Two Brazilians will battle tonight at Maracana for a place in the final of Copa Libertadores. Flamengo arrives as huge favourites, not only because their cruising at Brasileirao, but also due to the 1-1 draw in the first leg. The club from Rio de Janeiro had the best chances in the first leg, controlling most of the game. At home, Flamengo will have a huge support by their fans to reach the final for the second time in club's history, as the "Rubro-Negro" won the title with Zico in 1981.
Flamengo was 8 points behind Santos and Palmeiras in the Brasileirao when Jorge Jesus arrived last June. Today, Flamengo is on top of Brasileirao, 10 points ahead of Palmeiras and 13 over Santos. The club is absolutely cruising, having won 14 of their last 17 matches, losing just once to Bahia. Flamengo have 9 wins in their last 10 home matches at Maracana, with an average of 2.2 goals scored per game.
Diego Alves; Rafinha, Rodrigo Caio, Pablo Marí, Filipe Luís; Willian Arão, Gerson, Everton Ribeiro, Vitinho; Bruno Henrique, Gabriel Barbosa
On paper, Gremio is a weaker side than Flamengo as the club from Porto Alegre are 23 points behind the "Rubro-Negro" in the Brasileirao. A home victory in the first leg would be necessary for Gremio to manage this second leg with other mindset, and Renato Gaucho's team should regret the way they couldn't control Flamengo. The team already lost 3-1 at Maracana earlier this year for the Brasileirao, also losing 6 of their last 7 away matches to Flamengo. This hardly inspires confidence but Gremio will try to write history at Maracana tonight.
Backed by over 55,000 fans, Flamengo should book their ticket to the final tonight. Look for Flamengo to score over 1.5 goals!
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