Emelec vs River Plate
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 28 April 2017
Kick-off: 02:00 CET
With three points in two points, Emelec are right on track, having won their home match against Medellin, and lost at Melgar. Obviously, that Melgar result could have been only better, but either way the Ecuatorian team are counting on their tough home to collect the nine points they need (they should be enough) to qualify for the last 16. After that 1-0 win over Medellin two weeks ago, Emelec won the Guayaquil derby against Barcelona, 1-0, and last weekend they played their part in a memorable 3-3 at Delfin, with whom the share the top spot in Ecuador’s championship. Emelec scored first, went 2-1 down, then 3-2 up with a stoppage time goal, but the game was not over yet, the hosts equalized, and stayed on par in points with Emelec.
River Plate are leading the group despite the fact that they have a game in hand. A big 3-1 win at Medellin was followed by an even more spectacular 4-2 at home against Melgar. They had been doing great domestically as well, they had five wins in a row, playing good football, but last weekend they were held at home to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Sarmiento, losing the opportunity to close the gap to leaders Boca Juniors to just four points. According to reports in Argentinian media, coach Gallardo has no intention to change his starting lineup, so he is expected to start the game with Batalla, Moreira, Maidana, Martinez Quarta, Casco, Nacho Fernandez, Ponzio, Rojas, Pity Martinez, Driussi and Alario.
Emelec vs River Plate: Head-to-head Stats
Emelec have hosted River Plate twice before, in 2001 and 2003, and both times they beat them, 2-0 and 3-1 respectively. Similarly, they have lost both games in Buenos Aires.
Emelec vs River Plate: Prediction
I really don’t expect River to lose, but I have my doubts about them winning. A draw would be a positive result for them. They are definitely the better team here, but in a group match sometimes you don’t need to… die for all three points, if your target is met by earning just a draw.
Emelec vs River Plate: Tips
Given that ‘draw or River Plate’ is at just 1.44, and I don’t feel confident enough to back River to win (at 2.37), I’m going for goals instead, ‘both teams to score’ is at a decent 1.90. For something close to that, River to win in a ‘draw no bet’ is at 1.80, still acceptable.
More Copa Libertadores previews:
- Gremio vs Guarani
- Sport Boys vs Godoy Cruz
- Zulia vs Lanus
- Club Nacional vs Chapecoense
- Atletico Paranaense vs Flamengo
- Penarol vs Palmeiras
- Melgar vs Independiente Medellin
- Atletico Mineiro vs Libertad Asuncion
- San Lorenzo vs Universidad Catolica
- Atletico Tucuman vs Wilstermann
- Deportes Iquique vs Zamora