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Preview: Sport Recife vs. Flamengo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sport Recife vs. Flamengo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Brasileiro clash between Sport Recife and Flamengo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After temporarily keeping their championship hopes alive in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A earlier this week, Flamengo will battle Sport Recife on Friday from Arena Pernambuco.

Leao need a win if they are to have a chance to stay in the top flight in 2022, as they sit nine points behind the relegation line with three matches remaining, while victory is a must for Flamengo as well plus they need some help from Bahia to have a shot at the domestic championship.

Match preview

Time is running out for Recife, who have shown a lack of attacking ambition all year long and will need a lot of things to go right to remain in Serie A next season.

Not much has changed for this group with the arrival of Gustavo Florentin as manager, as he has employed the same defensive-minded approach as his predecessor, Umberto Louzer.

When you look at their lack of quality in the middle of the field, you can understand why they like to hang back and absorb lots of pressure, as their dribbling is sloppy, and they struggle to maintain possession for long stretches.

Coming into this encounter, they have only lost one of their previous six home contests, so they will be hopeful that they can get themselves out of their current position.

It may seem like a tall order for this team to stay in Serie A beyond this season, but not only are two of their final three matches at home, but their only remaining road game is against Chapecoense, who are already relegated and have not won a home fixture in the league this year.

This is a team capable of defending effectively with over a dozen clean sheets in 2021, unfortunately though they fail to get the ball up the field quickly enough to catch their opponents on the break.

Their destiny is no longer in their own hands, however Urubu did what they had to do to keep the possibility of another league title on the table for now.

They scored three minutes into their encounter on Tuesday and answered the Ceara equaliser from Rick with a winner 11 minutes from the end.

It took a lot for this team to keep fighting earlier this week, only days after suffering what had to have been a heartbreaking defeat in extra time to Palmeiras in the final of the Copa Libertadores.

Once again, Mauricio Souza is back in charge of this club after a mutual agreement was reached for Renato Gaucho to leave, so the former assistant, now interim boss needs to find a way to boost this team's morale the rest of the way.

Unlike a lot of clubs in Serie A, Flamengo are not afraid to go into hostile territory and take significant risks, and their aggressive approach has paid off, scoring multiple goals in five straight domestic road contests, and they have not lost away from home in league play since a 3-1 defeat to Fluminense in October.

By the time they hit the field for this game, they will already know whether they still have a shot to catch Atletico Mineiro for the domestic crown, so we will see what kind of impact that will have on the mentality of this group when this match begins.

Sport Recife Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Flamengo Brasileiro form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Flamengo form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Recife are missing Neilton due to a knee issue, Joao Igor has a ruptured knee ligament, Thiago Lopes is done for the season with an Achilles tendon rupture, Leandro Barcia has a muscle injury and Everaldo is suffering from muscle problems.

Mailson has given up five goals in his previous three games, although in between, he did collect another clean sheet, his 13th of the year, putting him even with Joao Paulo.

Ronaldo Henrique will be looking for a bit of redemption should he see the field in this one as the midfielder ruined any chance that his side had of coming back against Urubu earlier this year, with an own goal early in the second half to make the score 2-0.

Gabi has a goal in his last two matches in all competitions for Flamengo, putting home the opener on Tuesday with the winning goal coming courtesy of Matheuzinho, who was set up nicely by Bruno Henrique, the player who scored the winner the last time they faced Sport in August.

Vitinho is tied with Arthur of Bragantino for assists in Serie A this year with eight, but is well behind the league leader Gustavo Scarpa, who has 13 for Palestra.

We saw a very different looking Flamengo starting 11 on Tuesday compared to the one who began the cup final last weekend as Matheuzinho, Gustavo Henrique, Leo Pereira, Ramon, Thiago Maia and Diego all got to start with Filipe Luis, David Luiz, Rodrigo Caio, Mauricio Isla, Willian Arao and Giorgian de Arrascaeta beginning on the bench.

Sport Recife possible starting lineup:
Mailson; Sander, Sabino, Thyere, Ewerthon; Moccelin, Marcao, Welison; Everaldo, Mikael, Felipe

Flamengo possible starting lineup:
Alves; Luis, Luiz, Caio, Isla; Pereira, Maia; Ribeiro, De Arrascaeta, B. Henrique; Gabi

We say: Sport Recife 0-2 Flamengo

This match may not matter for the visitors, but even if Atletico Mineiro can clinch the title on Thursday, Flamengo are still a side who are far superior to Recife, as Urubu are just as good at defending, and they have only been shut out once in a Serie A fixture since October.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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