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Club Libertad
Copa Libertadores | Group Stage
May 31, 2024 at 1am UK
Estadio Defensores del Chaco

2 - 1

Cardozo (29'), Silva (41')
Bareiro (38'), Cardozo (48'), Jacquet (70'), Merlini (72'), Cardozo (83')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Romero (13')
Gonzalez (40'), Bentancourt (72'), Pereyra (73')

Preview: Club Libertad vs. Nacional - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa Libertadores clash between Club Libertad and Nacional, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The Copa Libertadores campaign will end on Thursday for Club Libertad when they host Nacional at Estadio Tigo La Huerta in Asuncion.

A 2-0 defeat versus River Plate on Group H matchday five officially eliminated the Paraguayans from this competition, while a 1-0 victory by Decano over Deportivo Tachira assured them of a place in the knockout stage.

Match preview

Matias Espinoza in action for Libertad in a May 2024 Copa Libertadores clash© Reuters

For a second successive season, the Libertadores journey for Libertad will end in the group stage, with Repollero claiming just four points after five matchdays.

While their time at this tournament will soon be over, Ariel Galeano's men are well positioned to make the Copa Sudamericana, needing only a single point or Deportivo Tachira to win by fewer than five goals should they lose this encounter.

With a victory on Thursday, the 24-time Paraguayan champions will match their points total from the 2023 Libertadores group phase (seven).

Three of their four points in the group phase have come at home, while Libertad have won their last two domestic contests at Estadio Tigo La Huerta by a combined margin of 9-1.

Since their defeat to River Plate on matchday five, they have gone unbeaten in three successive domestic encounters, failing to concede a single goal along the way.

Three of their four victories against Uruguayan opponents at the Libertadores have occurred on their home field, most recently in 2018 versus Penarol (2-1).

Nacional's Juan Ramirez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on August 10, 2023© Reuters

Just like we saw a year ago, some solid performances at home have propelled Nacional into the last 16 of this tournament for a second successive campaign, claiming seven points in Montevideo this year.

Alvaro Recoba's men still have an outside chance to top their group for the first time since 2020, but they will need River Plate to lose their match versus Deportivo Tachira and win this encounter by at least five goals.

Since their 2-0 defeat at River Plate on matchday two, Bolsilludo have shown great defensive improvement, winning four consecutive games in all competitions away from home and failing to concede in their previous two.

Nacional have won their last 10 matches in all competitions when they were either ahead or tied at the interval, with all of their 2024 Libertadores victories occurring in that scenario.

If they can triumph on matchday five, they will have 13 points, marking their best outing in the group phase since 2020 (15).

They have triumphed in three of their five Libertadores encounters versus Libertad, though their only victory against them in Paraguay dates back to 1968 when the two sides clashed at Defensores del Chaco (2-0).

Club Libertad Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Club Libertad form (all competitions):

Nacional Copa Libertadores form:

Nacional form (all competitions):

Team News

Bautista Merlini in action for Libertad at the 2024 Copa Libertadores against River Plate in May© Reuters

Libertad's only injury concern heading into this encounter is Hector Villalba, who is recovering from a cruciate ligament tear.

From matchday four to five, Galeano made two changes to his starting 11, bringing in Ivan Ramirez and Ivan Franco to replace Ivan Piris and Rodrigo Villalba.

On matchday five, Nacional were once again without Thiago Helguera because of a muscle injury, while Renzo Sanchez remains sidelined with a cruciate ligament tear.

A second-half brace courtesy of Gonzalo Carneiro helped the Uruguayans erase a 2-0 deficit and earn a single point against River Plate earlier this month, his team-leading second and third of this competition.

Club Libertad possible starting lineup:
Morinigo; Ramirez, L. Cardozo, Viera, Gimenez; Campuzano; Bareiro, Sanabria, Merlini, Espinoza; O. Cardozo

Nacional possible starting lineup:
Mejia; Lozano, Romero, Polenta, Baez; Oliva, Recoba; Zabala, Pereyra, Gonzalez; Carneiro

SM words green background

We say: Club Libertad 0-0 Nacional

Nacional are already guaranteed a spot in the knockout phase, while it would take a lot for Libertad to miss out on the Sudamericana.

With little to play for, we anticipate this will be a cagey affair between two sides that do not want to risk losing a key player to injury.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Uruguayan Nacional's player Alvaro Recoba celebrates the third goal against Chilean Iquique during their Copa Sudamericana football match at the Centenario Stadium in Montevideo on August 14, 2012
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Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 England flag England11003
2 Denmark Denmark10101
3 Slovenia Slovenia10101
4 Serbia Serbia10010

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 France France11003
3 Poland Poland10010
4 Austria Austria10010

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
2 Slovakia Slovakia11003
3 Belgium Belgium10010
4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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