrocious away from home in the competition and have lost five of their last six away games in all competitions. 

Striker Brayan Angulo and winger Ayrton Preciado are the main dangers with attacking midfielder Fernando Luna in good form. Preciado and Luna were both on target against Delfin and will be the main men if selected. 

Match Up


This is the third time these clubs have met in the Copa Libertadores in recent seasons. Flamengo have won four of the five contests, including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture in March.

Brayan Angulo put Emelec ahead in the 65th minutes, but Vinícius Júnior came off the bench to score twice in a match the Brazilian club dominated. With Flamengo controlling proceedings in Ecuador, they should have too much back in Brazil especially given the situation.

Key Statistics


  • Flamengo have won 4 of 5 matches against Emelec since 2012 (Copa Libertadores).
  • Flamengo have lost 1 of their last 14 home matches (All competitions).
  • Flamengo have lost 1 of their last 12 home matches (Copa Libertadores).
  • Emelec have lost 5 of their last 6 away matches (All competitions).
  • Emelec have lost 16 of their last 22 away matches (Copa Libertadores).

Verdict


Flamengo are the better team and should be too strong at home, knowing a win guarantees their place in the knockout rounds.

Emelec are in a poor run of form, are horrible on the road and were eventually overpowered in the home leg. The Electrics are unlikely to trouble the Brazilian club in Rio. 

Best Bet: Flamengo -1 Handicap at 1.91
Matthew Marshall 15 May 2018

Copa Libertadores Previews & Tips