Independiente vs Santos
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 22 August 2018
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
Independiente took the lead twice at Newell’s Old Boys on Friday, but got equalized as many, and had to leave Rosario with a single point. They played 11 against 10 after the 68th minute when Newell’s lost Joel Amoroso (sent-off), so maybe they should have done better in the last 20-25 minutes. Their coach, Ariel Holan, said they were tired from the trip to Japan and back (they beat Cerezo Osaka in the Suruga Bank championship, their 18th international title), plus, he “reminded” people that two of his three substitutions were obligatory, trying to make his point that the draw was not a bad result for his team. As for left-back Juan Sánchez Miño and right winger Martín Benítez, the two guys who had to leave the pitch injured, their presence in the first leg against Santos is doubtful.
Saturday’s 3-0 over Sport Recife at home was a… win-win-win-win (four) thing for Santos. First of all, they finally won in their championship, their first victory after the World Cup finals break. Second, key players were given a much-needed rest, with Rodrygo and Bruno Henrique for example playing only in the second part. Third, newly-signed guys were given the chance to play, earn minutes, start getting… integrated into the group. Last but not least, Santos finally left the relegation zone. On top of all these, their fans packed Vila Belmiro, which doesn’t happen that often, despite the fact that it’s a small stadium. Four days earlier they had beaten Palmeiras in Sao Paulo 1-2, in the Copa do Brasil (they got eliminated on penalties), so the fans felt the players “deserved” a full stadium.
Previous five matches:
Newell’s Old Boys vs Independiente 2-2
Cerezo Osaka vs Independiente 0-1
Independiente vs Central Ballester 8-0
Independiente vs Deportivo Lara 2-0
Millonarios vs Independiente 1-1
Santos vs Sport Recife 3-0
Cruzeiro vs Santos 1-2
Atletico Mineiro vs Santos 3-1
Ceara vs Santos 1-1
Botafogo vs Santos 0-0
Independiente’s next game is on Friday, again at home, versus Defensa y Justicia (Argentina Superliga). Santos are hosting Bahia on Saturday (Brazil Série A).
Independiente vs Santos: Head to head Stats
Independiente have hosted Santos just once before, more than half a century ago. It was in 1964, a Copa Libertadores semifinal return leg, which the Argentinians won 2-1.
Independiente vs Santos: Prediction
Santos come from back-to-back wins, they left Brazil feeling like… heroes, having hundreds of fans of theirs going to the airport to cheer for them, their morale is at the highest it has been in months now. Independiente looked very tired in the second half at Newell’s, but that was four days ago. On the other hand, they have key players doubtful. All things considered, I feel it’s worth betting on Santos to leave Avellaneda undefeated.
Independiente vs Santos: Betting Tips
Santos’ double chance is at 1.83, my main tip. Their win in “draw no bet” pays 3.00.