In the early hours of Tuesday (GMT), Fluminense host Avai in the Brazilian Serie A, as both teams look to kick-start their league campaigns.
Fluminense (Odds of 4/7 for victory)
The home side currently sits 18th place in the Brazilian top-flight, five points clear of their bottom of the table opponents. However, the Tricolor have played one fewer league game than their fellow strugglers. Depending on other results in Serie A, a victory could be enough for Flu to escape the relegation zone.
Unfortunately for the home side, victories have been hard to come by for Flu, who have won just one of their last ten games in Serie A. To make matters worse, they have also lost four of previous five matches in the Brazilian top-flight.
Last time out in the league, Fluminense suffered a 1-0 home defeat against fellow strugglers CSA. The result was a disappointing one for the team jointly coached by Marcao and Oswaldo de Oliveira.
An inconsistent home record in Serie A has not helped Flu’s chances of moving out of the relegation zone. Just one win in their last five league matches at the famous Maracana is a poor record. Fluminense are the favourites to win this clash and that record straight.
Avai (Odds for victory 6/1)
Avai are once again struggling at the bottom of Serie A. In fact, they have become the whipping boys of the Brazilian top-flight. The strugglers are currently five points adrift and eight points from safety. Even at this stage of the season, the visitors looked doomed to the drop.
Avai have failed to win this season in Serie A. In fact, they are winless in 17 matches in the Brazilian top-flight. Last time out, the visitors at least managed a respectable 1-1 home draw against Corinthians. They will be hoping the draw leads to better fortunes this season.
One of their main problems of late has been scoring goals, as Avai have to score in seven of their last ten league outings. Surprising though, the visitors are only the second-lowest scoring team in Serie A. Only 19th place CSA have scored fewer goals than Avai’s eight goals this season in the Brazilian top-flight.
To say that Avai have been travel sick on their travels of late in Serie A would be a major understatement. The visitors have not won in 12 away games in the Brazilian top-flight.
They have suffered five straight away defeats in Serie A, having failed to score in four of their last five away games, while also conceding at least twice in four of those five defeats. It is fair to say Avai do not travel well.
Both of these teams are on poor runs of form in Serie A. Home advantage and slightly better form should be enough for Fluminense to pick up a rare win. However, as their last home outing in Serie A against CSA proved, confidence is fragile in the Flu camp.
We do however believe that the home side will record a victory. It could be a tight game, so the under 2.5 goals at odds of 7/10 does not look a terrible bet either.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 4/7 and/or the under 2.5 goals at odds of 7/10 (all odds from Bet365)
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Who will come out on top between Fluminense and Avai?