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Jul 8, 2022 at 1.30am UK at Estadio Único
3 - 0
Castro (9', 47'), Zapiola (57')
Zuqui (45+4'), Noguera (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Capixaba (11'), Moises (60'), Welison (62'), Romarinho (81')
Pikachu (22')

Preview: Estudiantes vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Estudiantes vs. Fortaleza - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa Libertadores clash between Estudiantes and Fortaleza, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After a stalemate in the opening leg last week, Estudiantes and Fortaleza will battle for a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores on Thursday at Estudiantes de La Plata in Bueno Aires.

Los Pincharratas responded quickly in the first encounter, finding an equaliser eight minutes after going behind, playing to a 1-1 draw.

Match preview

Over the 2022 Libertadores campaign, Estudiantes have emerged as one of the most fascinating stories this year in South America.

Many moons ago they dominated this tournament, winning the title on three consecutive occasions from 1968-1970, and another one in 2009.

After a lengthy dry spell, this club might be re-emerging as one to watch out for, losing only one of their opening five group games in this competition, finishing first with a comfortable 13 points.

In their first appearance at this event since 2019, Estudiantes have been a tough side to penetrate defensively, with a solid structure in place, while their players are constantly well-positioned to make vital interceptions.

Their close proximity to one another on the field allows them to move the ball quickly in transition, while there always seems to be numerous passing options for whoever happens to possess the ball for them.

They have only conceded once at home in five Libertadores fixtures this season, boasting a 100% record over that stretch, although they tend to leave an excessive amount of space in their third of the field.

Ricardo Zielinski's side may not possess the same quality as some of the elite teams in this competition, like Palmeiras and River Plate, however, their ability to break through the lines, along with a solid collective effort has enabled them to remain pretty consistent throughout this competition.

After an impressive 2021 domestic campaign in which they finished in the top-four, thus earning a place in the Libertadores, Fortaleza have failed to maintain that same kind of success this season.

Currently dead last in the Brasileiro Serie A, seven points below the relegation line, manager Juan Pablo Vojvoda has had to keep his top players in the lineup for virtually every game, in what has been a physically demanding schedule for the Brazilians.

In their inaugural Libertadores campaign, Leao do Pici started poorly, losing their opening two matches in the group phase, before a dramatic winner 11 minutes from the end against Alianza Lima (2-1) seemed to breathe new life into this squad.

From there, they managed to go unbeaten in their final three group games while overcoming two own goals on Matchday Six away to Colo-Colo, winning 4-3, and beating out the Chileans for a spot in the last 16 by three points.

Clube da Garotado are among the few clubs in the Brazilian top-flight that enjoy pushing forward in numbers, with all 10 outfield players often involved in the attack.

The difference between last season and this one has been a drop in quality, notching the third-fewest goals (13) in the current domestic campaign.

Estudiantes Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Estudiantes form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Fortaleza Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Fortaleza form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Agustin Rogel has been the main contributor for El Leon in this competition, scoring four goals, with Gustavo Del Prete in second with two, while Leandro Diaz tallied his first goal in the opening leg last week allowing his side to head home all square.

Franco Zapiola had the only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal Sarandi in the Argentine Primera Division this past weekend, Mariano Andujar has faced a shot or fewer in four of his five home fixtures while collecting a total of six clean sheets to this point of the tournament.

Emmanuel Mas continues to search for his first assist in the Libertadores, as Diaz leads them in that department, having set up three goals thus far, while Fernando Zuqui, Del Prete, Mauro Boselli and Manuel Castro are tied for second with one.

Silvio Romero notched his third of the competition in the opening leg, moving into a tie for first alongside his Fortaleza teammate Moises, while Juninho Capixaba picked up his first assist on that opening goal.

Their leading goalscorer domestically, Yago Pikachu, is first on the team at this tournament when it comes to assists with four.

It was his second-half goal on matchday six which enabled Fortaleza to make it into the knockout round, despite the best efforts of defender Brayan Ceballos, who tallied two own-goals to make things interesting.

Goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck will not have to worry about Ceballos threatening his goal in this game, as the Colombian is out with a bout of COVID-19, as is Valentin Depietri.

Robson is still recovering from an issue in his knee, and Tinga will not be available until early August because of a ligament injury.

Estudiantes possible starting lineup:
Andujar; Mas, Noguera, Lollo, Rogel, Godoy; Zapiola, Rodriguez, Morel, Rollheiser; Del Prete

Fortaleza possible starting lineup:
Boeck, Landazuri, Benevenuto, Titi; Pikachu, Welison, Crispim, Capixaba; Lima, Romero, Moises

We say: Estudiantes 1-0 Fortaleza

Fatigue seems to have taken a toll on each team, though Estudiantes have been at their best at home, which should be just enough to see them through to the quarter-finals.

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

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