MX23RW : Sunday, June 26 08:27:10| >> :600:2590953:2590953:
[monks data]
May 20, 2022 at 3am UK at Estadio Deportivo Cali
Deportivo Cali
3 - 0
Always Ready
Vasquez (12', 55'), Mosquera (74')
Gonzalez (66')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Torres (15'), Cabrera (31'), Enoumba (40'), Blanco (85')
Enoumba (70')

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

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

Always Ready have a chance to climb out of last place in Group E of the Copa Libertadores as they travel to Palmira on Thursday to face Deportivo Cali from Estadio Deportivo Cali.

A victory for the reigning Colombian champions would put them in position to qualify for the Round of 16 heading into the final match of the group stage, while a win combined with a Corinthians triumph over Boca Juniors would vault La Banda Roja into the top two.


Match preview

Deportivo Cali's Jhon Vasquez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on April 6, 2022© Reuters

For the first time since 2016, Los Azucareros have made the group stage of this competition, with an opportunity to become the first Colombian club to make the knockout stage since 2018.

Defeating the Bolivians and then Boca Juniors would be enough to send them into the last 16 for the first time since 2004.

They made the quarter-finals that season, but they have not been able to emulate the same kind of success in this competition since then, finishing bottom of their group in 2006 (one point), 2014 (seven points) and 2016 (three points).

The opening phase of the 2022 domestic campaign has been a disaster for Rafael Dudamel and his team, as they currently sit second from the bottom (18 points), and without a victory in their last seven league fixtures.

While they have not shown it in their league campaign to date, Deportivo have been a rugged defensive unit at home in this competition, shutting out Boca Juniors in their opening game (2-0) and frustrating the Brasileiro league leaders, in a match which ended in a 0-0 draw.

When you play Los Verdiblancos, you will need to learn how to move the ball in tight spaces, as they often employ at least a couple of holding midfielders and a few higher up the field to press.

Always Ready's Marcos Riquelme celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 5, 2022© Reuters

In their third-ever appearance at this competition, the 2020 Bolivian champions have struggled to maintain early momentum in their group fixtures.

Baring a defensive meltdown in their final two encounters, they are likely to improve their goals against record from 1968 (18) and a year ago (11), though it remains to be seen if they can finish the group stage outside of last place for the first time in club history.

Of the five goals that they have conceded in this tournament, three have come either late in a half or in the second 45 minutes, including their previous fixture versus Deportivo when they squandered a pair of one-goal leads, settling for a 2-2 draw.

A win on Thursday would match their best points total at this competition from 2021, when they collected two wins and a draw, finishing two points behind Olimpia for a place in the knockout round.

The physical fatigue of playing a long domestic campaign, along with this premier competition, seems to take a toll on these players in the latter stages, as they have only picked up one point in their final two group fixtures at this tournament in 1968 and 2021 combined.

Eduardo Villegas tends to set up in a flat back four with a pair of holding midfielders to provide more freedom to their attacking players, which has served them well domestically.

Deportivo Cali Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

Deportivo Cali form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

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

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


Team News

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

Goalkeeper Guillermo de Amores stopped four Corinthians shots earlier this month, collecting his second clean sheet of the competition for Deportivo, while Daniel Luna was the last player to score for them in a competitive match, netting three minutes after Santa Fe had taken the lead in a game which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Guillermo Burdisso leads them in goals at this competition with two, including the equaliser in their previous encounter with the Bolivians, while Kevin Velasco leads the way in assists with three, while also scoring the opener on Matchday Three of this tournament.

Miguel Nazarit will be eligible to play despite receiving a pair of cautions over the weekend in their domestic encounter.

One change was made to the starting 11 in their previous game at the Copa Libertadores, as Teofilo Gutierrez replaced Carlos Robles in midfield after the 29-year-old got the start on matchday three.

La Banda Roja will be missing Mauricio Cortes, who was handed a straight red card in their 1-0 defeat to Boca Juniors.

He is the second player on the team to be dismissed in this competition after Rodrigo Ramallo was sent off near the end of the first half in their opening game versus Azul y Oro.

Former striker Marcos Riquelme, who is now with Sporting Cristal, scored two goals for Always Ready previously in this competition, with Ramallo and Juan Arce tallying the other ones.

Arce, Gustavo Cristaldo and Juan Adrian all scored in their domestic affair this weekend as they defeated Blooming 3-0, while Alejandro Chumacero and Riquelme are the only players to have assists for them in the 2022 Libertadores.

Deportivo Cali possible starting lineup:
De Amores; Burdisso, Caldera, Balanta; Camargo, Robles; Mosquera, Congo, Ortega, Velasco; Rodriguez

Always Ready possible starting lineup:
Gimenez; Medina, Ramirez, Cabrera, Flores; Arce, Adrian, Blanco, Cristaldo, Arabe; J. Martinez


SM words green background

We say: Deportivo Cali 2-0 Always Ready

These teams have beaten the more formidable squads in this group, which shows that they are capable of an upset, though it would be a surprise to see either of them make it into the next round given the experience and quality of Corinthians and Boca Juniors.

Always Ready have had a miserable time away from home at this year's tournament, failing to score on the road and going winless as the visitors in their last five matches in all competitions, which is why we project a victory for the Colombians on Thursday.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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How you voted: Deportivo Cali vs Always Ready

Deportivo Cali
43.8%
Draw
37.5%
Always Ready
18.8%
16
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