MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 15:05:38| >> :600:1836765:1836765:
May 27, 2021 at 3am UK at Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo
CatolicaUniversidad Catolica
Atletico NacionalAtletico Nacional
Aued (9'), Valencia (79')
Valencia (22'), Saavedra (36'), Nunez (52'), Perez (67'), Astaburuaga (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Candelo (45+2'), Rovira (68'), Hernandez (71')

Preview: Universidad Catolica vs. Atletico Nacional - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa Libertadores clash between Universidad Catolica and Atletico Nacional, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Chilean outfit Universidad Catolica host Colombian side Atletico Nacional in their final group-stage encounter of the Copa Libertadores on Thursday.

Both sides are still in with a chance of progressing from Group F, with the visitors sitting just one point behind Catolica in second, who they beat in the reverse fixture last month.

Match preview

Universidad Catolica's Fernando Zampedri celebrates scoring their second goal with Gaston Lezcano in October 2020© Reuters

Universidad Catolica missed the chance to qualify for the knockout stages with one game to spare, as they narrowly lost 1-0 away at Nacional last week.

Brian Ocampo's 29th-minute strike was enough for the Uruguayans to claim all three points in Montevideo, meaning that second place in Group F is still up for grabs.

Catolica currently occupy the last qualification spot and a win against Atletico Nacional will ensure that they progress to the last 16.

The defending Primera Division champions in Chile represent the country's best hope of ending a lengthy drought in this tournament. Colo-Colo are the only Chilean side to have ever won the Copa Libertadores back in 1991.

Catolica boss Gus Poyet is determined not to finish outside the top two in this competitions for a third successive season.

Meanwhile, Atletico Nacional's winless run in all competitions was extended to six games last week when they lost 1-0 away at Argentinos Juniors.

The Colombians, who failed to have a single shot on target, were hanging on in the dying embers of the match but a 90th-minute strike from Emanuel Herrera secured all three points for the hosts.

Alexandre Guimaraes's side sit third in Group F, just one point behind Thursday's opponents Catolica, who they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture last month, their only victory to date in this year's competition.

Nacional have won the Copa Libertadores twice before, firstly in 1989 and more recently in 2016 beating Ecuadorian side Independiente de Valle 2-1 in the final.

Guimaraes will be hoping he can guide El Verde to another final this campaign, and a victory on Thursday would book their place in the last 16 for the first time in four years.

Universidad Catolica Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Universidad Catolica form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Atletico Nacional Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Atletico Nacional form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Alexandre Guimaraes, now in charge of Atletico Nacional, pictured in March 2020© Reuters

Universidad Catolica remain without German Lanaro, who has a ruptured cruciate ligament, while Gonzalo Tapia is out with a torn muscle and Diego Buonanotte has an abductor problem.

Matias Dituro and Jose Pedro Fuenzalida are also unavailable for selection as they have contracted coronavirus.

Striker Edson Puch is back from a one-match suspension after being shown a straight red card just six minutes after his side scored the winning goal against Argentinos Juniors two weeks ago.

The 35-year-old is set to start in a three-man attack alongside Diego Valencia and Fernando Zampedri.

Atletico Nacional boss Guimaraes adopted a back-five in the loss to Argentinos Juniors last week, but is set to revert to a four-man defence on Thursday, with winger Yerson Candelo set to start at right-back.

Playmaker Andres Andrade and striker Jefferson Duque, who both scored against Catolica in the reverse fixture, are in contention to start.

Baldomero Perlaza and Jarlan Barrera are set to operate on the flanks, while central midfielder Brayan Rovira is expected to keep his place in the first XI.

Universidad Catolica possible starting lineup:
Dituro; Rebolledo, Astaburuaga, Huerta, Parot; Nunez, Gutierrez, Saavedra; Valencia, Zampedri, Puch

Atletico Nacional possible starting lineup:
Quintana; Candelo, Valdelamar, Perea, Banguero; Rovira, Londono; Perlaza, Andrade, Barrera; Duque

SM words green background

We say: Universidad Catolica 1-0 Atletico Nacional

With a place in the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores still up for grabs in Group F, a win for either side will be enough to progress.

Although Atletico Nacional came out on top in the reverse fixture, their current form suggests that they may struggle to pose a threat going forward, and we feel that Universidad Catolica will do enough to secure a slender victory in Santiago.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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