MX23RW : Thursday, September 16 23:54:45| >> :600:2549429:2549429:
Jul 21, 2021 at 11.15pm UK at Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha
BarcelonaBarcelona SC
3-1
Velez SarsfieldVelez Sarsfield
Stalin Preciado Quintero (24'), Cortez (69' pen.), Perlaza (80')
Pinatares (35'), Cortez (78')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Martin Lucero (48')
Mancuello (32'), Brizuela (32'), de los Santos (51'), Janson (66'), Caseres (78'), Tarragona (90+3')

Preview: Barcelona SC vs. Velez Sarsfield - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Barcelona SC and Velez Sarsfield, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ecuadorian outfit Barcelona SC host Argentinian side Velez Sarsfield for the second leg of their Copa Libertadores last-16 tie on Wednesday night.

The visitors take a narrow 1-0 advantage to the Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha, as they look to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.


Match preview

Velez Sarsfield coach Mauricio Pellegrino reacts on April 21, 2021© Reuters

After an evenly-contested first-leg encounter, Barcelona SC head coach Fabian Bustos will be slightly disappointed that his side are behind heading into the second leg, though overturning a one-goal deficit is certainly within their reach.

Since last week's loss, the Bullfighters have bounced back with a 3-0 home victory against Macara in the Ecuadorian Serie A on Sunday. This result, however, was not enough to see them finish their Primera Etapa campaign at the summit, as a win for Emelec ensured they held onto top spot, with Bustos's men three points behind them in second.

Barcelona SC – two time Copa Libertadores finalists in 1990 and 1998 – head into Wednesday's fixture having won all three of their home matches during this season's competition. They beat The Strongest, Boca Juniors and Santos in the group stages, winning by an aggregate score of 8-1.

Bustos and his men will fancy their chances of scoring goals and securing another victory on home soil, as they look to progress to their first quarter-final since 2017.

Despite not playing a competitive match in eight weeks, there were no signs of rustiness from Velez in the first leg as they nullified any attacking threat that Barcelona SC posed.

A seventh-minute strike from Juan Martin Lucero – his fifth goal across all competitions this campaign but just his first in the Copa Libertadores – ensured Mauricio Pellegrino's men take a slender lead to Ecuador.

Since that victory, Velez played out a goalless stalemate at home to Racing Club in their opening Argentine Clausura match on Sunday. The Fort have now kept three successive clean sheets across all competitions and have conceded just four goals in their last 11 matches.

The last two times Velez reached the round of 16 in the Copa Libertadores, they were knocked out on both occasions, losing 2-1 to Newell's Old Boys in 2013 – having led the first leg 1-0 – and suffering a 3-2 defeat to Nacional in 2014.

Pellegrino's men have already lost on Ecuadorian soil this campaign, going down 3-1 to LDU Quito in the group stages, but they know that at least a draw on Wednesday will be enough to see them progress to the quarter-finals.

Barcelona SC Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Barcelona SC form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Velez Sarsfield Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Velez Sarsfield form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D


Team News

Mauricio Pellegrino, now in charge of Velez Sarsfield, pictured in January 2019© Reuters

Barcelona SC trio Gabriel Marques, Dario Aimar and Pedro Velasco all remain out with long-term injuries sustained earlier this year.

Leonel Quinonez and Mario Pineida have been rotated at left-back so far this season and as the latter started in this position for the first leg, Quinonez could be given the nod for Wednesday's game.

Nixon Molina and Bruno Pinatares are set to keep their places in central midfield, while striker Damian Diaz could partner Carlos Garces up front.

As for Velez, left-back Francisco Ortega is back from serving a one-match suspension and will be in contention to start ahead of Miguel Brizuela.

He could be joined in defence by right-back Tomas Guidara and centre-backs Luis Abram and Lautaro Giannetti, with midfielders Santiago Caseres and Federico Mancuello expected to sit just in front of the back four.

Attacking midfielders Ricardo Centurion, Lucas Janson and Agustin Bouzat started the first leg in behind striker Lucero, and they are all likely to keep their places in the first XI.

Barcelona SC possible starting lineup:
Burrai; Castillo, Leon, Riveros, Quinonez; Hoyos, Molina, Pinatares, Martinez; Diaz, Garces

Velez Sarsfield possible starting lineup:
Hoyos; Guidara, Giannetti, Abram, Ortega; Caseres, Mancuello; Centurion, Janson, Bouzat; Lucero


SM words green background

We say: Barcelona SC 2-1 Velez Sarsfield (2-2 on aggregate)

Even though Velez have looked strong defensively of late and kept a clean sheet in the first leg, Barcelona SC have shown their attacking qualities during this competition. With goals needed to progress, we can see the hosts finding the net on Wednesday.

Another closely-fought contest is set to be played out in Ecuador, and we think that Barcelona SC may secure a slender victory by a one-goal margin, which would be enough to see them progress on away goals.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Barcelona vs Velez Sarsfield

Barcelona SC
78.1%
Draw
12.5%
Velez Sarsfield
9.4%
32
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Ecuador's Robert Arboleda with teammates look dejected after the match on October 9, 2020
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