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May 13, 2021 at 1am UK
JuniorAtletico Junior
River PlateRiver Plate
Borja (20')
Borja (6'), Rosero (53'), Moreno (55'), Viafara (62'), Hinestroza (80'), Perea (86'), Cetre (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Diaz (90+2')
Ponzio (45'), Rojas (55'), Maidana (59'), Casco (88')

Preview: Atletico Junior vs. River Plate - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atletico Junior vs. River Plate - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa Libertadores clash between Atletico Junior and River Plate, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Argentinian outfit River Plate travel to Colombia on Thursday to face Atletico Junior in gameweek four of the Copa Libertadores.

The visitors are only behind Group D leaders Fluminense on goals scored, while their hosts have not registered a win in this season's competition so far.

Match preview

Junior have recorded two 1-1 draws in the group stages with the first coming against Santa Fe on the opening gameweek and the latest coming last Friday against Fluminense.

Miguel Borja put his side 1-0 up after 11 minutes in the game against Fluminense, but their lead was short-lived as the visitors equalised through Kayky just nine minutes later.

Luis Perea's side knocked Santa Fe out of the league playoffs and have now set up a semi-final tie against Millonarios, with the first leg of that game due to be played this weekend.

Borja has been the Colombian side's top goalscorer this season, having netted eight times in 14 appearances and he did score a late consolation goal against Thursday's visitors the last time they met in gameweek two.

River Plate won that game after goals from Hector Martinez and Julian Alvarez were enough to secure a 2-1 victory, and that result was the Argentinian side's first of the tournament this season.

Marcelo Gallardo's side had a positive result last time out when they faced Aldosivi in the Liga Profesional Argentina, with goals from Gonzalo Montiel, Rafael Santos Borre, Jose Paradela and Matias Suarez securing a 4-1 victory.

That result was River Plate's sixth win of the league campaign and it meant that they finished in third place, and have set up a playoff tie with second-placed Group B side Boca Juniors.

River Plate will be aiming for their fourth Copa Argentina this season having last won the domestic cup in 2019, and they have also won the Copa Libertadores four times before now, their last title in this competition coming in 2018.

Junior have only ever made it as far as the semi-finals in the Copa Libertadores and will need a victory on Thursday to increase their chances of progressing through the group stages in this season's tournament.

Atletico Junior Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • L
  • D

Atletico Junior form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

River Plate Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • W
  • D

River Plate form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

The point gained by Junior against Fluminense last time out will be viewed as a good point by Perea considering their visitors top the group, and therefore we can expect a similar lineup to play against River Plate also.

Borja will be looking to add to his goals tally having scored in Junior's previous two Copa Libertadores games, with John Pajoy and Fredy Hinestroza looking to create chances from the wide areas of the pitch.

Goalkeeper Sebastian Viera is still in search of his first clean sheet of the group stages and with River Plate drawing a blank in front of goal in the last gameweek against Santa Fe, Viera's confidence of keeping the opposition out may have increased.

River Plate continue to be without defender Javier Pinola as he is suffering from a broken hand, and his return to play is not expected until the beginning of June.

Nicolas De La Cruz will be looking to create chances for his side from the midfield having provided five assists in the league campaign this season.

With a 2-1 victory for River Plate against Atletico Junior in gameweek two, a similar lineup to the one that started that home fixture is likely to be named on Thursday.

Atletico Junior possible starting lineup:
Viera; Fuentes, Martinez, Rosero, Viafara; Vasquez, Moreno; Hinestroza, Cetre, Pajoy; Borja

River Plate possible starting lineup:
Armani; Martinez, Rojas, Diaz; Angileri, Palavecino, Perez, de la Cruz, Montiel; Borre, Alvarez

We say: Atletico Junior 1-1 River Plate

Atletico Junior will want to build upon their 1-1 draw with Fluminense last time out but will also be cautious that River Plate got the better of them in gameweek two.

River Plate themselves need a victory to try to leapfrog Fluminense into top spot in Group D, however a defeat for the visitors would allow their counterparts to draw level on points with them so they may adopt a defensive tactic to ensure they do not lose the game.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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