The Daily Acca: Stalemate between Flamengo and Gremio
There are some season-defining fixtures in Brazil's Serie A tonight and Paul Robinson has picked out his three best bets for Wednesday's edition of the Daily Acca. Here are his selections:
The Acca pays approximately 9/1
Have faith in Internacional back at home
Bet 1: Back Internacional @ 4/5 - KO 21:30 GMT
A defeat at Botafogo on Sunday all but ended Internacional's slender hopes of winning the Campeonato in their first season back in the top flight. They can't give up on their campaign yet though as they need to finish in the top four to automatically qualify for the Copa Libertadores, and they are only three points clear of Sao Paulo in fifth.
Odair Hellmann's side are back on home soil today and they are unbeaten in front of their own fans this term. A total of 13 of their 17 outings have ended in victory, and they will fancy their chances against a poor-travelling, Atletico Mineiro.
The visitors won away from home for the first time since August, last week, but that was a narrow 1-0 success at the already relegated and rock bottom, Parana.
Prior to that it had been four straight away defeats and just two points from a possible 21 on the road. They too could do with the points to maintain their Libertadores' hopes for next year, but they are up against it here.
Vitoria's survival hopes to be dealt another blow
Bet 2: Back Cruzeiro @ 3/4 - KO 23:45 GMT
The selection were beaten last time out at Sao Paulo, but a bit like Internacional above, they are a different proposition on home soil.
The hosts have won four of their last five on this ground and have suffered just three home losses all year. They are pushing to turn their current eighth place into sixth so they can have a shot at the Libertadores as opposed to the Copa Sudamericana, and this is the easiest of their three remaining fixtures.
Opponents, Vitoria, are second from bottom, but it's tight down that end of the table so they still have a chance of escaping the relegation zone. The bottom four go down, but only three points separates 14th to 19th, so all isn't lost.
The problem I have with them however is that they aren't in good form. They were beaten 2-1 at home by an Atletico PR side who were recording their first away victory of the campaign, on Saturday, and that could prove to be a hammer-blow.
Away from home they are actually unbeaten in three - one win and two draws - but those results all came against teams in the bottom five, and they don't have that luxury tonight.
Spoils to be shared between high-flyers
Bet 3: Back The Draw in Flamengo v Gremio @ 21/10 - KO 23:45 GMT
It's second versus fourth at the Maracanã tonight and I'm backing it to end all square.
Palmeiras' shock draw at Parana on Sunday left the door slightly ajar for Flamengo to still catch them, but the gap is six points with just three games to go, and I have a feeling that the leaders will be crowned as champions by the end of the night.
Gremio are clinging on to fourth place thanks to a run of form that has seen them taken 10 points from a possible 12 of late. Sao Paulo are snapping at their heels, but they also have the opportunity to catch both Internacional and Flamengo above them.
The Porto Alegre based club have lost just one of their last five on their travels, and they have already drawn six times away from home this season. The hosts are a tough nut to crack on their own patch, but there isn't much to choose between the pair and a draw looks likely. It's also not a terrible result for either side.
Daily Acca 2018/19 P/L
The Acca pays approximately 9/1
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