Deportivo Tachira vs Santa Fe
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 1 February 2018
Kick-off: 23:15 CET
Deportivo Táchira eliminated Macará in the first qualifying round without beating them. They drew 1-1 in Ecuador, a rather flattering result given how the 90 minutes as a whole went, and then drew 0-0 back home. The away goal scored in Ambato was what gave them to the qualification. Last weekend they played their first game in Venezuela’s new championship campaign, drawing again, 1-1, at home, to Zulia. They took the lead late, but got equalised two minutes from time. Their coach, Stifano, made four changes to his starting lineup, compared to the return leg against Macará. Three draws in as many matches for Táchira in 2018, three matches without a win (two draws and a defeat) just before the end of the season back in 2017, six games without a win for the Venezuelan side, who have an extra motive to succeed in this tie, as they are facing a club from neighboring Colombia. Either way, making it to the Copa Libertadores group stage is motivating enough, but for any Venezuelan team, eliminating a Colombian side makes a tie even more “special”.
Independiente Santa Fe haven’t played an official match since December 17, but their friendly games in January were strong enough to test them well and give them an idea of where they are standing at the start of this new season. They beat River Plate (from Buenos Aires, not a smaller team with the same name, of which a few exist in South America), and Deportivo Cali, drew to their Bogotá arch-rivals Millonarios, and lost only to América de Cali. They qualified for the Copa Libertadores as the third best positioned team in Colombia’s championship, Apertura and Finalización combined. Rubén Bentancourt, the newly-signed Uruguayan striker for whom Santa Fe have high expectations, is one of the 18 players that fellow Uruguayan coach Gregorio Pérez took with him to Venezuela. The team had to fly to Cúcuta, very close to the border, and travel from there to San Cristóbal on a bus. Santa Fe didn’t make it out of the Copa Libertadores group stage last season, It’s impressive that there is not a single draw in their last 21 Copa Libertadores games away from home. Obviously they have lost most of those, won eight, but… no draw.
Previous five matches:
Deportivo Tachira vs Zulia 1-1
Deportivo Tachira vs Macara 1-0
Macara vs Deportivo Tachira 1-1
Deportivo Tachira vs Zulia 0-1
Mineros de Guayana vs Deportivo Tachira 0-0
Millonarios vs Santa Fe 0-0
Santa Fe vs Deportivo Cali 2-1
Santa Fe vs River Plate 2-1
Santa Fe vs Millonarios 2-2
Millonarios vs Santa Fe 1-0
Tachira are hosting Deportivo Anzoategui on Sumday (Venezuela championship). Santa Fe are scheduled to host Patriotas Boyacá during the weekend, but their game is expected to get postponed.
Deportivo Tachira vs Santa Fe: Head to head Stats
Deportivo Táchira have played against four Colombian clubs in the past, but not Santa Fe.
Deportivo Tachira vs Santa Fe: Prediction
Santa Fe are considered rather clear favourites to win the game, but I’m definitely backing the hosts to earn at least a draw. That’s the best they got in their previous matches against less strong opponents than Santa Fe, someone could feel that it’s… time for Deportivo Táchira to lose, after their streak of draws, but I am counting on the hosts to look extra-extra motivated against their neighbors, and at least avoid defeat.
Deportivo Tachira vs Santa Fe: Betting Tips
Deportivo Táchira’s double chance is at 1.70. Personally, I would take that, considering good enough. Draw alone pays 3.00, and is infinitely more probable than a Deportivo win.