Cruzeiro vs Boca Juniors
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 5 October 2018
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Cruzeiro’s Uruguayan attacking midfielder, traveled back in time the other day, remembering what happened in 2014, when he was playing for Defensor Sporting. They had lost 2-0 at The Strongest, in Bolivia, but they still qualified, winning 2-0 at home, and then 4-2 on penalties. De Arrascaeta told reporters Cruzeiro need to stay… patient, even if there is no goal in the first half. After losing 2-0 in Buenos Aires in the first leg, they need a 2-0, minimum, to at least push the tie to penalties. The key will be keeping a clean sheet. If they concede, it feels practically impossible to score four goals past this Boca. Good news for them is that Dedé’s red card – sort of – got annulled. He wasn’t supposed to play in the return leg, after getting – unbelievably – sent-off in Buenos Aires, but CONMEBOL practiced common sense, annulled the red card (indirectly telling the Paraguayan referee he committed a monumental mistake, after using the VAR system), and the Brazilian center-back is available to play. Cruzeiro lost 3-1 last weekend, at Palmeiras, the team they had just eliminated to reach the Copa do Brasil final.
Boca Juniors traveled to Belo Horizonte with a big advantage after that 2-0 at home in the first leg. On the other hand, they traveled without Andrada, their regular goalkeeper, who got injured in that game, and will stay out for a long time. Agustín Rossi did ok, especially last weekend against Colón, in Boca’s 3-1 home win, he was very good, but there are still rumors at La Bombonera, about signing another goalkeeper. Ábila has been training without problems for a few days now, and is available. Villa played an awesome game on Sunday, versus Colón, and according to reports, coach Barros Schelotto has decided to start him, leaving Cardona on the bench. Boca lost at home to River Plate right after their win over Cruzeiro, got eliminated in the Copa Argentina by Gimnasia La Plata, but they bounced back last weekend, playing really well against Colón. Their 3-1, and most of all, their performance, was exactly what they needed to… heal their wounds after two big losses.
Previous five matches:
Palmeiras vs Cruzeiro 3-1
Cruzeiro vs Palmeiras 1-1
Cruzeiro vs Santos 2-1
Boca Juniors vs Cruzeiro 2-0
Cruzeiro vs Atletico Mineiro 0-0
Boca Juniors vs Colon 3-1
Boca Juniors vs Gimnasia La Plata 0-1
Boca Juniors vs River Plate 0-2
Boca Juniors vs Cruzeiro 2-0
Argentinos Juniors vs Boca Juniors 0-1
Cruzeiro’s next game is next week, on Wednesday, the first leg of the Copa do Brasil final against Corinthians. Boca are visiting Racing Club on Sunday (Argentina Superliga).
Cruzeiro vs Boca Juniors: Head to head Stats
Cruzeiro have hosted Boca three times in the past. They have two wins and one defeat. The most recent game between these two in Belo Horizonte is Boca’s win in 2008, 1-2, in the Copa Libertadores round of 16.
Cruzeiro vs Boca Juniors: Prediction
I’m backing the hosts to win, but the visitors to qualify.
Cruzeiro vs Boca Juniors: Betting Tips
Cruzeiro’s win, at 1.95, is my main tip. Going against the odds, I do expect the game to have at least three goals. “Cruzeiro and over 2.5 goals” pays an awesome 3.90, which suits my 2-1 hunch.