MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 15:25:00| >> :120:12496:12496:
May 26, 2021 at 1.30am UK at Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo
Sao PauloSao Paulo
CristalSporting Cristal
Alves (25'), Rojas (68'), Bueno (70')
Alves (45+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Lora (41'), Calcaterra (73')

Preview: Sao Paulo vs. Sporting Cristal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Sao Paulo and Sporting Cristal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sao Paulo and Sporting Cristal lock horns on Wednesday in the final round of Copa Libertadores group stage fixtures.

The hosts have confirmed their qualification for the round of 16 with eight points from their first five games, while Sporting Cristal find themselves in a battle for third spot, having failed to break into the top two.

Match preview

Sao Paulo's Luis Orejuela celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on May 12, 2021© Reuters

Sao Paulo suffered their first defeat of the group stage last time out, as they fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Racing Club, with Joaquin Novillo netting the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark.

Despite that, the Brazilian side have already confirmed their progression to the round of 16, having picked up eight points from their first four group games to seal a top-two finish.

That was largely down to a particularly strong start, as O Clube da Fe recorded consecutive victories from their first two group matches, firstly defeating Wednesday's opponents 3-0 away from home, as Luan, Martin Benitez and Eder all got on the scoresheet.

Hernan Crespo's side then followed that up with a 2-0 home win over Rentistas, as Pablo opened the scoring late in the first half before Reinaldo sealed all three points with an added-time penalty.

Subsequent draws with Rentistas and group leaders Racing Club secured the Brazilian giants' passage to the final 16, while they also lifted the Campeonato Paulista trophy on Sunday thanks to a 2-0 victory in the second leg of the final against Palmeiras.

After a goalless away leg, Luan opened the scoring in the 36th minute, and Luciano doubled their lead in the second half to put the game out of sight and secure the 21st state trophy in the club's history.

While they are unlikely to leapfrog Racing Club on Wednesday, Crespo's side will still be hopeful of building on the final win on Sunday as they aim to gain momentum going into the knockout stage.

Their opponents find themselves with a much greater need for a win, as that would ensure they finished in third spot.

Sporting Cristal coach Roberto Mosquera on April 20, 2021© Reuters

The visitors picked up their first win of the group stage last time out, as they defeated Rentistas 2-0 at home to move off the foot of the table.

Alejandro Hohberg opened the scoring on the stroke of half time before Gerald Tavara doubled their lead in the 67th minute to seal the victory.

That came too late to trigger a top-two push for the Peruvian side, though, as they picked up just one point from their first four matches of the group stage.

However, Roberto Mosquera's side do now sit in pole position for third spot, which allows passage to the Copa Sudamericana, meaning a win on Wednesday would ensure that they still have continental football this season.

Sao Paulo Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Sao Paulo form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Sporting Cristal Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Sporting Cristal form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Sao Paulo's Reinaldo celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on April 30, 2021© Reuters

Sao Paulo will remain without club captain Dani Alves, who missed out on the recent 2-0 victory over Palmeiras through injury.

Defender Walce will also continue his spell on the sidelines, having not featured yet this season.

Pablo should continue to lead the line, while Luciano will hope for a return to the starting lineup alongside the Brazilian after he scored off the bench last time out.

Sporting Cristal will remain without forward Percy Liza and winger Christopher Olivares through injury.

In their absence, Marcos Riquelme will lead the line with the support of the likes of Alejandro Hohberg and Christofer Gonzales.

Meanwhile, Omar Merlo should continue to play alongside Gianfranco Massoni at the heart of the back four.

Sao Paulo possible starting lineup:
Volpi; Arboleda, Miranda, Leo; Vinicius, Santos, Sara, Liziero, Reinaldo; Pablo, Luciano

Sporting Cristal possible starting lineup:
Duarte; Saavedra, Massoni, Merlo, Loyola; Calcaterra, Tavara; Hohberg, Gonzales, Corozo; Riquelme

SM words green background

We say: Sao Paulo 2-0 Sporting Cristal

While Sporting Cristal require a victory to confirm their third-placed finish, and they picked up a crucial victory last time out, we see them falling short against a strong Sao Paulo outfit on Wednesday.

The Brazilian outfit comfortably brushed Mosquera's men aside in the reverse fixture, and we would not be surprised to see that happen again on home turf.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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