Bolivians The Strongest host Uruguayans Wanderers on Thursdaynight in the preliminary qualification rounds of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier continental competition.
The tie looks all but buried following last weeks first leg, in which The Stongest picked up a second continental away win in 34 years, by a scoreline of 2-0. They were the better side, defending well and tearing the hosts apart on the counter.
Bolivia’s oldest club The Strongest are no strangers to the Libertadores having competed a mammoth 18 times. They were involved in last years competition and almost pulled off a famous qualification from the group, being pipped to 2nd spot by one point by Brazilian giants Sao Paulo, who they managed to defeat in their own ground. They have qualified for this years Copa after topping the aggregate table which takes into account performance over both the Apertura and Clausura phase of the Bolivian season.
Wanderers had to make do with contesting the Sudamericana last year but are back in the Libertadores after a one year absence. The Montevideo outfit have contested the tournament on 7 previous occasions. In the 2015 edition of the competition they made it out of a group containing Boca, Palestino and Zamora, coming 2nd on 10 points, before being eliminated in the first knockout round by Racing. A strong showing in last seasons transition tournament earned them the right to compete in the Copa, coming 2nd overall with a record of 8-5-2.
The Strongest were in league action over the weekend, defeating Wilstermann 2-1 on home soil. They come into the game with no injury worries and are set to line up as follows:
Vaca; D.Bejarano, Marteli, Maldonado, M.Bejarano; Jara, Veizaga, Castro; Chumacero, Escobar, Alonso
Wanderers were also in league action over the weekend, picking up a point from a 0-0 draw away to Danubio. Santiago Bellini will miss out tonight but other than that are no other real concerns meaning the visitors may line up as follows:
Arruabarrena; Gómez, Diaz, Andueza, Rivas; Colombino, Santos, González, Castro; Rivero, Blanco
Wanderers face an uphill battle tonight, 2-0 down and with the game being played at high altitude (almost 12,000 ft above sea level. The Strongest have only lost 1 of the last 18 at home in the Copa, winning 14 of the 18 in the process. They have faced Uruguayan opposition at home 9 times, winning 6, drawing 1 and losing 2. The Strongest are priced as clear favourites, with odds of 1.36 on the home win. We don’t see much value in that, but we do like the looks of the hosts to win to nil, given how well they defended last week in Uruguay. against the same opposition that will really feel the effect of playing at such high altitude.
Tip: The Strongest To win to Nil – 2.30 with bet365.
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