Melgar vs River Plate
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 18 May 2017
Kick-off: 02:00 CET
Melgar started their group campaign with a rather surprising 1-0 home win over Emelec, but… that was it. Ever since then they have nothing but defeats, both at home and away. They are doing much-much better domestically, where they will face UTC Cajamarca in the final of the Torneo de Verano, having finished first in their group, despite picking up just two points in their last three games. Last weekend they lost 2-0 at Sporting Cristal, but it didn’t make any difference. Keep in mind that the first final between Melgar and UTC Cajamarca is this Sunday, but at least it is held in Arequipa, Melgar’s home, so they won’t have to travel.
Last week, Gallardo fielded a super alternative lineup against Emelec, since River Plate had already three wins in as many games in the group, knowing that in a few days he had a huge-huge game against Boca Juniors. River drew to Emelec, still a positive result for them, and, more importantly, they beat Boca at La Bombonera last weekend. They are sitting third in the table, four points below leaders Boca, but they have a game in hand, which means that if they don’t fail there, they will be just one point away from Boca, and the title. Coach Gallardo has already announced that he will play again several guys who don’t usually appear in River’s starting lineup. Four days after this game they are facing Gimnasia in La Plata, a game they absolutely must win to stay as close as possible to Boca Juniors.
Melgar vs River Plate: Head-to-head Stats
The River Plate 4-2 win in Buenos Aires earlier in the group stage, was the first game ever between these two sides.
Melgar vs River Plate: Prediction
Given that River will play with a super alternative lineup, I’m backing the hosts not to lose. Win? I have my doubts. River’s reserves (some of them) are good enough to earn a positive result at Melgar, so… I have my doubts about Melgar winning.
Melgar vs River Plate: Tips
‘Melgar or Draw’ is at 1.60. Deep down I expect a draw, at 3.10, and to be more specific, a draw in a game that will not have more than two goals, which pays even better.