Amidst controversy over the presence of the public in the stands of Maracanã, Flamengo and Grêmio face off this Wednesday (15th), at 9:30 pm (Brasilia time), to decide the opponent of Athletico-PR in one of the semifinals of the World Cup from Brazil.
The red-black advantage is considerable. In the first game, at Arena do Grêmio, the Cariocas thrashed 4-0. The goals were all scored in the second half, even after the expulsion of full-back Mauricio Isla at the end of the first stage. Defender Bruno Viana, full-back Rodinei and forwards Vitinho and Michael scored in Porto Alegre.
The current two-time Brazilian champion qualifies until he loses by a three-goal difference in Rio de Janeiro. To Tricolor Gaucho, only a victory by five or more goals over the balance matters. If Grêmio fans equal the aggregate score, the decision will be on penalties. Unlike Libertadores, the goal scored away from home is not a tiebreaker.
The presence of the public in this Wednesday’s game was guaranteed by an injunction from the Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) in favor of Flamengo, which obtained release from the City of Rio de Janeiro to host three matches with fans in the stands, which will serve as events- test. For the duel against Grêmio, the authorized capacity at Maracanã is almost 24,800 seats (35% of the total).
The release goes against the will of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and most of the clubs in the Serie A of Brasileirão, who decided, in a Technical Council, to promote the return of the public only when all cities with teams involved in the competition authorize their presence of fans. Last Friday (10), 17 of the 20 associations of the first division filed a lawsuit to suspend the injunction, but the Court rejected the request on Tuesday (14).
Grêmio threatened not to take the field if the game had ticket sales, but the possibility faded. The club from Rio Grande do Sul understands that this goes against the protocol for the fans to return to the stadiums, which indicates the holding of round-trip matches without a public, in eliminatory duels, if one of the teams does not have the same authorization to receive fans.
Probable Flamengo and Grêmio teams
Coach Renato Gaúcho has problems to play Flamengo. In addition to the absence of Isla, who will be suspended, full-back Filipe Luís (calf) and midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta (left thigh) are in the medical department. Midfielder Diego (calf) and forward Bruno Henrique (thigh) are undergoing physical conditioning. Defender Rodrigo Caio, full-back Renê and forward Gabriel, in turn, participated in a collective activity with athletes who did not play in the victory by 3-1 over Palmeiras, last Sunday (12), and should be available.
The probable Red-Black will have
- Diego Alves;
- Matheuzinho, Gustavo Henrique, Bruno Viana and Ramon;
- Willian Arão, Andreas Pereira and Everton Ribeiro;
- Michael, Vitinho and Gabriel.
Concerned about the sequence of the Brazilian Championship (where Grêmio is in the relegation zone) and aware of the difficulty of reversing the Rio advantage in the confrontation, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari should take a mixed team to Maracanã, saving some holders. Midfielder Thiago Santos, midfielder Alisson and forward Ferreirinha were not even listed. Besides them, defender Pedro Geromel and forward Douglas Costa are in the medical department, while midfielder Jean Pyerre, recovering from conjunctivitis, is also out of action.
Felipão must climb the Tricolor with
- Gabriel Chapecó;
- Rafinha, Rodrigues, Walter Kannemann and Bruno Cortez;
- Lucas Silva, Mathías Villasanti and Jaminton Campaz;
- Léo Pereira, Everton and Miguel Borja.
Where to watch Flamengo x Grêmio
TV Globo, Premiere, SportTV
From the writing with Agência Brasil