Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks, bettors heavily favor Flamengo in this final, over their Brazilian rivals. Flamengo are rated as -200 favorites by some sportsbooks, while Athletico Paranaense are priced between +520 and +575 and the draw is considered a +310 chance.
|Flamengo v Athletico Paranaense|
Copa Libertadores Betting Briefing
The Copa Libertadores is the premier South American club soccer tournament, run by the continental football organization CONMEBOL. First staged in 1960, it was expanded in 2000, and the tournament proper now features 32 teams from 10 South American associations.
Since its inception, a total of 25 clubs have won the competition, with Independiente of Argentina holding the record of seven wins. Clubs from Argentina have accumulated the highest number of wins, with 25, while Brazil has produced the highest number of different winners, including one of this year’s finalists, Flamengo, who won the tournament in 1981 and 2019.
This year’s final is being staged at the Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This will be the third time that the competition has been hosted by Ecuador, but the first time for Guayaquil as the 2008 and 2016 tournaments were held in the capital, Quito.
Flamengo in Form
They made a slow start to the season, but Flamengo have found form under new manager Dorival Junior who took over from Paulo Sousa for his third spell at the club. After winning only four of their first 18 games in Serie A, Flamengo have climbed the table steadily, while achieving success in the Copa do Brasil and reaching the final of the Copa Libertadores.
After losing out in extra time against Palmeiras in the final last year, Flamengo have been impressive throughout the competition, particularly in the knockout stages when they have looked unbeatable. They beat Deportes Tolima of Colombia 8-1 on aggregate in the Round of 16 and followed that with a 3-0 win over Corinthians in the quarter-finals and a comprehensive 6-1 thrashing of Velez Sarsfield in the semi-finals to reach the final for the fourth time, and the third time in the last four years.
Paranaense Improving under Scolari
Luiz Filipe Scolari was given the task of turning Athletico Paranaense’s season around when he took over in May. The club were languishing in 16th place in Serie A at the time, but under Scolari there has been steady improvement and going into the final weeks of the season, they are sixth in the table.
Although they have scored some impressive results, including a victory over Palmeiras in July, the main improvement has been in their defensive solidity. They recorded a run of three clean sheets earlier in the fall and although their form has overall been mixed, their recent games have been low scoring at both ends, making them tough opponents to play against.
Unlike their opponents in the Copa Libertadores Final, Paranaense don’t have a great record in the tournament. They’ve only once reached the final before this year, back in 2005, and they’ve certainly had to do it the hard way this season, finishing second in their Group before coming through a series of closely fought games to get to the final.
They edged past Libertad of Paraguay in a close Round of 16 matchup and came through an equally tough game against Argentina’s Estudiantes in the quarter-final, progressing thanks to a goal from Vitor Roque in the sixth minute of injury time at the end of the second leg.
Their most impressive performance was in the semi-final against reigning champions Palmeiras. They won their home leg 1-0 but were in trouble just before the hour mark of the return leg, trailing 2-0. Yet against the odds they scored twice in the second half through Pablo and David Terans to level the game on the night and progress to the final.
Copa Libertadores Team News
Flamengo are dealing with a couple of injuries as they prepare for this game. Bruno Henrique’s knee injury, sustained in the summer, is likely to keep him out of action until next year and Rodrigo Caio has also been out with a knee injury although there is a chance that he could be available for this game depending on how well his recovery progresses.
The team news is slightly worse for Paranaense as they are still dealing with three long-term absentees. Marcelo Cirino will be out for the season due to a torn ACL and the knee injuries sustained by Reinaldo and Julimar will also mean they won’t be available until next year.
Copa Libertadores Betting Pick
Flamengo are the strong favorites for this game, but the bookmakers could be underestimating their opponents. Paranaense have had to come through some tough games to get to the final and they have one of the most experienced managers in world football who has won this tournament twice. They will aim to keep this game tight and make Flamengo work for every chance they get and given their recent defensive solidity, a normal time draw looks like the best betting pick.