Palmeiras vs Flamengo Predictions

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Palmeiras
Flamengo

Flamengo to Win

19/20odds when tipped
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Flamengo 2-1

8/1odds when tipped
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Tip Reasoning

  • Flamengo have won four of their last five games coming into the final.
  • Palmeiras lack any real momentum, having lost three of their last four.
  • Flamengo have won five of their last seven matches against Palmeiras and are unbeaten in their last nine meetings.

Contrast of styles in potential Copa Lib classic

The 2021 Copa Libertadores Final is another all-Brazilian affair, but the two protagonists offer very different versions of the Samba style and that might make for a classic contest.

Reigning champions Palmeiras are a deep-lying outfit that tend to grow better as games wear on and their opponents run out of energy and ideas. Coach Abel Ferreira took over half-way through last year’s campaign and proved to be a steady hand as they marched through the knockout stages with some big wins and then took the title on a stoppage-time winner that was officially timed at 90+9.

Flamengo play more of a front-foot style with a huge focus on their potent front two of Gabriel Barbosa and Bruno Henrique, who accounted for 16 of their 32 goals in this year’s edition. Mengão love to press and try to play with a high line to compact their opponents’ midfield – sometimes with catastrophic results – but we imagine the majority of the possession and territorial advantage will be for the Rio club here.

The head-to-head record between these two sides could be quite revealing as Verdao have had no success against Flamengo for the last four years. The real shift in power came when Jorge Jesus took over and turned them into the side they are today with a greater element of risk in their play.  To play this final with more caution than they normally would just because it is such a big game flies in the face of Flamengo’s philosophy, so we are pretty confident they will have a go at Verdao.

Rio giants have the edge in key areas

There were three goals the last time Flamengo reached this showpiece game two years ago against River Plate and their backers’ nerves were probably shredded before Gabigol completed his late double for the comeback win. At least three could be scored again if Palmeiras are willing to play ball, although they may feel their best chance is to sit tight again.

History suggest that gameplan has rarely borne fruit and the apprehension they must feel about facing this foe can be seen in some of the results they have suffered in the lead-up to the final. No win in four isn’t ideal even if Ferreira has been resting a few regulars here and there. The contrast to Flamengo’s form is stark and could again give Rubro Negro an edge in terms of confidence.

Our forecast here is for the favourites to do the business within the 90 minutes or allotted stoppage time as Flamengo are in a better moment than their Sao Paolo opponents and have more big-game experience too. If it comes down to tactics and substitutions we also feel Renato – who took Gremio to glory in this competition four years ago – has more on his CV too – plus more gamechangers in reserve.

A 2-1 correct score forecast seems about right given Flamengo have scored at least two in seven of their last eight away games and five of their last six Libertadores road trips.

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