MX23RW : Friday, September 17 22:00:42| >> :120:49190:49190:
Jul 15, 2021 at 11.15pm UK at Estádio Urbano Caldeira
SantosSantos
1-0
IndependienteIndependiente
Jorge (69')
Fernandes (66'), Sanchez (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rodriguez (39'), Manuel Insaurralde (80'), Gonzalez (85')

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

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

Two giants of South American football lock horns in the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana on Friday, with Santos welcoming Independiente to the Estadio Urbano Caldeira.

Both sides met for the first time at this stage of the Copa Libertadores three years ago, with the visitors winning 3-0 on aggregate.


Match preview

Santos manger Fernando Diniz during the match on June 25, 2021© Reuters

After reaching the Copa Libertadores final last year, Santos endured a disappointing group-stage campaign this time around, losing four of their six matches and finishing third in Group C, which has seen them drop down into the Copa Sudamericana.

The Alvinegro have since played 13 domestic matches, including 11 in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, where they currently sit in ninth place with 15 points, six points behind the top four.

Santos have also progressed into the last 16 of the Copa do Brasil, after beating Cianorte 3-0 on aggregate last month.

Fernando Diniz's side head into Friday's game unbeaten in their last 10 home matches across all competitions, scoring 18 goals in the process.

Claiming another victory on home soil against Independiente would move Santos one step closer to reaching the Copa Sudamericana quarter-finals for the first time since 2004.

Independiente, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful group-stage campaign in the Copa Sudamericana, finishing top of Group B after winning four and drawing two of their six matches.

The seven-time Copa Libertadores winners are competing in the Sudamericana for the third successive season, and although their fans would like to see them back in CONMEBOL's elite competition, success in South America's second-most prestigious club tournament – for the second time in five years – would still be greatly appreciated.

Since the group stage came to its conclusion in May, Independiente have played just one domestic match, losing 2-0 at home to eventual Argentine Apertura winners Colon in the semi-finals.

Julio Falcioni's side head into Friday's encounter with Santos unbeaten in their last six away games across all competitions.

Independiente have already faced Brazilian opposition this campaign, claiming four points from their two fixtures against Bahia during the group stage. Securing another positive result against Santos would put them in a strong position heading into the second leg next week.

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

Independiente Copa Sudamericana form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

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


Team News

Santos' Marinho celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on June 25, 2021© Reuters

Santos trio Sandry, Jobson and Rafael Longuine are all ruled out with ruptured knee ligament injuries, though the latter could return later this month.

Either Para or Madson, who have both played at least 20 times this season, is set to start at right-back, while Luiz Felipe could replace Danilo Boza in central defence and play alongside 17-year-old Kaiky Fernandes.

Talented forward Kaio Jorge is expected to remain out of contention, as he continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League, which will likely see Marcos Guilherme keep his place up front.

As for Independiente, midfielder Carlos Benavidez and defender Ezequiel Munoz remain on the treatment table with knee injuries.

Either Alan Sonora or Adrian Arregui could come into the midfield at the expense of Gonzalo Asis, while winger Alan Velasco is set to replace Andres Roa on the left flank.

Forwards Silvio Romero and Jonathan Herrera will be fighting for a place in the first XI, though Romero is expected to keep his place in attack on Friday.

Santos possible starting lineup:
Paulo; Para, Felipe, Kaiky, Jonatan; Camacho, Alison; Marinho, Pirani, Braga; Guilherme

Independiente possible starting lineup:
Sosa; Bustos, Barreto, Insaurralde, Rodriguez; Blanco, L. Romero, Sonora; Palacios, S. Romero, Velasco


SM words green background

We say: Santos 1-1 Independiente

Both Santos and Independiente have looked strong going forward this season, though they may take a more cautious approach on Friday to ensure that they remain in the tie heading into the second leg next week.

With little to separate the two teams, a score draw could be on the cards in Sao Paulo.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Santos vs Independiente

Santos
48.6%
Draw
31.4%
Independiente
20.0%
70
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