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May 20, 2021 at 1am UK
River PlateRiver Plate
2-1
Santa FeSanta Fe
Angileri (3'), Alvarez (6')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Osorio (73')
Giraldo (60'), Luis Ramos (64'), Moralez Rocha (83')

Preview: River Plate vs. Santa Fe - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Colombian side Santa Fe travel to Argentina where they will face River Plate on Thursday in gameweek five of the Copa Libertadores.

Santa Fe need three points to ensure their Copa Libertadores campaign is not over, whereas the home side could confirm their progression from Group D with a win if the other game between Fluminense and Atletico Junior goes their way too.


Match preview

After finishing third in Group A of the Liga Profesional Argentina, River Plate qualified for the Copa de la Liga Profesional and they faced bitter rivals Boca Juniors in the quarter-final.

Former Premier League striker Carlos Tevez opened the scoring for Boca Juniors after 11 minutes in that game, but Julian Alvarez equalised for the away side with the game ending in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

Marcelo Gallardo's side were then knocked out of that competition after losing 4-2 on penalties, Leonardo Ponzio and Fabricio Angileri missing from 12 yards out.

Last time out in the Copa Libertadores, River Plate needed a 90th-minute equaliser from centre-back Paulo Diaz to earn a 1-1 draw with Junior, River Plate's third draw in four games in this season's tournament.

The Argentinian outfit remain unbeaten in the Copa Libertadores, unlike their opponents on Thursday, with Santa Fe losing two and drawing two games in Group D.

Last week Harold Rivera's side could not defend their 1-0 lead, given to them by Jersson Gonzalez, as Fluminense quickly responded with a goal from Fred before Caio Paulista won the game for the hosts.

Santa Fe are currently on a six-game winless run, during which time they have only managed four goals while conceding eight to their opposition.

Kelvin Osorio is Santa Fe's top goalscorer this season with six goals to his name but only one of those has come in the Copa Libertadores when he scored on the opening weekend against Junior.

The last meeting between River Plate and Santa Fe came in gameweek three when the match at the Estadio General Pablo Rojas ended in a goalless draw, despite the goalkeepers in both goals being tested on multiple occasions.

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

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

Santa Fe Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Santa Fe form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Team News

River Plate have been heavily hit with a coronavirus problem as 10 players were ruled out of their fixture against Boca Juniors last time out.

Nicolas De La Cruz, Bruno Zuculini, Rafael Santos Borre, Federico Girotti, Paulo Diaz, Robert Rojas, Gonzalo Montiel, Santiago Simon, Franco Petroli and Enrique Bologna all returned positive tests prior to the game against Boca Juniors.

A further five players have tested positive for the virus since then, including all four first-team goalkeepers. Alan Diaz, who usually plays for the B team, played in between the posts last time out.

Due to the number of absentees, Gallardo will be forced to name a similar lineup to the side who faced Boca Juniors.

The only enforced change from that game will have to come in the centre-midfield position as Enzo Perez has since produced a positive coronavirus test. Jose Paradela is likely to come into the starting 11 for River Plate.

There are no such selection issues for Rivera, who can name his strongest side and is likely to pick a similar lineup to the one who faced River Plate in gameweek three.

River Plate possible starting lineup:
Diaz; Angileri, Martinez, Maidana, Montiel; Casco, Ponzio, Paradela, Alvarez; Carrascal; Fontana

Santa Fe possible starting lineup:
Castellanos; Delgado, Palacios, Cano, Arboleda; Pico; Arias, Serje, Giraldo, Osorio; Ramos


We say: River Plate 1-1 Santa Fe

Despite a weakened River Plate side eventually losing on penalties against Boca Juniors, in 90 minutes the team managed a 1-1 draw with their greatest rivals, which will give Gallardo's side confidence heading into this game with Santa Fe.

The away side will be hoping that they can capitalise on so many absentees for their hosts but they are yet to register a win in this season's Copa Libertadores and that could well carry on this week.



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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