Palmeiras vs Libertad
Pacaembú, São Paulo
28/02/2013; 18:15 (23:15 BST)
TV: Fox Sports (Paraguay); ESPN (UK)
A big crowd is expected in Brazil’s largest city with the Verdão looking for a win to secure passage into the next round. Libertad too need a victory to be sure they are into the knockout phases although they have a home game against Tigre next week in case they can’t wrap things up this evening. The previous encounter between these sides in Asunción finished 2-0 to the Paraguayan outfit.
Libertad make just one change from last time around, Pablo Velazquez is suspended so the Uruguayan Mauro Guevgeozian will partner José Ariel Nuñez (back from injury) up front. If Sergio Aquino doesn’t play in central midfield his replacement will be Sebastian Eguren. Expect the Gumarelo to be defensive, a point is golden here and Ruben Israel won’t want to overstretch his side in the vast expanses of the Pacaembú. As ever Cholo Guiñazú is the lynchpin, breaking up plays and the go-to man in midfield to keep possession and maintain rhythm.
Second division Palmeiras are still one of the stronger sides in the tournament and to date have a 100% record at home. In front of an expectant crowd they are likely to perform better than they did in February against Libertad. They are currently on an excellent run of form, winning their previous three matches.
Palmeiras XI (possible): Fernando Prass; Ayrton, Mauricio Ramos, Henrique, Marcelo Oliveira; Juninho, Marcio Araujo, Souza, Charles; Klever; Vinicius
Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Jorge Moreira, Pedro Benitez, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia; William Mendieta, Sergio Aquino, Pablo Guiñazu, Miguel Samudio; Mauro Guevgeozian , José Ariel Nuñez
Selected Odds: Palmeiras win 2.08, Draw 3.5, Libertad win 4.2, 1-0 home win 7.6, Under 2.5 goals 1.71
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals in what is sure to be a tight battle.
Libertad head-to-head vs Brazilian opposition (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 15 W 4 D 4 L 7 GF 13 GA 17
Libertad’s first ever Copa Libertadores game in São Paulo, in the 2011 Sudamericana they lost 1-0 to SPFC in the Morumbi
Libertad last 5 home (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 5 W 2 D 3 L 0 GF 7 GA 4
Libertad have reached the Quarter Finals in their previous four continental competitions
By Ralph Hannah
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