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Copa Sudamericana | Round of 16 | 1st Leg
Jul 16, 2021 at 1.30am UK
Estadio Polideportivo de Pueblo Nuevo

2 - 2

Preview: Deportivo Tachira vs. Rosario Central - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Deportivo Tachira vs. Rosario Central - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa Sudamericana clash between Deportivo Tachira and Rosario Central, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Deportivo Tachira and Rosario Central do battle in Venezuela on Friday in the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana last-16 tie.

The hosts dropped into this tournament following a third-place finish in the Copa Libertadores, while Rosario Central booked their place in the knockout stage by topping their Copa Sudamericana group.

Match preview

Deportivo Tachira come into the Copa Sudamericana having narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Copa Libertadores knockout stage in the final round of group fixtures.

Defeats to Internacional and Always Ready saw them sit on just three points from three games with the threat of dropping out, but they bounced back, firstly beating Internacional 2-1 thanks to late goals from Nelson Hernandez and Maurice Cova to remain in the battle for spots in the top two.

Juan Tolisano's men then thrashed Always Ready 7-2 to move into second place, as Freddy Gondola netted a brace alongside goals from Cova, Yerson Chacon, Lucas Gomez, Michael Covea and Douglar Angarita, meaning they simply needed to avoid defeat in the last group game with third-placed Olimpia to progress to the final 16.

However, that crucial clash would not go to plan for the Aurinegro, instead being thrashed 6-2 in Paraguay, as goals from Lucas Trejo and Angarita came in vain, with braces from Richard Ortiz and Isidro Pitta alongside a Hugo Quintana goal and a Derlis Gonzalez penalty sending Olimpia through in place of Tachira.

They now come into South America's second continental competition in a strong run of form, having won four of their last five games in the Venezuelan top flight, most recently beating Zamora 3-0 thanks to goals from Marlon Fernandez, Gondola and Chacon, seeing them remain at the top of their group.

Tolisano's side head into the round of 16 to take on a Rosario Central side who earned their spot by topping Group A.

After a disappointing 1-0 defeat to 12 de Octubre in the opening game, Kily Gonzalez's side bounced back, defeating fellow Argentinians San Lorenzo 2-0 and drawing 1-1 away from home against Huachipato.

The four-time Argentinian champions then recorded back-to-back wins to all but seal top spot, firstly defeating San Lorenzo 2-1 thanks to a Federico Gattoni own goal and an Emiliano Vecchio goal.

Following that, goals from Lucas Gamba, Vecchio, Damian Martinez and Luca Martinez alongside a Joaquin Gutierrez own goal fired Rosario Central to an eye-catching 5-0 win over second-placed Huachipato, leaving them requiring just one point from the final game to guarantee their spot in the final eight, and they would pick that up following a goalless draw with 12 de Octubre.

They will now look to continue the form they displayed in the group stage, despite finishing the first phase of the Argentinian top flight in disappointing fashion, dropping to eighth spot in the 13-team group after consecutive defeats from the final two games.

Deportivo Tachira form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Rosario Central Copa Sudamericana form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Rosario Central form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

The Deportivo Tachira line should be led by Lucas Gomez, who has hit five goals in 11 appearances this campaign, having found the net twice in the Copa Libertadores group stage and three times in the Venezuelan Primera Division.

They are expected to remain without 19-year-old centre-back Carlos Vivas, who has missed the last five league games after an impressive start to the campaign.

Attacker Yerson Chaca will hope that his goal off the bench in the recent 3-0 league win will be enough to earn him a starting spot on Friday.

Experienced forward Lucas Gamba should lead the Rosario Central attack, having helped them through the group stage with two goals and an assist in five appearances.

Midfielder Emiliano Vecchio will also play a key role going forward, having hit two goals and an assist of his own in four group games.

Kily Gonzalez opted to go with a centre-back pairing of Facundo Almada and Gaston Avila for the final group game, and they should line up again together on Friday after a clean sheet in that game, despite pressure from key defender Joaquin Laso who was dropped to the bench.

Deportivo Tachira possible starting lineup:
Varela; Camacho, Trejo, Quintero, Granados; Chacon, Cova, Flores, Gondola; Gomez, Covea

Rosario Central possible starting lineup:
Broun; Martinez, Almada, Avila, Blanco; Zabala, Vecchio, Ojeda, Ferreyra; Gamba, Ruben

We say: Deportivo Tachira 2-1 Rosario Central

In what should be a close encounter between two fairly well-matched sides, this could go certainly go either way, but we see Tachira taking a narrow lead into the away leg.

Rosario Central looked strong in the group stage, and could bring that confidence into this game, but the break in the Argentinian domestic game means they have played very little competitive football recently, and that could be exploited by the hosts.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data

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