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Copa Libertadores final predictions: Flamengo to prevail in all-Brazilian showpiece
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Bobbie Jackson
Flamengo boss Dorival Junior will hope to add the Copa Libertadores to his trophy haul
Flamengo boss Dorival Junior will hope to add the Copa Libertadores to his trophy haul

- Two-time winners facing surprise package in showpiece final
- Flamengo unbeaten in the competition (11 wins, one draw)
- Recommended bet: Back Flamengo to win and over 2.5 goals

The biggest club prize in South American football will be handed over to either Flamengo or Athletico Paranaense on Saturday when they meet in the final of the 2022 Copa Libertadores.

Flamengo are veterans of the competition and have twice lifted the trophy, beating Cobreloa in the 1981 final and overcoming River Plate in the 2019 edition, while finishing runners-up in 2021.

They sealed their place in the final for the third time in four years after easing to a 6-1 aggregate victory over Velez Sarsfield in the semi-final.

Athletico Paranaense, meanwhile, have only reached the final on one previous occasion when they were beaten 5-1 over two legs by Sao Paulo in 2005.

Few would have predicted that Athletico, who finished 14th and just four points clear of relegation in Serie A last season, would have any chance of reaching this stage of the competition.

However, they have defied the odds, thanks largely to the experience of head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, to reach a second successive major continental final after winning last season's Copa Sudamericana and therefore earning passage into the 2022 edition of the Copa Libertadores.

Team news

Flamengo head coach Dorival Junior looks set to be without Arturo Vidal for this crunch clash after the former Inter Milan and Barcelona midfielder sat out the 3-2 win over Santos in Serie A on Wednesday.

Forward Bruno Henrique is a long-term absentee and has not featured since June due to a knee injury, while defensive duo Rodrigo Caio and Guillermo Varela are also in the treatment room.

Midfielder Thiago Maia returned from injury to take up a place on the bench against Santos and he could play some part at the Estadio Monumental in Guayaquil in Ecuador.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal defender David Luiz should be deployed in the heart of defence, while ex-Atletico Madrid and Chelsea left-back Felipe Luis is also likely to get the nod to start.

Athletico Paranaense coach Luiz Felipe Scolari can call upon the experienced Fernandinho
Athletico Paranaense coach Luiz Felipe Scolari can call upon the experienced Fernandinho

Athletico Paranaense attacking duo Julimar and Marcelo Cirino are unavailable due to injury and midfielder Reinaldo Nascimento Satorno also misses out.

Fernandinho, who returned to his boyhood club after his contract with Manchester City expired over the summer, is likely to be the anchor in midfield for Scolari's side.

The stats

The Serie A title is out of reach for Flamengo as they trail leaders Palmeiras by 13 points with four games left to play but they are in good form heading into Saturday's final.

Flamengo are unbeaten in eight across all competitions, having won six during that sequence, and confidence is high after they overcame Corinthians to win the Copa do Brasil earlier this month.

Rubro-Negro won the Copa Libertadores on their maiden appearance in the 1981 edition and they also lifted the trophy in 2019.

Striker Pedro, who had a brief spell in Italy with Fiorentina, is the top scorer in the competition with 12 goals for Flamengo, including a hat-trick in the first-leg of their semi-final tie with Velez Sarsfield.

Athletico Paranaense head into the final on the back of successive Serie A defeats and they have only won two of their last 10 outings across all competitions.

They beat three-time champions Palmeiras 3-2 in the semi-finals and have kept six clean sheets from their 12 fixtures in this season's Copa Libertadores, although they only finished second in their group.

Athletico have won just one of four meetings with Flamengo across all competitions this season, losing two and drawing one.


Experience looks set to be a major factor in the 2022 Copa Libertadores final and Flamengo should have the tools to get the job done in Ecuador.

It is also hard to ignore recent form with Flamengo building momentum over the past month to enjoy an eight-game unbeaten run and they appear to be hitting their stride at just the right time.

There is little value in backing Flamengo to add a third Copa Libertadores title to their trophy cabinet but backing them to win with over 2.5 goals at 6/4 with LiveScore Bet is a more attractive prospect.

Flamengo have not lost a single game in the competition this season, winning 11 and drawing one and eight of those fixtures have seen at least three goals scored.


FlamengoAthletico ParanaenseCopa Libertadores
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