Barcelona vs Estudiantes
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 19 May 2017
Kick-off: 00:30 CET
Barcelona, the only unbeaten team in the group, have already qualified. They have definitely been one of the biggest surprises of the group stage so far, having beaten Estudiantes and Botafogo away from home, without even conceding a goal. After beating Botafogo 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro two weeks ago, they went on to beat LDU Quito and Independiente del Valle as well, in Ecuador’s championship, where they are now third, four points behind leaders Delfin, but also with a game in hand. The Guayaquil side are in excellent form, having five consecutive wins in all competitions, and having scored at least twice in each of those five games.
This is it, for Estudiantes. Having just three points in four matches, they absolutely must win this one, or else… After their humiliation at Atletico Nacional two weeks ago, they drew 0-0 to Boca Juniors, and last weekend they beat Gimnasia 1-0 in La Plata’s derby (no matter if the game was actually held at nearby Quilmes, not at Estudiantes’ stadium), to climb sixth, just one point below the top four. Estudiantes have been below average in most of their games, but Barcelona have already qualified, so maybe that’s something the Argentines can take advantage of, show that they want the win more than the hosts, and, as it often happens in football, the one who shows a biggest desire to win, actually ends up having things going his way.
Barcelona vs Estudiantes: Head-to-head Stats
Barcelona have hosted Estudiantes twice before, in 1971 and much more recently, in 2015, both times it was the visitors who won, 1-0 and 2-0 respectively.
Barcelona vs Estudiantes: Prediction
I have underestimated Barcelona since day one of this season’s Copa Libertadores, and despite the fact that they have already qualified, I won’t do it again, I can’t back Estudiantes to win just because they need it more. I’m leaving winners and losers aside, and I’m going with goals instead.
Barcelona vs Estudiantes: Tips
For some reason, betting companies expect this to be most-most probably an under 2.5 goals games, which suits me just fine, because it makes over 2.5 goals pay a very tempting 2.35. I’m going with that, only that, counting on Barcelona’s… lack of pressure, since they are already in the last 16 of the competition, to make this a game with at least three goals.