This Wednesday, one of Brazil's biggest football rivalries will recommence when Fluminense host Flamengo at the world-famous Maracana stadium, in a game known as the 'Flu-Fla' or 'Fla-Flu derby.
After a sloppy start to the season under new manager Domenec Torrent, the Rubro-Negro have started to turn things around in recent weeks by winning their last three matches. This has slowly released the pressure that eluded Torrent's first few games in charge.
After losing their first two games, Flamengo are now unbeaten in their last six outings. At the weekend they enjoyed a win over Fortaleza, doing so thanks to a late goal from Gabriel Barbosa against Fortaleza.
On the other side of the curtain, Fluminense, after a positive start, have stagnated in their last two matchups by drawing at home to Atletico-GO and suffering a 3-1 loss to Sao Paulo last time out. Now they will be keen to bounce back against their bitter rivals.
Fluminense vs Flamengo Head-to-Head
The two sides have already locked horns three times since the return of Brazilian football back in July, in the Rio State Championship.
Of the three matches, its Flamengo who have the upper hand, winning two compared to Fluminense's one, however, that was when Jorge Jesus was still in charge of Flamengo. This meeting will mark the first Flu-Fla derby of Torrent's career.
With both sides usually playing at the Maracana, home advantage is unlikely to matter, even more so with the fact there will be no fans in attendance.
Fluminense Form Guide - W W W D L
Flamengo Form Guide - D D W W W
Fluminense vs Flamengo Team News
Fluminense will be without Pablo Dyego and Wesley Frazan, who are ruled out through injury.
Muriel Becker, who has missed the last few matches with injuries, could return to the starting lineup.
Injury: Pablo Dyego and Wesley Frazan
Doubtful: Muriel Becker
Evanilson will also miss the matchup as he is expected to leave Fluminense for Crystal Palace, with Marcos Paulo is likely to come instead.
For Flamengo, they continue to be without key forward Bruno Henrique, who is undergoing treatment for a knee injury, although his side are hopeful that he will return on Sunday.
Pedro Rocha picked up an injury midweek and will also miss the clash.
However, Pedro, Michael, Vitinho and Lincoln are all in contention to partner Gabriel Barbosa upfront.
Injuries: Bruno Henrique, Pedro Rocha and Joao Lucas
Fluminense vs Flamengo Predicted XIs
Fluminense Predicted XI (4-3-3): Muriel Becker, Lucas Calegari, Nino, Luccas Claro, Egidio, Ganso, Dodi, Nene, Michel Araujo, Fred, Marcos Paulo
Fluminense vs Flamengo Prediction
Although Flamengo have been improving recently, there are still a few teething problems they will be hoping to address especially defending.
Already since the break, they have had trouble against Fluminense and each time they have played it's been a close affair, which it's likely to be the case on Wednesday.
Fluminense will be hoping to bounce back following two results and a perfect way to do that would be with a victory over their biggest rivals.
Prediction: Fluminense 1-2 FlamengoPublished 08 Sep 2020, 06:42 IST