The defending champions from last season took out second-tier side CSA 5-0 on aggregate in round three, while last year's semi-finalists beat Altos 4-1 after two legs.
With two trophies already in their possession in 2022, capturing the Supercopa do Brasil and the Campeonato Mineiro, Galo are hungry for more as they face their first actual test in this year's competition.
Antonio Mohamed saw his players create another resolute defensive showcase over the weekend, collecting a second successive clean sheet.
The tactics from their 2021 campaign remain virtually identical, focusing on defence first, with the fullbacks given the freedom to go forward and provide an extra outlet to the attack.
In their run to the Copa do Brasil title a year ago, Alvinegro did not lose a home game in the entire competition and conceded only once at Minerao.
They are by no means the most prominent at maintaining possession for long stretches, though they move the ball quickly into dangerous attacking areas and are among the best teams in Brazil when it comes to progressive passing.
The depth of this squad provides Mohamed with the luxury of constantly being able to rotate his team, while these players are not only strong physically but also technically gifted with some of the best dribblers on the ball.
Early into his tenure as Flamengo boss, Dorival Junior is beginning to realise that turning around the fortunes of this once-dominant Brazilian club will be a challenge.
He inherited a team low on confidence, dangerously close to domestic relegation, just a single point above Goias and descent into the second tier.
His first three matches in charge have not been the most convincing, suffering road defeats to Internacional (3-1) and Atletico Mineiro (2-0), with a comfortable 2-0 win over Cuiaba sandwiched in between those defeats.
It seems like a long time ago when they were the team to beat in Brazil, capturing consecutive Brasileiro Serie A titles in 2019 and 2020, the first club to achieve that feat since Cruzeiro, who followed up their victory in 2013 with another triumph in 2014.
In their third round tie we saw a tale of two halves in both of their encounters, trailing 1-0 to Altos back in May before scoring twice in the second half to win 2-1 and scoring another two in the second 45 minutes at home 10 days later, to capture a 2-0 victory.
Under their previous boss, Paulo Sousa, there seemed to be a lack of identity as he would often hit the panic button if things did not go smoothly, constantly changing formations and tactics, which seemed to affect their continuity.
Nacho Fernandez and Ademir each found the back of the net for Mineiro in their victory over Mengao, while Everson collected another clean sheet and Hulk picked up his first assist of the domestic campaign.
Eduardo Vargas, who netted three times in their 2021 triumph at this tournament, is still searching for his first in this year's competition.
Goals from Pedro and Joao Gomes enabled Flamengo to come from behind and beat Altos in their opening leg last round, while Gabriel Barbosa and Victor Hugo gave them a 2-0 triumph in the return fixture.
Santos started in goal in their opening match of the third round, with Hugo Souza taking his place in the second game, earning a shutout, while Giorgian De Arrascaeta has been one of the bright spots for them this season as he leads the league with five assists.
Atletico Mineiro possible starting lineup:
Everson; Guga, Nathan, Rever, Arana; Otavio, Allan; Vargas, Fernandez, Zaracho; Hulk
Flamengo possible starting lineup:
Alves; Ayrton, Pablo, Caio, Rodinei; Arao, Pereira; Diego, De Arrascaeta, Ribeiro; Barbosa
We say: Atletico Mineiro 2-0 Flamengo
Instilling some confidence back into what appears to be a broken Flamengo side will not be easy, nor will it happen overnight.
Even if Mineiro yield a weaker side for this encounter, there is so much talent and depth at every position that we have complete confidence they will be able to shut down a struggling offensive unit in Urubu.
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