Copa Libertadores Final: San Lorenzo vs Nacional preview

San Lorenzo vs Nacional
Nuevo Gasómetro, Buenos Aires 
13/08/2014; 20:15 (01:15 BST)
Final, 2nd Leg (1-1 aggregate)
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America)

Just ten years ago the Tricolor were crowned Intermedia champions earning a return to the Primera División, captain Raúl Piris was part of that team, now he has the chance to lift the continent’s most prestigious trophy and arguably the second most important club trophy in the world. It has been a remarkable rise for this historic yet tiny club, their stadium in Barrio Obrero has only had floodlights for just over a year and getting more than 1,000 people into the Arsenio Erico for a league game is rare. But now they stand on the edge of glory, Julio Santa Cruz’s last gasp equalizer in the first leg in Asunción means they don’t have to take the game to San Lorenzo and they will be stronger with the return of key players.

Santa Cruz scores - AFP PHOTO / GUSTAVO SEGOVIA

Santa Cruz scores – AFP PHOTO / GUSTAVO SEGOVIA

Nacional simply couldn’t get the ball of Ortigoza at the base of the Cuervo midfield in the first leg and while it will be a difficult task tonight they welcome back defensive midfielder Marcos Riveros who was sorely missed in Asunción. With his presence the Academia will have more bite in midfield and should see more possession. Brian Montenegro is also back and is likely to play up front with Fredy Bareiro, the youngster is such a clinical finisher which makes him a great asset for a team set up to play on the break and likely to create few chances. The key player in the 2nd leg games to date has been Ignacio Don the goalkeeper and the 32-year-old will need to continue his fine form to give the Paraguayans a chance of snatching the silverware.

Conceding the late equalizer was  a sucker punch for San Lorenzo but they will have taken heart from their dominant performance and the fact they’ve won 5 of their 6 home games in this competition. Ignacio Piatti has joined Montreal Impact which is obviously a big blow but there is plenty of quality in Romagnoli the 20-year-old Villalba and the hard working Mercier who belies his 34 years with his constant running.

Nacional XI (probable): Ignacio Don; Ramón Coronel, Raúl Piris, Leonardo Cáceres, David Mendoza; Marcos Melgarejo, Marcos Riveros, Silvio Torales, Derlis Orué; Brian Montenegro, Fredy Bareiro

Prediction: 2-0

Selected Odds: San Lorenzo win 1.46, Draw 4.4,  Nacional win 10.0, 2-0 home win 5.8, Under 2.5 goals 1.72

Best Bet: San Lorenzo have been so strong at home while Nacional haven’t won away since 2009, the home win seems the right choice

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Stats and Trivia

The last side to win the 2nd leg away in the final was Estudiantes in 2009 managed by former Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella

Nacional’s only other Copa Libertadores game on 13 August was in 1986 and ended in a 2-1 defeat to Olimpia

Gustavo Morinigo, aged 37, is the youngest manager in the final since Marcelo Bielsa who took Newell’s to the final in 1992

Nacional vs Argentinian opposition  (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 7 W 3 D 3 L 1 GF 9 GA 6

Nacional in Argentina (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 3 W 0 D 2 L 1 GF 2 GA 3 
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Authors Note: All odds are selected from Betfair Sports and accurate at the time of writing, there is a live market on this game

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