Copa Libertadores - Match Prediction: Libertad VS Atletico Nacional Medellin

Posted Wed, 07 Apr 2021 09:05:03 GMT        

Match Time:4/8/2021 08:30 Thursday  (GMT+8)

Copa Libertadores --  Libertad   VS   Atletico Nacional Medellin

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Paraguayan side Club Libertad host Colombian outfit Atletico Nacional in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie of the Copa Libertadores at 21:30 local time on Wednesday evening. The hosts were knocked out of last year's competition by eventual winners Palmeiras, while the visitors were eliminated at this stage last year by Libertad.

 

Match preview

Club Libertad progressed from the second qualifying round of the Copa Libertadores after a 3-2 aggregate win against Ecuadorian side Universidad Catolica last month.

 

A slender 1-0 victory in the first leg was followed up with a 2-2 draw on home soil, and a brace from Carlos Ferreira helped seal Libertad's place in the next round.

 

The Asuncion-based outfit now face four challenging fixtures as they look to not only progress to the group stages of the Copa Libertadores, but to also keep their hopes alive of winning the league title.

 

Club Libertad, 20-time Paraguayan Primera Division champions, are currently one of four sides at the top of the table after 10 matches, but they have two crucial games against second-placed Guairena and fourth-placed Cerro Porteno sandwiched in between their Copa Libertadores qualifiers.

 

Head coach Daniel Garnero is aware of this potentially season-defining run and hopes that his players can perform at the levels expected if they are to keep their dreams of silverware in sight.

 

Club Libertad have remarkably reached the Copa Libertadores group stages in 17 of the last 19 years and will be looking to continue this run with a strong showing on Wednesday.

 

Atletico Nacional also managed to progress to the third qualifying round after cruising to a 5-0 victory against Paraguayan side Club Guarani last month.

 

A 2-0 away victory was followed up with a comfortable 3-0 home win, thanks to a brace from Andres Andrade and a strike from Jarlan Barrera.

 

El Verde, Colombia's most successful club with 16 top-flight titles, are currently top of the Categoria Primera A with a game in hand on their nearest challengers La Equidad and are on course to finish as league leaders before the league splits off into an eight-team knockout tournament.

 

Atletico Nacional have won the Copa Libertadores twice before, winning in 1989 and more recently in 2016, beating Ecuadorian side Independiente de Valle 2-1 in the final.

 

Alexandre Guimaraes, who became the club's manager in December 2020, is hoping he can guide El Verde towards another final, but will be aware that Wednesday's opponents should not be underestimated.

 

Club Libertad Copa Libertadores form: WD

Club Libertad form (all competitions): WWDWDL

 

Atletico Nacional Copa Libertadores form: WW

Atletico Nacional form (all competitions): WWWDLW

 

Team News

Libertad boss Garnero could line up with an attacking 3-4-3 formation on Wednesday, with Ivan Ramirez and Ayrton Cougo operating as wing-backs.

 

Thirty-seven-year-old former Benfica forward Oscar Cardozo is expected to start up front alongside Ivan Franco and Bautista Merlini.

 

For Atletico Nacional, Yerson Candelo could be replaced in the starting lineup by Jonathan Marulanda, while Baldomero Perlaza may start ahead of Michael Chacon in centre-midfield.

 

Key attacking duo Andrade and Jefferson Duque, who have 11 goals between them this season, are both expected to make the first XI.

 

Club Libertad possible starting lineup:

Silva; Baez, Bocanegra, Barboza; Ramirez, Martinez, Bogarin, Cougo; Franco, Cardozo, Merlini

 

Atletico Nacional possible starting lineup:

Quintana; Marulanda, Mosquera, Oliveira, Banguero; Rovira, Perlaza; Barrera, Andrade, Castro; Duque

 

Club Libertad VS Atletico Nacional

Club Libertad 1-2 Atletico Nacional

Copa Libertadores - Match Prediction: Libertad VS Atletico Nacional Medellin