Sunday, 3 July 2016

Botafogo vs Santa Cruz Football Match Preview And Prediction - July 4, 2016

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It may only be early days but already this has the feel of a huge game for both clubs. Botafogo and Santa Cruz finished 1st and 2nd in Serie B last season but they are currently 18th and 19th on their return to Serie A and it will be a brief return if they don’t get their act together soon.

You have to worry particularly for Santa Cruz. They’ve lost all of their last 4 matches and the confidence seems to have drained out of them with each passing game. Their most recent performance was by far their worst of the season when they were beaten 3-0 at home by Ponte Preta on Thursday night. With less than 72 hours to prepare for this game it’s hard to see them improving on a tally of just 3 points from their last 8 games.

As for Botafogo the picture is a bit more positive. Unlike Santa Cruz, who started well and have severely tailed off, they have done the opposite to some extent. They picked up only 4 points from their first 6 games but have added 8 points from their last 6. They are one of the few teams down the bottom to have goals in their team and if they can only sort out their defence, they’d have real reason to believe they can stay up. Their last outing was a 5-3 defeat at Atletico Mineiro and they scored 3 goals in their previous game too, winning 3-2 at Internacional.

To score that many goals away against strong sides must give Botafogo plenty of confidence and they should cause Santa Cruz who are trying to avoid a 5th straight defeat plenty of problems here so backing Botafogo to score over 1.5 goals at Evens looks to offer great value.

Head To Head
Santa Cruz did the double over Botafogo in Serie B last season but still finished 5 points below the Rio club who won the league. The sides haven't met at this level since 2006 when Botafogo won 3-0 at home and drew 2-2 away in a game that finished 9-a-side.

Santa Cruz have lost 7 of their last 8 matches. Botafogo have scored exactly 3 goals in 3 of their last 5 matches.

Team News

Ricardo Gomes must do without young forward Ribamar here after he injured himself in midweek but he may have dropped out anyway in favour of top scorer Sassa, who has 5 Serie A goals to his name this term.

Wallyson, Mário Sérgio and Bruno Moraes are all options should Santa Cruz opt to make changes after a shocking display in the week but they won't necessarily improve the team.

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