MX23RW : Friday, February 19 22:40:50| >> :600:185246:185246:
Jan 13, 2021 at 10.15pm UK at Estádio Urbano Caldeira
SantosSantos
3-0
Boca JuniorsBoca Juniors
Pituca (16'), Soteldo (49'), Braga (51')
Pituca (45+4')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Salvio (27'), Izquierdoz (66')
Fabra (56')

Preview: Santos vs. Boca Juniors - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Santos and Boca Juniors, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Boca Juniors travel to Sao Paulo this week for the second leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final against Brazilian giants Santos.

Nothing could separate the two sides in the first leg at La Bombonera last week, with the tie ending goalless after 90 minutes, meaning a spot in the final is still completely up for grabs at Vila Belmiro.


Match preview

Boca Juniors manager Miguel Angel Russo pictured on January 2, 2021© Reuters

There was a sense of bemusement after the end of the first leg, with many around the globe expecting quite a bit more from two of South America's most high-profile, attacking outfits.

In fact, the most high-tempo moment in the fixture occurred after the referee had blown the final whistle, with the Santos team bus getting stoned by suspected Boca fans.

Fortunately, no one was harmed, but this is not the first time that tensions have run high outside the ground during significant Copa Libertadores ties.

As for the game itself, both sides looked pretty evenly matched as they grappled with one another for any kind of advantage going into the decisive second leg.

Both sides were in action during the weekend, with Cuca's Santos emerging victorious from the San-Sao derby, edging past their league-leading rivals Sao Paulo with a single goal at the Morumbi.

Santos manager Cuca pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Against Argentinos Juniors, Azul y Oro drew 2-2, making it their third draw in as many games.

Boca boss Miguel Angel Russo may well feel somewhat dissatisfied with his team's recent form, but if past results are anything to go by, the former Argentine midfielder will be well aware that history is on his side.

After all, prior to last week, Boca had won both of their 21st-century encounters against Santos.

Even more significant for Boca, these two wins came in the Copa Libertadores final back in 2003.

Santos Copa Libertadores form: WWLDWD
Santos form (all competitions): LWWDDW

Boca Juniors Copa Libertadores form: WWWLWD
Boca Juniors form (all competitions): WWWDDD


Team News

Santos and Boca Juniors players clash during half time of their Copa Libertadores semi-final in January 2021© Reuters

Lucas Braga was the only player not to be rested by Cuca during his side's trip across Sao Paulo to the Morumbi, making their victory all the more impressive.

Key players like Marinho, Kaio Jorge and Yeferson Soteldo are all expected to return for the second leg, and Cuca has no fresh injury concerns to contend with.

Much like Cuca, Russo opted to rest a number of his key players ahead of this week's game.

Russo will be hard-pressed not to offer a start to Ramon Abila, who, left out of the starting XI in the first leg, has now scored four goals in three consecutive league games for Azul y Oro.

Another player who could be granted more of a starring role in this tie is Mauro Zarate, who has also become a trusted attacking threat in recent weeks.

Santos possible starting lineup:
Furtado; Para, Verissimo, Peres Petroni, Jonatan; Pituca, Alison, Braga; Marinho, Jorge, Soteldo

Boca Juniors possible starting lineup:
Andrada; Jara, Lopez, Izquierdos, Fabra; Capaldo, Gonzalez, Salvio, Villa; Abila, Tevez


SM words green background

We say: Santos 0-1 Boca Juniors

Statistically, it was almost impossible to separate these two sides in the first leg, and this week's game is expected to be just as fiercely contested. We think Boca will inch it in the end, with either Abila or Carlos Tevez providing the heroics.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


ID:430090:cQx

How you voted: Santos vs Boca Juniors

Santos
34.6%
Boca Juniors
65.4%
81
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Santos attacker Yeferson Soteldo pictured in action in December 2019
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