Alvinegro will have classics with Vasco and Flu, important to determine their situation in Carioca and clashes in the preliminary phase of the Libertadores
Botafogo will start a decisive sequence in the first part of the season. This is because the Rio team will have obligations that will determine their situation in Carioca and even in the Libertadores. Alvinegro will face two classics, Vasco and Fluminense respectively. Except he's just over a week away from making his debut in South America's main club competition.
Before the clashes with their rivals, Glorioso will face Volta Redonda next Wednesday (14) in Raulino de Oliveira, in the eighth round of Carioca. Currently, Tiago Nunes' team are fifth in the country with 11 points.
Among the big teams in Rio, the last place in the semi-finals should be taken by Botafogo and Vasco. This is because they both have two Tricolor classics and even a direct confrontation ahead of them. The winner of this match will probably be the one who will be in the semi-finals.
In fact, the dispute is very fierce. Fluminense leads with some ease, having a three-point advantage over second place. Next in line is Nova Iguaçu, a big surprise that all the big clubs have already faced and which has 14 points. In other words, they will face other, less important teams and they tend to be the disruptors of this edition. Flamengo is third with 12 points, but with one game in hand, as well as a draw with Cruz-Maltino and a victory over Alvinegro. Gigante da Colina rounds out Carioca G4 with 12 points, one less than Glorioso.
The situation of Botafogo in Carioca
It is worth remembering that in Botafogo's last appearances in the country since 2021, they were eliminated from the semi-finals twice. Exactly in this first year and last season. He reached the Taça Rio final on both occasions and won the title on both occasions. In 2023, the trophy earned him a place in the next edition of the Copa do Brasil.
In the classic of Vasco, which will take place next Sunday (18) for Carioca in Nilton Santos, Alvinegro will have to retain part of the team's starting lineup. After all, their first match in the second qualifying phase of the Libertadores will take place in the middle of next week. With an opponent yet to be determined.
After the state championship, Glorioso will continue to fight Audax until they face Fluminense in the final round of the preliminary stage. The date has not been set yet, but it should take place between March 3 and 4.
Panorama in Libertadores
Alvinegro was not among the top four teams in the last edition of Série A after leading the competition for 31 rounds. Therefore, their place in the Libertadores group stage depends on defeating their opponents in the preliminary stages of the continental tournament. His first opponent has not been chosen yet.
This is because Botafogo is waiting for a winner between Melgar from Peru and Aurora from Bolivia to emerge. In the first match in Bolivia, Aurora did better and won 1-0. The standings will be decided by the teams next Wednesday (14), this time in Peru, and the Bolivian team takes the field with the advantage of a draw.
Glorioso's first match in the second phase of the Libertadores is played away. Rio's delegation will be extremely tired from the long journey just a few days after the derby against Vasco. Whether it's Cochabamba, Bolivia, or Arequipa, Peru, coach Tiago Nunes will have another hurdle to overcome. After all, both cities are above sea level and contain altitude interference.
Watch the Botafogo match sequence
Volta Redonda x Botafogo – Carioca – Wednesday (February 14, 2024) – 19:00 (Brazilian time)
Botafogo and Vasco – Carioca – Sunday (February 18, 2024) – 16:00 (Brazilian time)
Aurora/Melgar x Botafogo – Libertadores – To be determined
Audax x Botafogo – Carioca Championship – February 24 or 25
Botafogo x Aurora/Melgar – Libertadores – To be determined
Fluminense x Botafogo – Carioca – March 2 or 3