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Copa Libertadores: Week 6 Preview

CopaLibertadoresAction (AP)


With CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers around the corner, many South American clubs in the Copa Libertadores' sixth week of competition are looking to enter the break from the tournament on a positive note but it won't be that easy.

A slate of 11 matches scheduled for this week—including six on Wednesday squeezed into a five hour window—will more or less help cement the gap between those teams that will be comfortable enough to plan for the Round of 16 stages in May and those who will just have to focus on their respective domestic leagues.

At least five of the contests are replicas of last week, which could allow the losers of the some of those matches to get back some points and extract revenge. Some bottom-of-the-table outfits could also get a lifeline should they get the maximum points.

Here is a quick look at some of the Week Six games:


There won't be any love lost in Ecuador where Cuenca will look to avenge last week's 1-0 loss to Venezuela's Tachira. Last week's game produced two red cards and nine yellows as Tachira got on board on a free-kick from Jose Villafraz that surprisingly put the Venezuelans on top of Group 2 along with Boca Juniors.

In Argentina, Lanus, still without a win in the tournament and in danger of checking out, needs a strong show against Chile's Everton in Group 6 action. Both teams came away with a point last week after their 1-1 draw.

And, in Colombia, winless America de Cali visits domestic rivals Medellin. Both also tied last week and a win by America would amazingly place them in a three-way first-place tie, pending Wednesday's results at least. A loss or tie could effectively end the party for them.


Up for grabs between Colombia's Chico and Universidad de Chile is a chance to top Group 7. The Colombians want to shake off last week's 1-0 loss to Brazil's Gremio at home but will have another chance to impress fans when they host the red-hot Chileans, who have yet to lose this year in Libertadores and the Chilean championship.

Paraguay's Libertad, the only perfect team in the tournament with three wins in three matches, could stamp their ticket for the next round if they top San Lorenzo in Argentina.

Boca should be able to take three points in Paraguay against a weak Guarani side and will have a fully-focused Juan Roman Riquelme now that he's officially quit the Argentine national team.

In an attractive tilt, Group 4 co-leaders, Uruguay's Defensor Sporting and Brazil's Sao Paulo, will duke it out in Uruguay while Cruzeiro looks to put Bolivia's Universitario de Sucre out of its misery in Brazil and widen its lead in Group 10.

Mexico's San Luis, bottom of Group 8, could claw right back into the race if they defeat Nolberto Solano and Universitario de Deportes of Peru. The Mexicans and Peruvians produced a goalless stalemate in Lima last week.


Estudiantes de la Plata will want to impress new manager Alejandro Sabella when they host Ecuador's Deportivo Quito, who topped the Argentines last week 1-0. The loss seemed to be the last straw as it led to the resignation of Estudiantes' previous manager Leonardo Astrada following several other lackluster results.

Finally, Uruguay's Nacional hosts Argentina's River Plate in a matchup of the continent's traditional giants. With a win, River could climb into a three-way tie with Nacional and Peru's San Martin in Group 3.

What do you think of this week's matchups? Can the Round of 16 get here any sooner? Or do the lower-table teams have a chance to advance?


  1. Libertad looks cohesive and focused, they’ll be a force. Boca will ride Riquelme’s anger with the national team into the next round. Sad to say LDU Quito looks like a long shot to make the next round, let alone repeat. I think the championship winnings have been pocketed instead of reinvested, sucks.

  2. Universidad de Chile, Libertad (Paraguay), or Boca Juniors. Those are to be the teams to beat. Unless the get matched up against each other I’d expect them to coast to the semi-final round.


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