Libertad vs Palmeiras
Nicolás Leóz, Asunción
28/02/2013; 19:15 (22:15 GMT)
TV: Fox Sports (Paraguay); ESPN (UK)
The first meeting between these two teams in the Copa Libertadores as São Paulo side Palmeiras visit Asunción hoping to make it four wins from four for the Brazilian clubs this week. The last time Palmeiras were in the Paraguayan capital was Valentine’s Day 2006, they drew 0-0 with Cerro Porteño that evening. Ruben Israel’s side are hoping to go top of the group having won their opener against Tigre in Argentina.
Libertad tasted defeat for the first time in 20 games on Sunday, admittedly it was a slightly changed team with player’s being rested for tonight’s clash. We should see an organised 4-4-2 that presses hard in midfield but rarely over-exerts so as not to leave too much space at the back. Those who read the blog regularly will know how highly I rate Pablo Guiñazú but it is worth re-iterating just how important he is to Libertad this year, his experience especially against Brazilian sides will be critical.
Palmeiras were relegated last year but that doesn’t directly affect the Copa Libertadores campaign as they are still playing the state championships. Of course one thing it has meant is that certain players have left the Verdão including Argentine striker Hernan Barcos who has an excellent record in this competition (he’s already got 2 this year with new club Grêmio). His replacement up front is the teenager Vinícius who has become a regular so far this season and has formed a good relationship with another youngster called Patrick Vieira who like his illustrious namesake is a midfielder.
Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Jorge Moreira, Pedro Benitez, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia; William Mendieta, Sergio Aquino, Pablo Guiñazu, Miguel Samudio; Pablo Velazquez, José Ariel Nuñez
Palmeiras XI (possible): Fernando Prass; Weldinho, Mauricio Ramos, Henrique, Marcelo Oliveira; Vilson, Marco Araujo, Souza, Wesley; Patrick Vieira; Vinicius
Selected Odds: Libertad win 1.9, Draw 3.75, Palmeiras win 4.7, 1-1 draw 8.0, Under 2.5 goals 1.81
Best Bet: For whatever reason Libertad don’t have a great record against Brazilian sides at home, so I’m not tempted by the win, Under 2.5 looks best for me
Libertad head-to-head vs Brazilian opposition (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 14 W 3 D 4 L 7 GF 11 GA 17
Libertad at home vs Brazilian opposition (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 7 W 2 D 3 L 2 GF 8 GA 6
Libertad last 5 home (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 5 W 3 D 2 L 0 GF 10 GA 4
Libertad have reached the Quarter Finals in their previous four continental competitions
By Ralph Hannah
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