Copa Libertadores 2012: Libertad vs Cruz Azul Preview

Libertad vs Cruz Azul
Estadio Nicolas Leóz
08/05/2012, 21.30 (02.30 BST)

Libertad will be slight favourites heading into this one by virtue of Velzáquez’s vital away goal in the first leg which means their opponents will have to come on the attack in tonight’s return game. That should suit Jorge Burruchaga’s side who enjoy soaking up the pressure before picking sides apart with their rapid passing game.

Libertad training on Sunday ahead of game – Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

The Gumarelo are likely to line up with the same side that took to the field in the Estadio Azul last week with the only doubt between Jonathan Santana and Rodolfo Gamarra. The latter offers more attacking threat on the wing which could help Libertad profit from counter attacks. Both players are on good form having scored one each at the weekend against Guaraní while the team are performing postively and haven’t tasted defeat for ten games. Defence will be key here, the recent return of Cristian Nasuti alongside Ismael Benegas is a boost but it is Carlos Bonet and Miguel Samudio at full back who must be aware to the threat of Maranhão who drifted to either flank in the first leg.

Cruz Azul will have had a gruelling journey (at least 15 hours long) but have the small positive that they played and won in this stadium earlier in the year. Other than the aforementioned Maranhão the Mexicans were dangerous up front with Edixon Perea and his strike partner Javier Orozco has thrived against Paraguayan opposition so far in the tournament. La Maquina must avoid giving away too many free kicks something they were guilty of throughout the opening encounter, if not they will be punished.

Libertad XI (probable): R.Muñoz; C.Bonet, C.Nasuti, I.Benegas, M.Samudio; S.Aquino, J.Santana, V.Caceres, L.Civelli; P.Velázquez, J.A.Nuñez

Prediction: Libertad to keep their good run of form going and qualify by the single goal, 1-0

SELECTED ODDS:  Libertad win 1.75, Draw 3.75, Cruz Azul win 5.9; 1-0 scoreline 6.9, Under 2.5 goals 1.76

BEST BET: Libertad cleansheet is evens and although they have leaked goals so far Burruchaga’s side are a different proposition in the knockout stages, they have kept four cleansheets in their last five continental second legs – could be worth a punt

GAME LIVE ON BETFAIR VIDEO

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STATS & TRIVIA

Libertad last 5 home in Copa Libertadores

Pld 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 GF 14 GA 8

Cruz Azul last 5 away in Copa Libertadores

Pld 5 W 1 D 2 L 2 GF 4 GA 3

Libertad vs Mexican sides in Copa Libertadores (since 2000)

Pld 11 W 5 D 3 L 3 GF 13 GA 10

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FULL SQUAD LIST:

GK: Rodrigo Muñoz, Bernardo Medina

DEF: Joe Bizera, Carlos Bonet, Ismael Benegas, Cristian Nasuti, Miguel Samudio, Jorge Moreira

MID: Sergio Aquino, Luciano Civelli, Víctor Cáceres, Víctor Ayala, Jonathan Santana, Marcos Melgarejo, Néstor Camacho, Rodolfo Gamarra

ATT: Pablo Velazquez, Cristian Menendez, José Ariel Nuñez, Maurito Caballero

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By Ralph Hannah

Author’s Note: All odds up to date at the time of writing, vía Betfair

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One response to “Copa Libertadores 2012: Libertad vs Cruz Azul Preview

  1. Pingback: Cruz Azul golea 3-0 al Neza en la Copa MX | Copa MX

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