Bragantino will host Estudiantes this Tuesday on matchday five of the Copa Libertadores, in a match that the Brazilian club is obliged to win if it wants to secure a place in the round of 16, while the Argentine, already classified, seeks to remain at the top of the table.
With just one win, added to two draws and one loss, Bragantino occupies second place in the Group C standings with five points, half of his Argentine rival, who has already sealed his pass to the next stage of the tournament.
They are closely followed by Nacional de Montevideo, which has four units, and the Argentinian Vélez Sarsfield, with two.
For this reason, they need to win at home to stay alive, but, to add the three goals, they will have to reverse the bad streak they are going through, since, with the 2-0 defeat they suffered on Saturday against Palmeiras, they chained three consecutive games without overcome.
Aware of the negative sequence of results, the Bragantino coach, Mauricio Barbieri, recalled the team’s fair schedule and asked to leave past commitments behind to focus “totally” on the Libertadores.
“We are going to turn the page and concentrate on Tuesday’s game. We have a very important commitment. We are going to prepare in the best way possible to face Estudiantes and impose our game,” said the coach at a press conference.
For its part, the team from La Plata arrives somewhat more relaxed for the duel in Brazilian territory, since it leads group C with 10 points and, in the entire group stage, has not suffered any defeat.
Estudiantes has had an almost uneventful career and got through to the second round of the Libertadores after beating Nacional 1-0 in what was their third victory in four games played.
Despite the apparent calm, the coach of the Argentine team, Ricardo Zielinski, stated that the team will leave everything on the field because they are “interested” in qualifying first in the group and the advantages that this offers in the next phases.
“I imagine a close game, like the one Bragantino has had with the other teams. We want to add some point since we are interested in qualifying first in the group to be able to define the home games,” he assured.
Those from La Plata are also confident of leaving behind the elimination in the Argentine League Cup, although they will not be able to count on Paraguayan midfielder Jorge Morel in Brazil, suspended after having accumulated three yellow cards.
Bragantino and Estudiantes will meet this Tuesday at the Nabi Abi Chedid stadium in the Brazilian city of Bragança Paulista at 7:15 p.m. local time (22:15 GMT), under the arbitration of Paraguayan Juan Benitez, assisted by his compatriots José Cuevas and Rodney Aquino.
On the sixth and final day of the group stage, which will be played on the 24th of this month, Bragantino will visit Nacional, while Vélez will host Estudiantes.