Uruguayan side Club Atlético Cerro host Chileans Unión Española on Tuesday night in the preliminary qualification rounds of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier continental competition.
Cerro have qualified for the Libertadores courtesy of their consistent league performance over the 15-16 Primera season. A 3rd placed finish in the Apertura and a 6th placed finish in the Clausura was enough to secure them 3rd in the overall aggregate standings with an overall record of 16-4-10. Los Villeros do not have much experience in continental competition, having only contested the 1995 and 2010 editions of the Copa, crashing out in the group stages on each occasion.
Unión have far more historical standing, 7 time Chilean Champions and runner up of the Copa in 1975. They last contested the Libertadores in 2014, following a 2013 league win. Los Hispanos managed to make it out of the group, losing only 1 of the 6 games contested, before being eliminated over two legs by Argentine side Arsenal. They have earned the right to be here tonight by finishing third in last years’ Apertura with a record of 8-3-4 and subsequently defeating Clausura ‘third placers’ O’Higgins on penalties in a play off match.
Cerro come into the game off of the back of some decent performances in pre-season friendlies. They drew with Paraguayan side Sportivo Luqueno 1-1. beat compatriots Boston River and El Tanque Sisley 1-0 and 3-0 respectively. but did fall to Chilean giants Colo-Colo 2-1. We expect them to line up with the following players as starters:
Sebastián Britos; Rodrigo Izquierdo, Rodrigo Canosa, Angelo Pizzorno, Gianni Rodríguez; Richard Pellejero, Facundo Moreira, Felipe Klein, Jorge Rodríguez; Angel Luna, Maureen Franco
Unión have not played quite as many friendlies in the build up to the game. They defeated second division side La Serena 2-1 but lost 2-0 in a behind close doors game to Everton. Manager Martin Palermo won’t be able to count on the injured Nicolás Berardo tonight, but new signing Sebastián Jaime is expect to slot into the following line up:
Diego Sánchez; Dagoberto Currimilla, Jorge Ampuero, Lucas Domínguez, Mario Larenas; Felipe Seymour, Pablo Galdames, Sebastián Jaime, César Pinares; Diego Churín, Carlos Salom