MX23RW : Friday, June 18 06:56:46| >> :600:2069174:2069174:
May 21, 2021 at 1am UK at Estadio Manuel Ferreira

Torres (40'), Salcedo (61'), Caceres (87'), Santacruz (90+2')
Salcedo (66')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Alberto (83')
Edenilson (62'), Alberto (84'), Guilherme (90+1')
Alberto (90')

Preview: Olimpia vs. Internacional - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa Libertadores clash between Olimpia and Internacional, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Paraguayan side Olimpia host Brazilian outfit Internacional in their penultimate group stage encounter of the Copa Libertadores on Thursday evening.

Group B is wide open heading into the final two matches as all four sides, including Always Ready and Deportivo Tachira, have six points after winning and losing two games each.

Match preview

Internacional's Edenilson celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in May 2021© Reuters

Olimpia boosted their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages after beating Always Ready 2-1 away from home last Friday.

Walter Gonzalez headed in the opening goal after 23 minutes before Rodrigo Ramallo equalised for the hosts on the stroke of half time.

It looked like the spoils were to be shared until the 93rd minute when Alejandro Silva tapped in from close range to snatch all three points for Olimpia, their second victory against the Bolivian outfit in Group B.

Defensive frailties have cost Olimpia in recent weeks, as they have conceded 13 goals in their last four games in all competitions and 11 goals from their four Copa Libertadores matches.

Sergio Orteman's side were thrashed 6-1 against Internacional in the reverse fixture just two weeks ago and he will need to tighten up their backline if they are to claim a positive result on Thursday.

Olimpia have failed to progress from the group stages of the Copa Libertadores in each of the last two seasons, but securing three points at the Estadio Manuel Ferreira would move them into the top two, before they face Deportivo Tachira on May 26 in their final Group B match.

Unlike Olimpia, Internacional lost their last Copa Libertadores group match, when they were beaten 2-1 away at Deportivo Tachira last Tuesday.

Thiago Galhardo's converted penalty broke the deadlock seven minutes after half time for the Brazilian side. However, they were unable to hold onto their lead, conceding twice in the final 13 minutes with Maurice Cova scoring the winning goal from the spot, to secure all three points for the Venezuelan hosts.

Miguel Angel Ramirez will have been disappointed to see his side lose, considering that they dominated the match with 65% possession and 24 shots on goal.

Since that defeat, Internacional have also been beaten by Gremio, losing 2-1 in the first leg of the Campeonato Gaucho final.

Ramirez's side are sure to have one eye on the second leg this Sunday, but they must first focus on Thursday night's encounter with Olimpia, who they should be confident in beating after cruising to victory on home soil earlier this month.

The two-time Copa Libertadores winners will stay at the top of Group B if they can claim all three points away from home, before they face Always Ready in their final group match next week.

Olimpia Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

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

Internacional Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

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

Team News

Yuri Alberto of Internacional celebrates scoring against Coritiba on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Olimpia full-back Robert Ergas continues to recover from a cruciate ligament injury and will not be available for Thursday's game.

Goalkeeper Alfredo Aguilar is set to replaced Gaston Oliveira, while Richard Ortiz, Nicolas Domingo and Juan Rodrigo Rojas could all start in central midfield, shielding the back four.

Nestor Camacho scored in a 2-1 loss to fellow Paraguayan side Nacional on Sunday and the winger is expected to keep his place in the side ahead of Marcelo Estigarribia.

As for Internacional, midfielder Edenilson could return to the starting lineup at the expense of Nonato, while Mauricio will be looking to earn back his place on the left flank ahead of Yuri Alberto.

Galhardo, who scored twice against Olimpia in the 6-1 victory earlier this month, is expected to start up front.

Regardless of their Campeonato Gaucho second-leg tie with Gremio on Sunday, Ramirez is set to name a strong starting XI on Thursday evening.

Olimpia possible starting lineup:
Aguilar; Otalvaro, Maciel, Salcedo, I.Torres; Domingo, Ortiz, Rojas; Silva, Camacho; W.Gonzalez

Internacional possible starting lineup:
Lomba; Saravia, Gabriel, Cuesta, Moises; Edenilson, Dourado; Guilherme, Taison, Mauricio; Galhardo

SM words green background

We say: Olimpia 1-3 Internacional

Both Olimpia and Internacional know that a victory on Thursday evening will boost their chances of finishing in the top two of Group B and securing a place in the knockout stages of the Copa Libertadores.

The last meeting between the two teams saw the Brazilians cruise to victory, and although scoring another six goals is unlikely for Internacional, we can see the visitors claiming another win against the Paraguayans at the Estadio Manuel Ferreira.

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