Copa Libertadores 2012: Libertad vs Universidad de Chile preview

Libertad vs Universidad de Chile
Estadio Nicolas Leóz
16/05/2012, 18.30 (23.30 BST)

A fascinating game awaits as Libertad welcome the reigning Copa Sudamericana champions Universidad de Chile to Asunción for the 1st leg of the Copa Libertadores Quarter Final tie. This is the only tie in the last eight not involving Brazilian or Argentinian sides and will be an intriguing mix of styles, “La U’s” fluid and flexible attacking play will face a tactically adept Libertad who like to defend deep where they win the ball and build attacks. The Chileans might be favourites for the tie having brushed aside Deportivo Quito in style last week but the home side certainly have the right weapons to hurt their opponents.

Libertad training yesterday – Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Libertad scored three times against Cruz Azul via set pieces and with the quality of Victor Ayala (who set up two in 2nd leg) over free kicks and corners it could be a tough night for the Chilean back line. Of course the Paraguayans haven’t got this far by just being a South American Bolton Wanderers, they are a good footballing side who enjoy longe periods of possession especially through centre midfielders like Víctor Cáceres and Jonathan Sanatana who are masters at keeping the ball. Jorge Burruchaga has made them very organised and they will play 4-4-2 and the midfield will drop deep in front of their defence when they lose the ball which makes them hard to break down. Admittedly Uni. de Chile experienced something similar when they faced Peñarol earlier in the tournament and managed to get a draw.

Angelo Henríquez is La U’s teenage sensation – Photo:

It will be interesting to see how “La U” line up for this game, they usually play with a back three and their wing backs will be key. Matías Rodriguez on the right will want to pressure Miguel Samudio but must also track Luciano Civelli to help his team when they lose the ball. There is tremendous attacking talent in the side, the 17-year-old Angelo Henríquez up front with Gustavo Lorenzetti playing behind him. The Lorenzetti vs Cáceres battle could be key to this game and if the Paraguayan doesn’t stay tight and press well (with support of his teammates) the Chileans will run riot, just ask Nery Pumpido.

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

Prediction: Libertad to take advantage of defensive frailities from dead ball, 2-1

SELECTED ODDS:  Libertad win 2.56, Draw 3.4, Uni. de Chile win 3.15; 2-1 scoreline 11.0, Over 2.5 goals 1.98

BEST BET: Both teams to score is only 1.7 but the safest option if you don’t think Libertad have enough to win




Libertad last 5 home in Copa Libertadores

Pld 5 W 4 D 1 L 0 GF 13 GA 4

Universidad de Chile last 5 away in Copa Libertadores

Pld 5 W 1 D 2 L 2 GF 4 GA 8

Previous meetings between Libertad and Uni. de Chile

1977 – Libertad 3-0 Uni. de Chile

1977 – Uni. de Chile 1-0 Libertad



GK: Rodrigo Muñoz, Bernardo Medina

DEF: Joe Bizera, Carlos Bonet, Ismael Benegas, Cristian Nasuti, Miguel Samudio, Gustavo Mencia

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


By Ralph Hannah

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


One response to “Copa Libertadores 2012: Libertad vs Universidad de Chile preview

  1. Pingback: Barcos notches hat-trick for Liga

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