MX23RW : Tuesday, May 18 11:21:09| >> :600:131223:131223:
Apr 22, 2021 at 1am UK at Estadio Monumental
Gutierrez (65', 67' pen.)
Quintero Medina (22'), Leonardo Valverde Ledesma (35'), Alonso (78'), Alexis Barreto Gamboa (84'), Corzo (84'), Urruti (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
dos Santos de Oliveira (20'), Veiga (52'), Renan (90+5')
Empereur (28'), de Paula (66'), Renan (72'), Melo (77'), dos Santos de Oliveira (82')
Empereur (64')

Preview: Universitario vs. Palmeiras - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa Libertadores clash between Universitario and Palmeiras, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Palmeiras begin the defence of their Copa Libertadores title on Wednesday when they travel to Estadio Monumental "U" in Peru to face Universitario in their opening match in Group A.

Los Merengues won their first match of the season in the Peruvian Primera Division last Thursday while Palmeiras have gone without a goal in their past two games after drawing 0-0 against Botafogo on Sunday.

Match preview

Palmeiras' Felipe Melo and teammates celebrate with the trophy after winning the Copa do Brasil on March 7, 2021© Reuters

Universitario are the most decorated team in the history of Peruvian football, winning the domestic league 26 times, though they have not got their hands on any silverware over the past seven seasons.

They will hope the return of a familiar face as manager can change their fortunes and give fans something to cheer about.

Angel Comizzo is back in charge of the team he helped guide to the domestic league title in 2013 and his side will try to cause a few surprises after being knocked out in the second qualifying round of this competition last season.

Universitario were able to qualify directly into the group stage this time around by winning Fase 1 of the Peruvian Primera Division in 2020.

Palmeiras are coming off a memorable last season that saw them capture the Copa do Brasil and the Campeonato Paulista before capping it all off with their second Copa Libertadores title in January.

Portuguese manager Abel Ferreira has quickly turned around the fortunes of the team from Sao Paulo, but he will know if he is to remain at the helm they must keep winning.

While last season was only the second time they have won this tournament, Palmeiras will be full of confidence heading into the group stage.

The Palestra Alviverde have made it to the knockout stage of this competition in each of the past five seasons.

Palmeiras were especially dominant in this competition their last time out, losing only one of their seven games in the knockout stage, scoring 16 goals while conceding just four en route to the championship.

Universitario Peruvian Primera Division form:

  • D
  • L
  • W

Palmeiras Paulista A1 form:

  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D

Palmeiras form (all competitions):

  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Palmeiras coach Abel Ferreira during the match in December 2020© Reuters

Universitario centre-forward Alexander Succar is still recovering from surgery to his Achilles tendon.

Goalkeeper Aamet Calderon is out with a ruptured Achilles tendon, and left-back Ivan Santillan will miss this game with a knee injury.

Attacking midfielder Hernan Novick has two goals in his side's opening three games in league play, while goalkeeper Jose Carvallo picked up his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over San Martin last week.

Raphael Veiga has three goals in his last four games in all competitions for the Brazilians, though they each came in a losing effort at the Supercopa de Brasil final and in the Recopa Sudamericana.

Paraguay national team captain Gustavo Gomez anchors a stingy defence along with Matias Vina, while Weverton was exceptional in goal in this competition last season with eight clean sheets.

Universitario possible starting lineup:
Carvallo; Valverde, Quina, Alonso, Chavez; Barreto, Alfageme, Urruti, Novick, Quintero; Gutierrez

Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Rocha, Luan, Gomez, Vina; de Paula, Danilo, Wesley, Veiga, Breno; Rony

SM words green background

We say: Universitario 0-3 Palmeiras

Palmeiras know what it takes to do well in this competition having reached at least the quarter-finals or further in each of the past three seasons, while Universitario are here to gain more experience and could be in for a rude awakening facing the defending champions, who had four players named to the team of the tournament in 2020.

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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Mike Jones stands between Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte during the FA Cup quarter-final between Chelsea and Manchester United on March 13, 2017
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