MX23RW : Wednesday, June 29 00:43:09| >> :600:130982:130982:
[monks data]
May 26, 2022 at 1.30am UK at Estadio Libertadores de America
0 - 2

Benegas (45+4'), Vigo (62'), Manuel Insaurralde (76'), Marquez (81')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lindoso (45+5'), Mendoza (90+1')
Vinicius (28'), Richard (45+1'), Richardson (68'), Lima (73')

Preview: Independiente vs. Ceara - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa Sudamericana clash between Independiente and Ceara, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The final match of Group G in the Copa Sudamericana will take place on Thursday when Independiente welcome Ceara to Estadio Libertadores de America.

Both teams have already qualified for the next stage of the competition, but the hosts could end up overtaking their opponents to secure top place with a victory.

Match preview

Independiente have thrived in this tournament so far having won four out of their five matches to this point, which has allowed them to secure their place in the next round with a game to spare.

The only time they have dropped points came against Ceara, which means this encounter will lead to the hosts battling to even the score when it comes to their fixtures.

The previous game finished 2-1 despite the fact that Gaston Togni gave Independiente the lead, as they were unable to hang on with an own goal from Leandro Benegas proving to be the vital moment.

Both teams also ended up with 10 men as Ayrton Costa and Nino Paraiba were sent for an early shower, showcasing how heated this final match could end up being.

While there is nothing on the line in terms of progression, Independiente are just three points behind, therefore a victory could see them finish top if the goal difference goes their way.

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

Currently, Ceara are superior on that front as well by three goals, and the only time that they have conceded in this tournament was against their upcoming opponents.

The other four games saw Dorival Junior's men showcase their defensive qualities, which was also on display in their most recent league fixture where they drew 0-0.

Despite their dominance in this competition, the same cannot be said for their form in Brasileiro as they are in the relegation zone right now.

That is why the club are likely going to place more emphasis on this game than usual, in a bid to continue building their confidence and momentum to try and parlay into the league.

Ceara will also no doubt be hoping to wrap up the group stage in an undefeated fashion, and only Thursday's match stands in their way of achieving that feat.

Independiente Copa Sudamericana form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Independiente form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Ceara Copa Sudamericana form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Ceara's Vinicius Lima celebrates scoring their first goal on June 20, 2021© Reuters

Alan Minda remains an injury concern for Independiente heading into this game as he remains on the sidelines after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture last year in October.

Benegas scored twice in their previous outing in the Copa Sudamericana, and that confidence is something that should lead to him retaining his place in the team.

Vina missed out in Ceara's most recent outing due to injury, and it is unclear how long he is expected to be out of action, but it is unlikely he will be risked here.

Richard has been used in goal during this competition, and this match should see him return between the sticks as Joao Ricardo is rested in order to make way.

Cleber scored twice in their most recent outing within this tournament, and with his goal threat he should end up leading the line here.

Independiente possible starting lineup:
Sosa; Vigo, Barreto, Insaurralde, Rodriguez; Sonora, Benavidez, Cazares; Pozzo, Blanco, Benegas

Ceara possible starting lineup:
Richard; Paraiba, Ferreira da Silva, Otavio, Luis; Richardson, Lindoso, Wescley; Dentinho, Erick, Cleber

SM words green background

We say: Independiente 2-2 Ceara

There has been very little to separate these two teams in this competition so far, and that will likely end up being the case again this week.

They proved to be two evenly-matched outfits earlier this season, and with qualification already guaranteed a closely-contested draw would likely suit both.

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

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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