MX23RW : Tuesday, May 18 12:43:05| >> :600:96417:96417:
May 4, 2021 at 11.15pm UK at Estádio Urbano Caldeira
The StrongestThe Strongest
Marinho (1'), Pirani (26'), Vinicius (43'), Braga (59'), Malthus (83')
Fernandes (51')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Arrascaita (13'), Wayar (82')

Preview: Santos vs. The Strongest - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Brazilian giants Santos welcome Bolivian outfit The Strongest to Sao Paulo on Tuesday in Copa Libertadores action, as both sides look to record their first points of the group stage.

The two teams come into this game having both lost their opening two games to Boca Juniors and Barcelona SC, while neither have registered a goal in this season's group stage yet.

Match preview

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

Santos suffered a 2-0 defeat last time out in the group stage, as they travelled to take on Argentinian giants Boca Juniors.

Carlos Tevez opened the scoring early in the second half for the hosts, before Sebastian Villa added a second with 20 minutes to go to put the game out of sight.

That was a second consecutive 2-0 loss in the group stage for Ariel Holan's men, having previously fallen at home to Ecuadorian outfit Barcelona SC in the opening game.

The game was again goalless until half time, but Carlos Garces quickly opened the scoring in the second half for the visitors and a Para own goal after 70 minutes all but sealed his side's fate.

Holan's men will be desperate not to throw this opportunity away though, having gone through two rounds of qualifying to reach the group stage, firstly defeating Venezuelan outfit Deportivo Lara 3-2 on aggregate.

They then took on Argentinian side San Lorenzo, and took a 3-1 lead in the away leg through Lucas Braga, Marinho and Angelo Gabriel, before they saw out a 1-1 draw in the home leg to advance to the continental competition.

While their opponents did achieve automatic qualification, they will also be desperate for a win to put their first points of the Copa Libertadores campaign on the board after a poor start.

Santos coach Ariel Holan during the match on April 6, 2021© Reuters

The Strongest kicked off the group stage with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Boca Juniors, as Sebastian Villa's goal in the seventh minute would go on to make the difference.

While that was by no means a devastating result for Alberto Illanes's side, their following away game against Barcelona SC did provide much more cause for concern.

The hosts dominated the game throughout, but it took 49 minutes for them to take the lead through Carlos Garces.

After that, the Ecuadorian side raced into a major lead, as Mario Pineida and Emmanuel Martinez found the net before Gabriel Valverde scored a late own goal to see the game finish 4-0.

The Strongest will now look to bounce back from those two defeats to keep their hopes of qualification firmly alive, as they hope to progress to the final 16 against the odds.

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

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

The Strongest Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • L

The Strongest form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

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

Santos will remain without midfielders Sandry and Jobson, while Vinicius Balieiro earned his spot back in the starting XI for the last Copa Libertadores game.

The majority of their attacking threat could be offered by wingers Marinho and Lucas Braga, who found the net in Santos's recent 1-1 draw with Red Bull Bragantino in league action.

They have somewhat struggled for a prolific frontman though, with that goal being the only one that Holan's men have scored in the last five games in all competitions.

Illanes could look to make several changes to his side after their 4-0 defeat last time out in the Copa Libertadores.

That could see the likes of Raul Castro, Rudy Cardozo and forward Rolando Blackburn all come into the starting side.

Gabriel Valverde could still be trusted at the back, despite conceding four goals and scoring an own goal in their recent 4-0 defeat.

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

The Strongest possible starting lineup:
Vaca; Torres, Castillo, Valverde, Sagredo; Castro, Cardozo, Wayar; Chavez, Blackburn, Willie

SM words green background

We say: Santos 1-1 The Strongest

With both sides desperate to record their first victory of the group stage, we see them cancelling each other out on Tuesday.

Both teams have struggled for goals, but have also shown themselves to be leaky in defence, setting the encounter up for a low-scoring draw.

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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