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Copa Libertadores | Round of 16 | 2nd Leg
Aug 9, 2023 at 1am UK
Arena de Baixada

Athletico PR
2 - 1

Bolivar win 5-4 on penalties
Fernandinho (31' pen.), Roque (67')
Fernandinho (45+2')

Bejarano (40'), da Costa (45+2'), Fernandez (70'), Bentaberry (77')

Preview: Athletico Paranaense vs. Bolivar - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Athletico Paranaense vs. Bolivar - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Athletico Paranaense and Bolivar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Athletico Paranaense have a tall task ahead of them when they welcome Bolivar to Arena da Baixada on Tuesday in the return leg of that round of 16 tie at the Copa Libertadores.

In the opening match, Furacao let an early lead slip away, losing 3-1 to the Bolivians, who are now in the driver's seat heading into this encounter.

Match preview

It looked a little too easy for El Paranaense early on last Tuesday, leading by a goal after only nine minutes, but very quickly, momentum shifted in their opponents' favour as the Bolivians made them pay for their complacency, with three unanswered goals in a match that saw the visitors only manage 34% of the possession.

That was the second successive time in all competitions that this team had allowed three goals in a single match, and it means that Athletico need a two-goal victory to have any hope of advancing beyond the last 16.

Not since the 2019 edition of this tournament have we seen a side advance from a knockout stage tie when trailing by at least two goals heading into the return leg, when Flamengo defeated Emelec 2-0 in the last 16 and won the ensuing penalty shootout, before eventually capturing the title later that year.

El Paranaense, though have never gone into a second-leg encounter in the Libertadores needing, at minimum, a two-goal triumph to survive, nor have they ever advanced from a knockout stage tie in this competition after losing the opening match.

Since Wesley Carvalho took charge of this club in June, they have gone on to lose or draw four times when scoring the opening goal, including this past weekend when Paranaense conceded an injury-time equaliser to Santos in a match which ended 1-1.

Athletico have looked sharp in the attacking third at home of late, though, notching multiple goals in five competitive fixtures in Curitiba under Carvalho, though they have also conceded two goals or more on two occasions at Arena da Baixada since the middle of June.

Conceding early on seems to be just the tonic needed to wake up Bolivar, who have now won or tied two of their last three matches in all competitions despite going behind 1-0, while they have claimed victory on two occasions at this tournament in that scenario.

Benat San Jose has seen his side erupt with nine goals in their previous two competitive fixtures, netting three or more in five straight home matches.

Now, the Bolivians can advance into the quarter-finals of this tournament with either a one-goal loss, a win or a draw, any of which would enable them to make their first appearance in the last eight since 2014, while La Academia would also become the first club from Bolivia since Jorge Wilstermann in 2017 to go that far in this competition.

With their victory in the opening leg, El Rey de Copas maintained their 100% home record versus Brazilian clubs in the last 16 of this tournament, though they have lost 12 of their 14 Libertadores matches played in Brazil, nine by two or more goals.

Their only away triumph in Brazil, however, came versus El Paranaense in 2002, when they claimed a 2-1 victory, scoring twice in the opening half.

Although lately this team have reacted well when going behind, the last time Bolivar were ahead coming into a return leg at this competition, things did not end well for the Bolivians, who were thrashed 8-0 by Santos in the 2012 round of 16 after winning the opening match of that tie 2-1.

Athletico Paranaense Copa Libertadores form:

Athletico Paranaense form (all competitions):

Bolivar Copa Libertadores form:

Bolivar form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Athletico could be without Romulo on Tuesday as he has an unknown problem, Pedro Henrique is out with a broken ankle, Alex Santana might be a game-time decision as he is dealing with a sore foot, Christian will be questionable due to a thigh issue and Fernando is done for the season after tearing his ACL.

Arturo Vidal made his first appearance of the competition last week, while Thiago Heleno was omitted from the starting 11 for only the second time at this year's Libertadores after being suspended for matchday two.

Erick gave them an early lead in the opening leg last week, his first of the competition, while Pablo, who has yet to find the back of the net in the Libertadores, had the only goal for them this weekend in their Brasileiro Serie A clash versus Santos.

Three newcomers who did not start for Bolivar on matchday six were in the opening lineup versus Athletico, with Diego Bejarano, Bruno Savio and Chico replacing Jesus Sagredo, Fernando Saucedo and Roberto Fernandez.

A brace from Ronnie Fernandez and one courtesy of Bejarano enabled the Bolivians to come back from a goal down in the opening leg, while Carlos Lampe only faced three shots in the victory.

Savio had a hat-trick over the weekend in their 6-1 thrashing of Blooming in the Bolivian Primera Division, with Carmelo Algaranaz and Patito Rodriguez also finding the back of the net.

Athletico Paranaense possible starting lineup:
Bento; Khellven, Heleno, Rocha, Esquivel; Erick, Fernandinho, Bueno, Canobbio; Roque, Pablo

Bolivar possible starting lineup:
Lampe; Bentaberry, Ferreyra, Jose Sagredo; Bejarano, Villamil, Justiniano, Uzeda; Savio; Ronnie Fernandez, Algaranaz

We say: Athletico Paranaense 1-1 Bolivar (Bolivar win 4-2 on aggregate)

El Paranaense have the quality to reverse their current predicament, but their defensive frailties have been a problem, and with the momentum favouring Bolivar, we are tipping the Bolivians to move on.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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