Libertadores final preview | Brazilfooty


Big Cup South America

Santos and Palmeiras will go head-to-head in this year’s Copa Libertadores final in Rio later today. Here’s what you need to know.

It will be one of the strangest Libertadores Cup finals ever. You will play in the legendary Maracaní£ in Rio, between two of the most traditional Brazilian teams, both from the state of Sí£ o Paulo. You would normally expect thousands of fans, perhaps a hundred thousand or more, to descend upon town for such an occasion. The city with the best carnival in the world will be rocking.

Of course we are in the middle of this epidemic, so the atmosphere will be dim, both on and off the field. But under the circumstances, it’s great that this match can continue. Finishing the competition is an achievement in itself, and both teams head into the game with a clean bill of health.

Another unusual feature of the game is its timing – it’s 5pm (8pm in the UK) and in the middle of summer in Rio. Temperatures are likely to be above 30°C for most of the match, so don’t expect a Premier League-style action. The low pressure and slow pace of the game, perhaps determined, by a moment of individual skill, are most likely.

Most critics and fans believe that both teams are equal and either side can win. In fact, according to the excellent English-language Palmeiras blog Anything Palmeras, in the last five crucial matches between the two teams – Paulistí £o 2013, Paulistí £o and the 2015 Brasil Cup, Paulistí £o semi-finals in 2016 and 2018 – all have gone to penalties. For me, Palmeiras is a little favourite.

On paper, according to accountants, Palmeiras is a much stronger team. Even the most optimistic Santista He would deny this. Highlighting the point is Lucas Lima, Santos’ best player a few years ago, who moved to Palmeiras for free and is likely to be on the Palmeiras bench. But things like that don’t matter much when both teams cross the white line, and in fact, Santos’ players seem to thrive in adversity. Fair play with Cuca to do an excellent job of getting the best out of the players at his disposal and working on a tight budget.

Both teams have struggled for consistency this year and it has been a long and difficult season with several league and cup matches, as well as both teams having to deal with sporadic Covid outbreaks in their teams. It was a particularly tough roster for Palmeiras, who also reached the Brazil Cup final.

Neutral watchers who are interested in the upcoming Brazilian talent will have plenty to watch. On the Palmeiras side, Gabriel Menino is one to watch. He is only 20 years old but has already been called up to the entire national team squad. He is a creative midfielder who can also play as a right back. He has the personality, skill, maturity and confidence that belies his young age. He is likely to start today’s match in midfield alongside his young teammate Danilo, who is a year younger than him but more defensive.

Also in the Palmeiras squad, although he is likely to start from the bench, are Gabriel Veron, who is linked to many of the biggest clubs in Europe, and Patrick de Paula, the defensive midfielder I really like, who is strong, calm and tenacious. (He’s had a few injuries lately – if it wasn’t for him he’d have started really well.)

Santos has perhaps the most famous academy in Brazil, having produced the likes of Pele, Robinho, Diego, Neymar and others; They constantly bring in quality players. 19-year-old Caio Jorge is likely to start up front, while 18-year-old midfielder Sandy can start in midfield. Both are young Brazilian internationals with the usual levels of skill and quality you would expect Seleção players.

It’s not just about young people, of course. Marinho is the main man for Santos. He is a quick, skilled, left, right winger and can score and make goals. On the other side of the front three in attack, they have Sutildo, who is fast, skilled, with his right foot, a left winger. good players. Lucas Verissimo is the rock in Santos’ defence, who made his last game for the club before moving to Benfica, and will be led by midfielder Alisson.

Palmeiras’ star is goalkeeper Weaverton, who was, at this time, probably the second-place finisher in Brazil behind Alisson, but well ahead of Ederson. Gustavo Gomez is an imposing and impressive defender, while Rooney is the dangerous man in attack. He didn’t have the best start at Palmeiras, but he shone in the Libertadores, scoring five goals. As far as I’m concerned, any man who can do that deserves respect.

comemoraçí £ o do gol de Rony, do Palmeiras, counter o River Plate - Foto: Staff Images / Conmebol

In terms of the game, I expect it to be tight. It is unlikely that both teams will take much risk and keep them tight at the back. Palmeiras is likely to block possession, and Santos will seek to exploit any spaces he leaves by awarding the ball to Sutildo and Mario. In this, anything can really happen. Possible formations for the game are as follows:

Palmeiras: Waverton. Marcos Rocha, Gustavo Gomez, Luanne, Via; Danilo, Raphael costume, Gabriel Menino, Rafael Vega; Rooney, Louise Adriano.

Santos: John. Parra, Lucas Verissimo, Luanne Perez, and Felipe Jonathan; Allison, Diego; Petuka, Sandri; Sutildo, Cayo Jorge, Marinho.

For UK viewers wanting to watch it, it doesn’t appear to be on BBC TV, although it will be available on iPlayer, I believe.

Leave a comment – join the discussion

Follow Brazilfooty on FacebookAnd the Twitter And the Instagram


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !
To Top