Junior vs Atletico Paranaense
Competition: Copa Sudamericana
Date: 6 December 2018
Kick-off: 01:45 CET
Junior have already earned a victory ahead of this first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, off the field; they were scheduled to face Independiente Medellín last weekend, in the first leg of the Clausura final in Colombia. They asked Dimayor (the organizers of the championship) to push the game a week back. Independiente didn’t agree, so the teams of the top two categories had to vote, and there, Junior “won” 27-7. They didn’t play last weekend, so they had a whole week to get ready for this match. What’s very interesting is that among the 27 teams that stood by Junior in the voting, you can see four from Antioquia, the region that Independiente Medellín comes from(…). Last week, Junior beat Santa Fe 1-0 at home, in the return leg of their Sudamericana semifinal. They had won 0-2 in Bogotá, in the first leg. Teo Gutiérrez opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, a goal he celebrated twice, first when he scored it, and then again when the referee, after VAR was used, validated the goal (his assistant had raised his flag for offside, but there was no offside). Things were going great for Junior, until the 44th minute; Gutiérrez saw a direct red card for elbowing(!) an opponent, a rather harsh refereeing decision. Come 59th minute, Junior lost another player(!). Gabriel Fuentes was silly enough to receive a second yellow card for a truly ridiculous reason/foul. Despite being down to nine men, Junior didn’t allow Santa Fe any chances, which was admirable. Gradually, Santa Fe as well lost two players to red cards. The score didn’t change. According to reports, Germán Gutiérrez is the left-back that coach Julio Comesaña trusts the most, to substitute Fuentes. Obviously, Teo Gutiérrez as well is unavailable, after his red card last week. When asked about the absence of his biggest star, Comesaña’s reply/comment was, “what should we do? Cry over it?”
Hundreds of Atlético Paranaense fans went to Curitiba’s airport to cheer for the team just before they flew to Colombia, and to their surprise, there were Brazilian fans at their hotel in Barranquilla as well, where the team arrived after an eight-hour trip (their plane had to land at Manaus to refill the tank). Unlike Junior, Atlético played last weekend, at Flamengo, but with reserves. Even so, they won 1-2(!), on the very day that Fla broke their attendance record in 2018 (more than 66,000 fans attended). Last week, Atlético had played against Fluminense at the same stadium, Maracana, against Fluminense, the return leg of their Sudamericana semifinal. They triumphed 0-2, three weeks after their 2-0 win at home over Flu, in the first leg. Tiago Nunes’ team have been playing very good football for months now, actually, since July, after the World Cup finals break. They did have some ups and downs, some negative results, but they were few and in tough games. It’s very interesting that they have won their last four away Sudamericana matches, and not conceded in their last three. They did lose away from home at the start of the season, at Newell’s Old Boys (2-1), but they had won 3-0 in the first leg, at home, so they still qualified.
Previous five matches:
Junior vs Santa Fe 1-0
Junior vs Rionegro 1-1
Rionegro vs Junior 2-3
La Equidad vs Junior 0-0
Junior vs La Equidad 1-0
Flamengo vs Atletico Paranaense 1-2
Fluminense vs Atletico Paranaense 0-2
Atletico Paranaense vs Ceara 2-2
Atletico Paranaense vs Corinthians 1-0
Vitoria vs Atletico Paranaense 1-2
Junior’s next game is on Saturday, again at home, versus Independiente Medellín, the first leg of the Clausura final in Colombia. Atlético’s next game is the return leg of the Sudamericana final, next Wednesday, at home.
Junior vs Atletico Paranaense: Head to head Stats
This is the first game ever between these two.
Junior vs Atletico Paranaense: Prediction
Lanús, Colón, Defensa y Justica, Santa Fe: These are the teams Junior have hosted and beaten this season in the Sudamericana. Looking at them, I can easily claim that Atlético Paranaense are a much better team than any of those four. Plus, the Brazilians flew to Colombia without problems, while Junior are missing probably their most important player, Teo Gutiérrez.
Junior vs Atletico Paranaense: Betting Tips
Atlético’s win in “draw no bet” is at 2.40, and their double chance at 1.65.