Botafogo has shortages in defense for the classic against Flamengo, but there may be a return or novelty in the sector

THE Botafogo will have one of its biggest challenges of the first round of the Brasileirão this Sunday. At Estádio Mané Garrincha, Alvinegro faces Flamengo, at 11 am, for the fifth round of the competition. In addition to facing a rival in direct confrontation, Glorioso has two important absences in the defensive sector. Without Philipe Sampaio and Carli, Luís Castro has the mission of reorganizing the defense without many options. On the other hand, Kanu has chances to return to the pitch.

Joel Carli is one match away from making history at Botafogo. If he played against Flamengo, the Argentine would become the foreigner to play more matches by Alvinegro. One of the leaders in the team, the defender takes care of the message on the field, but comes from injury.

In March, the player suffered a bone swelling in his right ankle. Despite having returned to training without limitations with the squad, he will not participate in the round, as he has been out of action for almost two months and is still unable to play.

In the last round, Philipe Sampaio also suffered an injury. The player injured the medial collateral ligament in his right knee and is not expected to return. Reinforcement for the season, the defender won the title, alongside Kanu, and had been regular in the performances.

+ With Luís Castro, Botafogo increases tackles and doubles interceptions compared to Carioca

However, in the draw with Juventude, the player committed a double fault that ended up culminating in the opponent’s goal. On this day, Sampaio already left Nilton Santos Stadium wearing a orthopedic bootand interrupted the sequence with the scolding of the crowd.

Kanu, who was injured in the 1-1 draw with Atlético-GO, is still in doubt. This week, the athlete trained with the rest of the cast and the expectation for his return to the team is great. According to data from ‘Sofascore’, shirt 4 alvinegro is the defender with the most goals in Serie A of the Brazilian Championship. In addition, he has 87% accuracy in passes, recovered 60 balls, made 20 interceptions and made 12 tackles.

See the rankings of Serie A of the Brasileirão

The player is an important piece for Glorioso and, therefore, due to the large number of absences, Kanu can return to the starting 11, due to the defensive consistency given to the sector, along with the sense of goals in Botafogo’s aerial ball.

​Although Kanu does not play, coach Luís Castro has options on the bench. Klaus, hired for the season, has yet to debut for Alvinegro. Victor Cuesta, who arrived in the “Textor Era”, has played only two games so far and can offer the necessary experience to play a classic. In addition to them, there is also Lucas Mezenga, who played four games and scored a goal in Carioca, and Kawan, who created the alvinegra base.

The tendency is for the Argentine to start and the headache will be on account of the other vacancy. Therefore, Mister lives a dilemma to climb the Botafogo defense for its first classic: the return of Kanu or bet on youth to win three points and surpass the rival in the table.

*Interns under the supervision of Hugo Mirandela

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