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May 5, 2021 at 1.30am UK
DefensaDefensa y Justicia
Tripichio (68')
Hachen (19'), Bou (36'), Loaiza (43'), Britez (53'), Rodriguez (83')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rony (47', 56')
Luis (54')

Preview: Defensa y Justicia vs. Palmeiras - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Defensa y Justicia vs. Palmeiras - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa Libertadores clash between Defensa y Justicia and Palmeiras, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Less than a month after their battle in the CONMEBOL Recopa, Defensa y Justicia and Palmeiras renew hostilities in the third round of the Copa Libertadores group stage on Wednesday.

The Argentinian hosts have taken four points from their first two games of Group A, while Palmeiras are sitting pretty at the top following back-to-back victories.

Match preview

The less said about Defensa's league form the better, but the 2020 Copa Sudamericana winners have at least made a positive start to just their second Copa Libertadores campaign, claiming a draw and win from their opening two outings.

Sebastian Beccacece's men had to make do with a 1-1 draw against Independiente del Valle in their inaugural game of the tournament, but they were simply too strong for Peruvian outfit Universitario last week, as Francisco Pizzini and Walter Bou (two) propelled them to a comfortable 3-0 success.

With four points to boast at this stage, Defensa occupy second spot in the group - which would see them advance to the last 16 should they consolidate that position - but a 1-0 league defeat to Union at the weekend marked their seventh successive top-flight game without a win.

Victory over Universitario represents their only success at the Estadio Norberto Tomaghello in their last five outings across all competitions - a stark contrast to their remarkable home form over the winter period - and reports of more players testing positive for coronavirus could have Palmeiras licking their lips at the prospect of revenge.

Defending Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras have started as they mean to go on in this season's tournament, taking six points from their opening two games to sit comfortably at the summit in Group A.

Abel Ferreira's side followed up their nail-biting 3-2 win over Universitario with a resounding 5-0 success against Independiente del Valle last time out, during which Rony bagged a brace as Danilo Barbosa, Patrick de Paula and Luiz Adriano put the icing on the cake.

Palmeiras have not had it all their own way in league action this year, but they head into their game with Defensa on the back of a narrow win at Santo Andre, with Gustavo Scarpa scoring the decisive goal in the 19th minute for the Brazilian giants.

Ferreira's men travel to Defensa on a three-game winning streak away from home across all competitions, and having made a perfect start to proceedings in the Copa Libertadores, their die-hard supporters will not accept anything less than a third win as they assume control of their group.

Palmeiras will want vengeance against Defensa after losing to the Argentinian outfit in last month's CONMEBOL Recopa, as Ferreira's side lost on penalties following a 3-3 aggregate draw after two legs.

Defensa y Justicia Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • W

Defensa y Justicia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Palmeiras Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W

Palmeiras form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Defensa were already without Braian Romero, Nicolas Gonzalez, Franco Paredes, Fernando Meza and Carlos Rotondi due to COVID-19, and five more players in Enzo Fernandez, Lautaro Escalante, Tomas Martinez, Eugenio Isnaldo and Lautaro Amade are understood to have tested positive as well.

Escalante, Martinez and Fernandez all featured in the win over Universitario, so Beccacece has plenty to ponder with regards to team selection for this game, but Pizzini and Bou will certainly return after being left out of the starting lineup at the weekend.

With River Plate loanee Fernandez unavailable, the hosts may call upon Valentin Larralde to fill the void in midfield.

Major rotation should be seen on the visitors' end as they cope with the gruelling schedule, but Matias Vina continues to serve a suspension after seeing red in the CONMEBOL Recopa final.

The likes of De Paula and Nice loanee Danilo Barbosa are expected to earn recalls to the midfield, while the deadly double act of Rony and Adriano will resume their partnership up top.

Veteran midfielder Felipe Melo is another option in midfield, but Ferreira should stick with the same XI from their thumping of Independiente on matchday two.

Defensa y Justicia possible starting lineup:
Unsain; Frias, Britez, J Rodriguez; M Rodriguez, Loaiza, Larralde, Gallardo; Pizzini, Bou, Hachen

Palmeiras possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Renan, Gomez, Luan; Rocha, Danilo Barbosa, De Paula, Veiga, Luis; Rony, Adriano

We say: Defensa y Justicia 0-3 Palmeiras

The hosts' large-scale coronavirus outbreak is sure to hamper their aspirations of getting one over their old adversaries once again, and Palmeiras are showing no signs of letting up in their quest for back-to-back continental crowns, so we can only back a resounding win for the Brazilian outfit.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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last updated article - 2021-05-04 09:43:18:
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