Club Nacional vs Botafogo
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 7 July 2017
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
Three ‘maybes’ are giving Nacional coach Martín Lasarte a headache. Center-forward Rodrigo Aguirre has been sidelined for two weeks now due to an injury, and even though there is a chance he will be ready for this game, it’s highly doubtful he will be at his best. Right-back Jorge Fucile has missed several training sessions as well due to his latest injury, but just as in Aguirre’s case, it’s reported that Lasarte is willing to wait for his vastly experienced defender until the last moment. Right-winger Tabaré Viúdez is a different case, he has been dealing with a flu for a couple of days now, but has missed less training sessions, so if he feels better on the day of the game, he could play. Nacional are doing great in Uruguay’s new championship that started a few weeks ago, they have five wins and one draw so far.
Botafogo look… cursed, the last ten days. On June 26 they lost 2-0 at home to Avai, an… unbelievable defeat (given how both teams had been doing before that game), and if that weren’t enough, Walter Montillo had to be substituted just eight minutes into the match. He had spent a long time preparing to finally offer Botafogo was he was capable of, but his body just… refused to play along. He got injured again, and a few days later he announced his retirement from professional football, sick and tired of back-to-back injuries. Ever since then, Botafogo have lost two more games, even though one of those was a Copa do Brasil first leg (1-0, at Atletico Mineiro), so at least that ‘damage’ can be contained in the second leg. Coach Jair Ventura has spent almost a year at Botafogo, and this is the first time the team have three consecutive defeats under him. Defensive midfielder Matheus Fernandes is back from an injury and is expected to start. Goalkeeper Jefferson is back after almost a year(!), he got included in the revised list that Botafogo sent to Conmebol, but there is no chance to start the game ahead of Paraguayan Roberto Fernández, who has proved his worth at Botafogo.
Club Nacional vs Botafogo: Head-to-head Stats
Nacional have hosted Botafogo once before, in the very distant 1973. It was a Copa Libertadores group stage game, and the Brazilians won 2-1.
Club Nacional vs Botafogo: Prediction
Golden opportunity for Nacional to win, and maybe even get a result that will give them great chances to qualify for the quarterfinals. Botafogo are in such a pitiful state at the moment, that they look like a boxer dizzy from back-to-back punches, ready to go down with one last blow.
Club Nacional vs Botafogo: Tips
Nacional’s win pays 2.15. Botafogo haven’t scored in their last three games, so if you feel 2.15 is not enough, go for ‘Nacional win and clean sheet’, at 3.25, keeping in mind though that it’s risky, because the Montevideo side seem to be… prone to conceding, even at home.