MX23RW : Monday, June 21 01:59:41| >> :600:2309483:2309483:
May 14, 2021 at 1am UK at Estadio Hernando Siles
Always ReadyAlways Ready
Ramallo (42')
Galindo (50'), Cabrera (72'), Hernandez (86')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Gonzalez (23'), Silva (90+3')
Torres (68'), Ortiz (68'), Aguilar (75')

Preview: Always Ready vs. Olimpia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa Libertadores clash between Always Ready and Olimpia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Heading into the second half of the group stage of the Copa Libertadores, Always Ready can take a big step towards qualifying for the second phase when they host Olimpia at Estadio Hernando Siles on Thursday.

The Bolivians moved into second in Group B after blanking Deportivo Tachira 2-0, while El Decano suffered a 6-1 loss to Internacional.

Match preview

Always Ready's Fernando Saucedo celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates in April 2021© Reuters

After a lengthy hiatus, Always Ready have started this competition brightly, winning two of their opening three matches in only their second appearance in this tournament and their first since 1968.

As their club name suggests, La Banda Roja have come into this event always ready to compete, and if not for a late collapse in their second match, they could be leading this group and on the verge of earning a spot in the last 16.

The faithful fans of Always Ready have waited for decades to have something to cheer about, and last season manager Omar Asad and his team gave them exactly that, as they captured their first Bolivian league title in their 88 years of existence.

Coming off a 5-2 defeat on Sunday against Jorge Wilstermann should put this team in a foul mood heading into this big match on Thursday for the team based out of La Paz.

The last time they faced Olimpia, the Bolivians paid the price for sitting back as they saw their 1-0 lead evaporate, with the Paraguayans scoring twice in nine minutes to snatch victory away from La Banda Roja.

In their last match in this competition, the Olimpia backline showed their vulnerability, conceding six times versus Internacional, who looked the far superior side throughout the 90 minutes.

Manager Sergio Orteman has struggled in trying to fix his team's shaky defence, who have given up 12 goals in their last three games in all competitions.

They are still in a good position domestically in spite of all of that, currently sitting in second place in the Paraguayan league with 27 points, five points adrift of Libertad in the first half of the season.

In their 2020 Copa Libertadores campaign, El Decano floundered in the return matches of the group stage, losing their last three games after earning points in their opening three.

They have been very successful away from home in 2021, winning five games on the road in league play and collecting three clean sheets in that time.

Always Ready Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • L
  • W

Always Ready form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Olimpia Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W
  • L

Olimpia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Striker John Mosquera has goals in his last two games in all competitions for the Bolivians, including an 82nd-minute penalty to seal their victory against Deportivo Tachira.

Veteran Marcos Ovejero scored his first goal of this tournament in that victory, providing more depth to a team that has seen a different player score in every match to this point of the competition.

Harold Cummings, Nelson Cabrera and Enrique Flores have started all three games at the back for the Bolivians so far at this tournament, and they were spectacular in their last outing, holding Deportivo to one shot on goal.

Olimpia full-back Robert Ergas continues to recover from a cruciate ligament injury but will not be available for this match on Thursday.

The Paraguayans made a change in goal in their last league game, as Alfredo Aguilar replaced Gaston Oliveira, who conceded 10 goals in the opening three matches of this competition.

Aguilar did not fare much better, conceding three times in their last domestic game against Sol de America, which ended in a 3-3 draw.

Always Ready possible starting lineup:
Lampe; Cummings, Cabrera, Flores; Vander, Machado, Saucedo, Ramallo; Arce; Ovejero, Mosquera

Olimpia possible starting lineup:
Aguilar; Otalvaro, Maciel, Salcedo, Torres; Silva, Ortiz, Santa Cruz, Acosta; W. Gonzalez, D. Gonzalez

SM words green background

We say: Always Ready 2-1 Olimpia

Olimpia are a mess defensively, giving up 21 shots on target through their first three games of this competition and they have conceded the most goals to this point of the 2021 Copa Libertadores.

The Bolivians have scored in seven of their last nine matches in all competitions and have looked a lot calmer at the back than their Paraguayan opponents.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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