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Sep 24, 2021 at 1.30am UK
PenarolPenarol
1-2
Athletico PRAthletico Paranaense
Alvarez (22')
Trindade (40'), Busquets (74'), Alvarez (84'), Rodriguez (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Terans (2'), Rocha (75')
Erick (13'), Richard (33'), Nicolas (77'), Nikao (83'), Cittadini (90+3')

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

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

The most successful club domestically in Uruguay are hoping to re-establish themselves as a footballing power in South America as Penarol host Athletico Paranaense in the first leg of their semi-final tie at the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday from Estadio Campeon del Siglo in Montevideo.

Decano beat the reigning Peruvian champions Sporting Cristal 4-1 on aggregate in the previous round, while Paranaense had a big second half at home against LDU Quito of Ecuador, scoring twice to win their quarter-final tie by a cumulative score of 4-3.


Match preview

In nearly 130 years as a football club, Penarol have established a long-standing tradition of winning, a tradition that has been lost in recent years and one that they are hoping to rebuild.

With 50 domestic league titles, to go along with three Intercontinental Cups and another five Copa Libertadores trophies, it is easy to see why they were named the South American Club of the Century in 2009 as voted on by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.

However, for a team with so many championships to boast about, they have not captured any silverware since winning the Uruguayan Primera Division in 2018, while having not won an international competition since the 1987 Copa Libertadores.

This is as close as they have ever come to capturing the Copa Sudamericana, and Manyas will be hoping to return to continental glory and at the same time become the first club from Uruguay to win this event.

In the opening stages of this tournament, Mauricio Larriera saw his side put on several dominating displays, scoring 15 goals while conceding only three.

They were able to earn points in five of their six group matches by getting off to a quick start, but it has been the opposite story for them in the knockout stages as Penarol scored two injury-time goals in each half to outlast Nacional on away goals, and then they got a late goal in the first leg of their quarter-final tie, before eventually eliminating Sporting Cristal.

We saw them play very aggressively in the opening phase of this tournament, but against more vigorous opponents and with more to lose in these elimination matches, they have been a lot more conservative, with no more than 44% possession in each of their quarter-final games and only five shots on target combined in both matches.

Athletico Paranaense have not enjoyed as much success as their Uruguayan opponents throughout their history, but the club from Curitiba have been better internationally of late, winning this tournament for the first time in 2018.

They were the last Brazilian side to triumph in this South American club championship and if they can win it again this year, it would mark the first time that they have captured any national or international competition more than once.

Domestically, Athletico have been average at best in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A this year, currently sitting in ninth, the exact spot where they finished in 2020.

Their mediocre seasons of late could have been a good thing for Antonio Oliveira and his team, who have been able to fly under the radar in the Copa Sudamericana to this point.

Paranaense were the second-lowest scoring team among the group winners, but they were also the toughest to break down, conceding only once in their six fixtures in the group stage.

While they had no trouble shutting down America de Cali, holding them to only a shot on goal in each encounter, we saw a rare offensive outburst from them in the last eight of this tournament with four goals in one game, something that they have only done once this year in league play.

El Paranaense have never lost to a side from Uruguay in four previous meetings in this competition, and their fans will have fond memories of the last time that they faced Penarol in the Copa Sudamericana when they beat them 6-1 on aggregate in that two-leg affair before eventually winning the championship.

Penarol Copa Sudamericana form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

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

Athletico Paranaense Copa Sudamericana form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Athletico Paranaense form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Pablo Ceppelini is out with a yellow card suspension for Penarol, and goalkeeper Martin Correa will be missing due to a muscle injury as Kevin Dawson has played in every game of this tournament so far, collecting five clean sheets.

Agustin Alvarez has nine goals in this competition up to this point, while Facundo Torres is next with four and Jesus Trindade notched the only goal in their 1-0 quarter-final victory back in August.

Juan Manuel Ramos started at the back in their second leg match versus Sporting Cristal as Valentin Rodriguez played in a more attacking role and Torres sat out.

Matheus Babi is gone for the season for Athletico with a cruciate ligament rupture, while Vitinho, who led them in goals at this tournament with four, signed with Dynamo Kiev at the end of August and Guilherme Bissoli helped get them into the semis with two goals, seven minutes apart against Quito.

They will be relying on the experience of attacking midfielder Nikao, who was on the side who triumphed in this event in 2018, scoring four goals, just one less than their former star striker Pablo.

Last Saturday in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, Abner collected his third assist in this league campaign, putting him three behind David Terans for the team lead and one back of Marcinho for second.

Penarol possible starting lineup:
Dawson; V. Rodriguez, Kagelmacher, C. Rodriguez, Gonzalez; Trinidade; Torres, Ceppelini, Gargano, Olivera; A. Alvarez

Athletico Paranaense possible starting lineup:
Santos; Ivaldo, Fasson, Heleno, Abner; Richard, Christian; Nikao, Terans, Canesin; Bissoli


We say: Penarol 1-0 Athletico Paranaense

Penarol have allowed more scoring opportunities in their own third of the field in the knockout stages, but they seem to be pretty comfortable dealing with those dangers, especially at home, where they have only conceded twice in this competition so far while also collecting four consecutive clean sheets in all competitions heading into this encounter.

Athletico have struggled to find the back of the net a lot in this tournament, and maintaining a high level of play will be difficult given that they have not had more than five days rest in between matches since the beginning of April.



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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