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Apr 29, 2021 at 1am UK
River PlateRiver Plate
2-1
JuniorAtletico Junior
Martinez (29'), Alvarez (55')
Montiel (34'), Casco (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Borja (90+4')
Hinestroza (28'), Vasquez (59'), Ditta (78')

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

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

After both drew their first games of the group stage last time out, River Plate and Atletico Junior go head-to-head in Copa Libertadores action on Thursday, as they battle for spots in the top two of group D.

River Plate drew their opening game 1-1 with Fluminense, while Junior travel to Argentina having also drawn 1-1, after they hosted Santa Fe last week.


Match preview

River Plate kicked off their Copa Libertadores campaign with a trip to Brazil last time out, as they took on Fluminense.

Right-back Gonzalo Montiel opened the scoring for the Argentinian outfit after just 13 minutes from the penalty spot, but Fred would go on to equalise on the hour mark for the hosts, forcing River Plate to settle for a point.

This season marks their 37th appearance in the Copa Libertadores, having lifted the trophy four times so far.

The most recent glory came in 2018, as Marcelo Gallardo's side defeated bitter rivals Boca Juniors 5-3 on aggregate after extra time in Madrid.

However, Gallardo's men have somewhat struggled domestically in recent years, having failed to win the top flight since 2014.

Los Millonarios currently sit third in their league group, although they are still battling to secure their spot in the top four, as they look to book their place in the knockout stage.

For now, River Plate will turn their attention to the continental competition, as they look to boost their chances of reaching the final 16 with what would be a crucial victory on Thursday.

Their opponents will also have their sights set on securing their first victory of the group stage, after they played out a 1-1 draw in their first game.

Junior hosted Colombian rivals Santa Fe in their first game of the group stage, and they got off to a strong start as Fredy Hinestroza put them ahead after 30 minutes.

That lead would not last long though, as Kelvin Osorio converted a penalty for the visitors just four minutes later, and Junior were unable to capitalise on a Carlos Arboleda red card for the visitors in the 70th minute, with the game finishing level.

They again hosted Santa Fe last time out in the quarter-final first leg of the Colombian top flight.

On that occasion, Amaranto Perea's side cruised to a 3-1 victory, as Luis Gonzalez scored alongside a Miguel Borja brace, before Jeison Palacios pulled a goal back for Santa Fe.

Los Tiburones will be keen to make the most of their spot in the Copa Libertadores, after they had to go through two rounds of qualifying to reach the group stage, firstly beating Venezuelan outfit Caracas 5-2 on aggregate.

They then booked their spot in South America's elite competition with a 4-2 aggregate win over Boliviar, as they overturned a 2-1 deficit with a 3-0 win in the second leg.

Perea's men will now be desperate to put their first win of the group stage on the board, as they look to avoid crashing out after a tough qualifying campaign.

River Plate Copa Libertadores form:
  • D

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

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

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

Team News

River Plate are expected to remain without centre-back Javier Pinola and forward Matias Suarez through injury, while right-back Alex Vigo was fit enough to make the bench against Fluminense after a spell on the sidelines.

Enzo Perez will offer plenty of experience and quality in midfield, having played for Valencia and Benfica as well as accumulating 26 international appearances for Argentina.

He could again be joined in the middle by Agustin Palavecino and Milton Casco.

Santos Borre will lead the line, having netted seven goals in 10 domestic appearances this campaign.

Despite being shown a red card last time out, Junior right-back Marlon Piedrahita will be eligible to feature in this game, with his suspension instead applying to the next domestic game.

Miguel Borja will lead the line, having started the group game against Santa Fe and netted a brace in the recent league victory.

Winger Fredy Hinestroza opened the scoring in their first group game against Santa Fe, and he will offer plenty of attacking threat from the wide areas on Thursday.

River Plate possible starting lineup:
Armani; Montiel, Diaz, Martinez, Angileri; Casco, Perez, Palavecino; Alvarez, Borre, De La Cruz

Atletico Junior possible starting lineup:
Viera; Viafara, Ditta, Mera, Velasco; Martinez, Angel; Pajoy, Sambueza, Hinestroza; Borja


We say: River Plate 2-0 Atletico Junior

The Argentinian side should have too much quality for Thursday's visitors, and will be hopeful of cruising through the clash to go top of the group.

We expect Gallardo's men to use their abundance of experience on the continental stage to record their first win and put themselves in pole position to qualify out of group D.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data



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