Thursday’s Copa Libertadores action features Brazilians Santos playing host to Peruvians Real Garcilaso. Although already qualified, the home side have plenty to play for as they look to secure top spot in the group.
Picking up three points would ensure Santos do exactly that and would also see the side seeded higher for the knockout round, ensuring an easier tie. Jair Ventura’s men are already assured off advancing after taking 9 points from 5 games, but with Uruguayans Nacional just a point behind, the hosts need the three points to stay where they currently are.
Peixe look like two different teams at the moment, simply dominant on their own patch but terrible on the road, taking to the pitch having won 4 home games in a row whilst losing 5 times consecutively on their travels. The Brazilians have kept to that theme in the Libertadores, losing at both Garcilaso themselves and Nacional, but with 6 wins from 7 home outings in the competition, it’s clear for all to see that those that take the pitch will do so in confident mood.
None more so than because they face a Garcilaso side unable to compete once their altitude advantage is taken away. With their home venue providing gruelling conditions for visiting sides, La Máquina Celeste are often able to give far stronger teams a run for their money on home soil, evidenced by the fact all 5 of their points so far in the group have came back in Cusco,
However, when the Peruvians have to travel to venues at a level playing field they tend to be outclassed, something more than apparent by the fact that they’ve lost 6 consecutive Libertadores away games, failing to score in all but one. This year, Garcilaso have lost 3-0 and 4-0 at Estudiantes and Nacional respectively, and face a huge task if they are to avoid another hammering here. .
Ultimately, with Santos as hosts and conditions no longer on Garcilaso’s side, this meeting becomes a complete mismatch, something that should be clear for all to see come full time.
Man for man Santos are by far the stronger team and should make short work of a Garcilaso team that will show little attacking intent and try to keep the score down. Best value looks to be found in backing the home win to nil. 4 of Santos’ aforementioned 6 Libertadores home victories have came with a clean sheet and taking into consideration the lack of attacking threat posed by Garcilaso in the competition so far, it’s a bet that really appeals, with a 4-0 Santos victory looking on the cards.
Santos possible starting XI: Vanderlei; Ferraz, Henrique, Verissimo, Dodo; Alison, Sasha, Bueno, Mota, Rodrygo; Gabriel.
Real Garcilaso possible starting XI: Ortiz; Arismendi, Lojas, Dulanto, Cosslo, Mendoza, Archimbaud, Vidales, Ramua, Santillan; Franco.
Garcilaso’s 2-0 win over Santos earlier on in the group was the first ever meeting between the two.
Attacking midfielder Bruno Henrique remains sidelined.
No problems reported in the build up to kick off.