MX23RW : Tuesday, May 18 13:30:15| >> :600:99247:99247:
Apr 20, 2021 at 11.15pm UK at Estádio Urbano Caldeira
SantosSantos
0-2
BarcelonaBarcelona SC

Soteldo (64')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Garces (53'), Para (69' og.)
Riveros (8'), Martinez (27'), Pineida (41')

Preview: Santos vs. Barcelona SC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Santos and Barcelona SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Santos begin their bid to add a fourth Copa Libertadores title to their trophy cabinet on Tuesday, when they host Barcelona SC in the first game of the group stage.

The 22-time Brazilian champions last lifted the trophy in 2011, while the visitors have reached the final on two separate occasions but are yet to win on the biggest stage.


Match preview

Santos coach Ariel Holan pictured on March 16, 2021© Reuters

Santos had to go through qualifying to reach this year's Copa Libertadores, as they took on Argentinian side San Lorenzo over two legs in the third round.

Ariel Holan's side picked up a 3-1 win in the first leg in Buenos Aires, as Lucas Braga and Marinho got on the scoresheet before Angelo Gabriel netted a crucial third goal deep into added time to take a two-goal lead into the second leg.

They then took a 2-0 lead on the night at home through Marcos Leonardo and Para, and goals from Franco Di Santo and Angel Romero pulled the aggregate scoreline back to 5-3, but the visitors were unable to find the two more goals that they required.

That followed a 3-2 aggregate victory over Deportivo Lara in the second round of qualifying, as Vinicius Balieiro, Kaiky Fernandes and Yeferson Soteldo all got on the scoresheet over the course of two legs.

The Peixe currently sit second in their Campeontao Paulista group, but Holan's priority will firmly be on the continental cup, as his side look to cruise through the group stage.

They take on Barcelona SC in the first game, after the visitors lifted the Ecuadorian Serie A last season.

Santos' Yeferson Soteldo celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates opn March 16, 2021© Reuters

The away side qualified for the Copa Libertadores after lifting the domestic trophy for the 16th time in the club's history, and the first since 2016.

Fabian Bustos's side have had a strong start to this domestic campaign too, currently sitting top of the Ecuadorian top flight after nine games.

They were forced to settle for a point against Mushuc Runa last time out, as a Michael Hoyos brace levelled the game after the hosts took a two-goal lead inside the first 10 minutes.

Bustos's men will now turn their attention to the South American scene, as they look to secure a first Copa Libertadores title, starting with what would be an important victory on Tuesday to kickstart their bid to reach the knockout stage.

Santos Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

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

Barcelona SC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D



Team News

Santos' Marinho celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on april 7, 2021© Reuters

Holan made two changes to his side for the second leg against San Lorenzo, as Madson and Yeferson Soteldo came into the lineup in place of Lucas Braga and Vinicius Balieiro.

Both players will be pushing for returns to the starting side, after they both found the net in the victory over Deportivo Lara in the second round of qualifying.

Luan Peres and Kaiky Fernandes will partner up again at centre-back, shielding Joao Paulo in the Santos goal.

Barcelona SC are expected to remain without right-back Pedro Velasco, who has missed the last five games with an Achilles tendon rupture.

Midfielder Gabriel Marques is yet to feature this season due to a ligament rupture.

Carlos Garces is expected to lead the line, having started eight of their nine league matches so far this season.

He will be supported by the attacking threat of Damian Diaz, who has registered four goals and an assist in nine games from midfield.

Santos possible starting lineup:
Paulo; Madson, Peres, Fernandes, Para; Alison, Jonatan; Marinho, Pirani, Braga; Leonardo

Barcelona SC possible starting lineup:
Burrai; Castillo, Leon, Riveros, Pineida; Torres, Pinatares; Hoyos, Diaz, Martinez; Garces


SM words green background

We say: Santos 2-0 Barcelona SC

Despite their relatively differing fortunes in domestic action this campaign, we see Santos having too much for the visitors on Tuesday.

The Brazilian giants battled hard to get through qualifying, and have plenty of experience on this stage which we feel will fire them to an important victory.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Santos vs Barcelona

Santos
83.3%
Draw
0.0%
Barcelona SC
16.7%
12
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