Flamengo have three matches remaining for their 2023 Brasileiro championship attempt, and with the club tied with Palmeiras at the top of the table, every point matters.
Aiming for Greatness – Flamengo’s Championship Aspirations
Flamengo are one of the most successful teams in Brazil in recent years, winning back to back titles in 2019 and 2020, and a return to the top of the table at the end of the season would be a boost to their fans to show that they can still dominate football in the country.
However with Palmeiras sitting alongside them on 63 points, and clubs all the way down to sixth place all in with a chance of winning the title, there is no guarantee that they will walk away with success. There is one massive game against Atletico Mineiro coming up, before two games they should win – but it all depends on the mentality and focus that they can summon up when the pressure is on. And there are four teams below them who will all harbour their own ambitions.
Current Form and League Standing – Flamengo’s Path to Glory
Flamengo, though, are in the best form of every team in the championship over the last five matches, with four wins and a draw to their name. The same can’t be said of their rivals. Botafogo’s title challenge has fallen away after they failed to win any of their last five matches, Palmeiras have a draw and a loss, while Gremio, Bragantino and Atletico Mineiro cannot match the form of Flamengo.
They will be looking to senior players like Everton Ribeiro, David Luiz – if fit – and Pedro, while Gerson, Matheuzinho and Giorgian de Arrascaeta are all important team members.
Win each of their remaining matches and they need just a single slip-up from Palmeiras to succeed. If they don’t, they will need a helping hand from Botafogo, Atletico Mineiro, Germio and Bragantino, who continue to lurk.
Rivals and Challenges – Who Stands in Flamengo’s Way?
Flamengo face Atlético Mineiro tonight in what could be a huge match. A win would likely knock Atletico out of the running for the title, while it would keep the home side as one of the favourites for the tournament, putting the pressure on those around them to keep up. When they met back in July, Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Wesley earned them a 2-1 win at the Estadio Raimundo Sampaio.
They are perhaps fortunate with their remaining two matches, Cuiaba and then Sao Paolo are both in mid-table, who have no need to fight desperately against relegation, nor do they have any real glory to aim for.
Flamengo will be wary. Back in August, Cuiaba ran out comfortable winners with three second-half goals to win 3-0, and they are yet to win in three attempts against Sao Paulo this season.
If Flamengo win all of their games and Palmeiras make even one mistake, then they will be champions once more.
The worry for Flamengo will be when they come up against Sao Paulo, who boast a host of players with extensive European experience: Lucas Moura, James Rodriguez, Alexandre Pato and Rafinha.
The Road Ahead – Five Decisive Matches
Flamengo v Atletico Mineiro
Atletico Mineiro boast the hugely experienced Hulk in their squad, and just one more goal this season would take him to 30 for the season. While they are fourth in the league, they are just three points off the top of the table, and this could be a massive game in the context of not just the two clubs, but the title itself.
- Date: Wednesday, November 29
- Venue: Maracana Stadium
- Key match-ups: Given the danger posed by 37-year-old Hulk, Leo Pereira and Fabricio Bruno will both need to be at the top of their game to snuff out any danger when it arises.
Flamengo v Cuiaba
After Atletico Mineiro, attention will turn to mid-table Cuiaba. Few will expect a great deal from them, but the league title chase does funny things to the minds of those who know that every mistake is a potential disaster, and every chance a potential title-winner. Win this, and they will still have a chance at glory.
- Date: Sunday, December 3
- Venue: Maracana
- Key match-ups: Flamengo will need to be wary of in-form striker Deyverson, the former Palmeiras forward who already has 14 goals to his name. The 32-year-old could post a stern test to Agustin Rossi in the Flamengo goal.
Sao Paulo v Flamengo
The team from Rio face a trek to Sao Paulo for what could be a make-or-break tie. Sao Paulo have plenty of exciting talent in their line-up, even if they have misfired this season, sitting just below Cuiaba.
- Date: Thursday, December 7
- Venue: Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium
- Key match-ups: Pedro, Everton Ribeiro and Giorgian de Arrascaeta will all be desperate to find a way through and take the pressure off their team early. Three points, if things go their way, will be enough to lift the title once again. Robert Arboleda and Alan Franco will need to keep things at the back. While Lucas Moura could trouble the backline of Flamengo.
Star Players – The Heroes of Flamengo
Everton Ribeiro: Attacking midfielder Everton was regularly linked to European clubs at his peak, but at 34 he has a wealth of experience and can create chances for fun. He has won the league with Flamengo already so can help guide those around him as the pressure mounts in the coming games. He was on hand to score during their last match, a 3-0 win at America-MG.
Pedro: Pedro has been a goal machine for Flamengo ever since his move from Fiorentina. With three games left, he has his best tally for a season of 34, and scored two in the home win over Palmeiras. With Gabriel Barbosa also contributing, he leads the line as one of the most dangerous strikers in Brazil.
Giorgian de Arrascaeta: The Uruguayan is another established player in the Flamengo attacking line-up, who could break double figures for goals this season. This July, he became the first foreigner to register 100 Braziliero games for the club, such is his enduring quality. On Friday, De Arrascaeta scored a vital winner, the only goal of the game, against Bragantino – setting the defeated team’s title challenge decidely off-course, as well as scoring in the huge win over Palmeiras recently.
Flamengo Fan Tokens – A New Way to Engage with Flamengo
Flamengo Fan Tokens are a digital asset that allows you to turn your support for the club into rewards for yourself. As a Fan Token holder, you will have the chance to earn once-in-a-lifetime experiences, unique rewards, and many other prizes for your lifelong passion for Flamengo. Fan tokens will allow you to take part in official team polls, predict results, check-in for matches, play games, and name your favourite players, all while earning reward points to help you earn Fan Rewards.