MX23RW : Monday, September 27 04:59:24| >> :600:1114167:1114167:
Jul 13, 2021 at 11.15pm UK at Estadio Alberto José Armando
Boca JuniorsBoca Juniors
Atletico MineiroAtletico Mineiro

Rojo (39'), Pavon (45+5')

Zaracho (39'), Rodrigues de Souza (66'), Vargas (89'), Hulk (90+6')

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

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

Boca Juniors and Atletico Mineiro continue their respective quests for Copa Libertadores glory when they do battle in their last-16 first leg at the Estadio Alberto J. Armando on Tuesday.

The Argentinian giants claimed second spot in Group C to advance to the knockout rounds, while Atletico swept aside the competition in Group H to set up a tantalising last-16 showdown.

Match preview

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

Having been granted the luxury of a six-week break in between competitive matches, Boca manager Miguel Angel Russo is working with a refreshed group of players as his side prepare to resume both domestic and continental action within the next week.

Indeed, Boca will prepare for their first fixture of the new top-flight season against Union three days after their first leg with Mineiro, but the most recent domestic campaign ultimately ended in disappointment as Russo's men could not go all the way in the newly-founded Copa de la Liga Profesional.

After claiming second place in the Zone B group stage, Boca overcame River Plate on penalties to advance to the semi-finals, but they were ultimately undone from 12 yards against eventual runners-up Racing Club on May 31 - their most recent competitive fixture.

Boca were hardly in inspired form during the group stage of the Copa Libertadores either - winning their opening two games before suffering back-to-back defeats to Barcelona SC and Santos - but a convincing 3-0 victory over The Strongest saw them guarantee a spot in the knockout rounds.

The six-time Copa Libertadores winners have not lifted the prestigious trophy since 2007, but Russo will hope to see his optimistic crop reap the rewards of their recent rest period, even if they will be lining up without Carlos Tevez from now on.

Ceara's Saulo Mineiro with teammates after the match on June 20, 2021© Reuters

In contrast, Atletico Mineiro have been working at full throttle during Boca Juniors' off-season, but the momentum is well and truly with the Brazilian outfit following a stellar winning run in league action.

Indeed, Cuca's side have started the month of July as they mean to go on with four straight victories in the Brazilian Serie A - including a 1-0 win over America Mineiro on Saturday courtesy of Dylan Borrero's winner - and Atletico have now broken into the top three of the league table.

The dominance of Cuca's crop on the continental stage was evident during their Group H venture in the Copa Libertadores too, as Atletico won five and drew one of their six games to finish at the top of the pile with 16 points - the highest out of all 24 competing sides.

Atletico's 2013 triumph represents their only Copa Libertadores trophy win to date, and the Brazilian outfit will have to sink another Argentinian opponent should they make it through, as the winners of this two-legged tie will face River Plate or Argentinos Juniors in the last eight.

It has been 43 years since these two sides faced off in Copa Libertadores, with Boca Juniors claiming 2-1 and 3-1 wins during the semi-final groups of the 1978 edition before triumphing in the final.

Boca Juniors Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Atletico Mineiro Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Atletico Mineiro form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Boca Juniors' Carlos Tevez reacts as Carlos Izquierdoz looks on on May 5, 2021© Reuters

Veteran striker Tevez is no longer on the books at Boca Juniors after terminating his contract, so Norberto Briasco should be called upon to lead the line.

Edwin Cardona will be spared having just returned from a gruelling Copa America campaign with Colombia, while his compatriot Frank Fabra has been granted compassionate leave following the death of his father.

Long-term injury absentee Eduardo Salvio is making great strides in his recovery from a cruciate ligament rupture but is still a couple of months away from a return, while Carlos Zambrano (illness) and Agustin Almendra (ankle) are not expected to feature.

Atletico Mineiro are unsurprisingly worse for wear on the injury front given their hectic schedule, but left-back Dodo and influential midfielder Nacho Fernandez could both shake off muscular problems in time to feature.

Dodo's possible return comes at an ideal time after Guilherme Arana was named in the Brazil squad for the Tokyo Olympics, while the likes of Eduardo Vargas, Marrony and Keno remain in the treatment room.

Borrero's winner in Atletico's most recent league encounter may not be enough to earn the 19-year-old a start on the right, especially with Hulk looking to be reinstated to the first XI.

Boca Juniors possible starting lineup:
Rossi; Weigandt, Izquierdoz, Rojo, Sandez; Medina, Rolon, Gonzalez; Pavon, Briasco, Villa

Atletico Mineiro possible starting lineup:
Everson; Guga, Rabello, Alonso, Dodo; Jair, Fernandez, Zaracho; Hulk, Sasha, Hyoran

SM words green background

We say: Boca Juniors 1-2 Atletico Mineiro

The freshest legs on the field will certainly belong to Boca, who will seek to take advantage of their opponents' fatigue, but they will need to find inspiration from somewhere else now that Tevez has departed.

With Cuca's side potentially being boosted by the returns of two key players, we can envisage Atletico keeping their momentum going with a narrow first-leg triumph before the two sides lock horns again on the 20th.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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