Looking for a place in the G4 of the Brazilian Championship of 2017 and a direct place in the group stage of the 2018 Copa Libertadores of America, Botafogo opens this Saturday, November 11, the thirty-fourth round of the Brasileirão. From 17h (Brasília time), will receive Atlético-PR at the Nilton Santos stadium, Engenhão, in Rio de Janeiro.
Botafogo’s recent performance
On Wednesday, November 8, the alvinegros managed to recover from a 2-1 loss to Fluminense in the classic, defeating Sport in Recife by the same scorer. With this, they rose to the fifth place in Brasileirão. The position is enough to put the team in the next edition of the Libertadores, but requires that two qualifying rounds have been played.
That would repeat what happened this year, when Botafogo needed to change his early-season preparation to reach a place in the tournament group stage. One of the consequences of this attitude was the abandonment of the Carioca Championship. To avoid situations like this, the target of the Lonely Star club is group of four first glued, who have the right to go directly to the key step. This not only facilitates preparation, since there is more time for the preseason, but also ends up with the risk of an early elimination.
To reach this block, the closest opponent is Palmeiras, fourth placed parked in the 54 points after the defeat for Vitória, 3-1 in Salvador, also on Wednesday night. Botafogo has 51 (14 wins, nine draws and ten losses). However, even if he wins Atlético-PR will not be able to win that position in the thirty-third round. Even if it equals in points with the alviverde, it will lose in the time of tie-breaker by having a number of superior victories.
Therefore, the technical committee projects a ‘doubles’ of victories in the next rounds to try to put alvinegro in the elite squad of the Brasileirão. The next Botafogo game is also at home against another Atletico, the Goiás tournament lantern and virtually relegated to the Second Division.
The club’s home performance so far, however, does not justify much optimism. Not that it’s disastrous, but neither is it spectacular. With 29 points (nine wins, two draws and five losses) accumulated in their domains, Botafogo is the ninth best boss of the competition and in the last four matches in Engenhão was beaten twice.
This has made the presence of the public not what is expected. Botafogo occupies only the fifteenth place in the average number of spectators in Serie A of the Brazilian Championship of 2017 with an average of 9,953 payers, well below the averages reached in Libertadores (31,831) and Copa do Brasil (21,872).
The current form of Atlético-PR
Although reaching a place in the Libertadores, although in the knockout round, is also an objective of Atletico-PR, his situation was further complicated by the 1-0 defeat at home Wednesday against Corinthians. It took 1 to 0 and was parked in the 42 points (11 victories, nine defeats and 13 defeats).
At first, the Brasileirão will allow the top seven players to compete in the continental competition. In that case, the qualifying block is currently closed by Flamengo, who has eight points more than Atlético-PR. Remaining 15 points in contention, it is a situation of difficult reversal, even more that there are many other clubs among them.
Thus, the hopes of Atlético-PR to be able to get there count with the increase of the number of places. The G7 can reach G9 if Grêmio wins the current edition of Libertadores and Flamengo is South American champion. Thus, the group of classified would be closed by Bahia, which has only three points more than the Hurricane.
However, in any of the scenarios, it is essential that the Rubro-negro from Paraná improve its performance. In the final three rounds, he added just one point from the nine disputed. In front of Botafogo, coach Fabiano Soares will have two new options for qualification.
After meeting suspension by the accumulation of yellow cards, the midfielder Sidcley is released to play. The striker Guilherme, who for having been loaned by Corinthians can not face the São Paulo alvinegro, is also available again.
History of the bouts between Botafogo and Atlético-PR
The rubro-negro is the advantage in the history of clashes with alvinegro by Brasileirão. There were 19 wins against 12 of the rival. The draws, much rarer, were recorded in six games. In the first round of the 2017 season, there was one of them, with no move.
The greater consistency of Botafogo in his performances makes the team from Rio de Janeiro as the best guessing option for the confrontation. It has a price of 1.95 in Bet365. Draw shows return of 3.50 and successful visitor multiplies the investment by 3.80.