MX23RW : Sunday, June 13 17:28:10| >> :600:1635207:1635207:
May 18, 2021 at 11.15pm UK at Allianz Parque
DefensaDefensa y Justicia
Rafael (11'), Willian (35'), Scarpa (75')
Scarpa (71'), Garcia (78'), Barbosa da Silva (82')
Barbosa da Silva (90')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Bou (9', 27'), Rodriguez (52'), Romero (90+4')
Rodriguez (41'), Frias (45+2'), Tripichio (54'), Britez (79'), Romero (90+6')

Preview: Palmeiras vs. Defensa y Justicia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Palmeiras and Defensa y Justicia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Defensa y Justicia will try to distance themselves from the teams chasing them in Group A of the Copa Libertadores when they travel to Sao Paulo to face Palmeiras on Tuesday.

The Argentines are currently in second place but just a point ahead of Independiente del Valle, while the defending champions Palmeiras have already clinched first place in the group with 12 points.

Match preview

Palmeiras coach Abel Ferreira pictured on May 5, 2021© Reuters

Coming into this tournament as solid favourites, Palmeiras survived a tough opening match to beat Universitario 3-2 with a 95th-minute strike from Renan.

Since then, Abel Ferreira has seen his side string together three consecutive wins, scoring eight goals while conceding only once.

Throughout this competition, the Brazilians have shown they do not need many opportunities to score, and when they do, they make their opponents pay.

In their last group match, they only had three shots on target and 28% possession but still looked comfortable as they beat Independiente del Valle 1-0.

Because Palmeiras are so efficient at scoring goals, people tend to forget how strong they are defensively.

After conceding twice in three minutes in their opening match and then losing Alan Empereur to a red card, the Palestra back three of Renan, Gustavo Gomez and Luan have been exceptional.

Those three have held their opponents to a total of only 10 shots on target in their previous three matches in the group stage.

Defensa y Justicia coach Sebastian Beccacece pictured on May 4, 2021© Reuters

With two games remaining in Group A, Defensa manager Sebastian Beccacece and his side know that they will qualify for the second round if they can win those games.

It seems simple enough in principle, but as this team discovered last season, winning down the stretch can be a lot harder to execute when the moment arrives.

In 2020 Halcon lost their last two matches in the group stage, finishing a point behind Delfin and losing a spot in the last 16.

Beccacece and his team will not be intimidated by the high-flying Brazilians, as they have played them three times in just over a month, and on each occasion, these teams were separated by a goal or fewer.

On matchday three, they gave up a pair of goals to Rony in a 2-1 loss.

Still, they were able to upset the Brazilians in the Recopa Sudamericana, thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Ezequiel Unsain, who stopped two penalty kicks in the second leg of that final back in April.

Palmeiras Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Palmeiras form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Defensa y Justicia Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D

Defensa y Justicia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Palmeiras' Rony celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on May 4, 2021© Reuters

Palmeiras will be without Matias Vina because of his suspension, and Breno Lopes, who has a stretched ligament, is unlikely to feature.

Rony has four goals in this competition and three in his last three games versus Halcon in all competitions.

Defensa have been hit hard by COVID lately as Braian Romero, Franco Paredes and Fernando Meza all tested positive for the virus, but all three played in their last match in this competition which is good news for Sebastian Beccacece, who will need his top players for this match.

Ezequiel Unsain has one clean sheet for Defensa back on matchday two, when he did not have to make a single save in a 3-0 victory over Universitario.

Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Renan, Gomez, Mayke; Luis, Danilo, Scarpa, Lima, Melo; Wesley, Willian

Defensa y Justicia possible starting lineup:
Unsain; Britez, Rodriguez, Meza; Rotondi, Tripicchio, Gallardo, Fernandez, Rius; Bou, Romero

SM words green background

We say: Palmeiras 3-1 Defensa y Justicia

With first place in the group already sewn up, we can expect to see plenty of changes to the Palestra starting 11, but even their reserve team are a formidable side who can do a lot of damage to an opposing defence like that of Defensa, who have conceded six goals in their previous two matches in all competitions.

Winning against Palmeiras at Allianz Parque could be too much to ask of Defensa, as the Brazilians have not lost at home in the group stage of this competition since 2016, outscoring visiting teams by a total margin of 47-6 since that defeat.

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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