Sporting Cristal vs Santa Fe
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 18 May 2017
Kick-off: 00:30 CET
Despite having only two points in four matches and sitting at the bottom of the table, Sporting Cristal are still hoping to qualify, or, to be more exact, they know that they still have a chance to qualify, at least mathematically. ‘Hoping’ may be the wrong verb in their case, since they seem to doubt their own self. At home, up to know, they have two draws, their only points in the group. They will qualify only if they win both their last two games, this one, and at Santos(…), next week. Last weekend they beat Melgar 2-0, finally, after three defeats and two draws in five matches in all competitions. Despite their victory, they finished just third in their group, not making it to the final. Sporting Cristal’s captain, Carlos Lobaton, talked to the Press after the last -for them- game in the ‘Torneo de Verano’ (a pre-championship in Peru), and looked annoyed at the rumors that the players are split in… groups, fighting each other.
Three points behind second-placed The Strongest, Santa Fe are definitely not in a very favorable position, but things will look much better if they win this one. They have already beaten Sporting Cristal 3-0 this season, in Bogota. Last weekend they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Jaguares de Cordoba, and a few days earlier they had failed to win at La Equidad, five points dropped, meaning that they are no longer holding their fate in their won hands. They have just one game left, and are in real danger of watching the final series on the TV. They are currently sitting eighth in the table, the last position that gives a ticket to the next stage, one point higher than Alianza Petrolera and two from Atletico Bucaramanga, but both those teams have two games to play, unlike Santa Fe, who are left with just one.
Sporting Cristal vs Santa Fe: Head-to-head Stats
Sporting Cristal have hosted Santa Fe twice before, they lost 2-1 in 2006, and drew 1-1 in 1999. That draw is their only -kind of- positive result in a total of five games against the Colombian side.
Sporting Cristal vs Santa Fe: Prediction
Two seriously unreliable teams are playing against each other. Taking everything into consideration, I feel I have to back the hosts not to lose. They may have been very poor in the group stage, domestically they have not impressed either, but at least at home they have been… decent, losing just one match (out of ten) in 2017 so far.
Sporting Cristal vs Santa Fe: Tips
‘Sporting Cristal or draw’ pays 1.53. Sporting Cristal to win and draw no bet is at 1.90. Deep-deep down I expect the hosts to win (partially because I really don’t trust Santa Fe away from home), so in a risky bet I would go all for all and combine a Sporting Cristal win in an over 2.5 goals game, at 5.00.
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