Junior vs Palmeiras
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 1 March 2018
Kick-off: 01:30 CET
To be in the group stage, Junior had to eliminate two Paraguayan teams, first Olimpia, and then Guaraní. They beat both in Barranquilla, so their defeat to Olimpia in Asunción and their draw to Guaraní in the same city (and same stadium, Defensores del Chaco), were fine by them. At home, in both games, Junior were dominant, no matter if against Guaraní they needed an 80th-minute goal to take the lead (and the victory). Last weekend they beat Boyacá Chicó at home, 1-0, another game in which they scored late. They were desperate to pick up all three points, after losing back-to-back games in their championship, and being on just three points from three matches. They now have six, they are 13th in the table, but they also have a game in hand. A win there could push them as high as 4th(!).
Palmeiras were undefeated in the Paulista championship until last weekend, they had six wins and two draws, but they hadn’t visited Corinthians yet. They claim the referee and his assistants played a big part in their 2-0 loss, they may be right up to some point, but truth is, Palmeiras didn’t play well, and didn’t really deserve a point. It was their third game in a row without winning (their six victories were consecutive ones, at the start of the season), and the fact that they lost to the team that… matters the most (their biggest city rivals), didn’t make things any better. Palmeiras finished second last season in Brazil’s championship, looking at Corinthians’ back. Roger Machado, their coach, said the game in Barranquilla will be very difficult, partly because Junior have already played four… finals in the Libertadores the last month, in the qualifiers, while Palmeiras have been playing only in the Paulista championship, way less decisive matches.
Previous five matches:
Junior vs Boyacá Chicó 1-0
Guarani vs Junior 0-0
Atletico Huila vs Junior 1-0
Junior vs Guarani 1-0
Deportivo Pasto vs Junior 2-0
Corinthians vs Palmeiras 2-0
Ponte Preta vs Palmeiras 0-0
Palmeiras vs Linense 2-2
Mirassol vs Palmeiras 0-2
Palmeiras vs Santos 2-1
Junior’s next game is at Independiente Medellín, on Sunday (Colombia championship). Palmeiras are hosting São Caetano on Monday (Paulista championship).
Junior vs Palmeiras: Head to head Stats
Junior have faced seven Brazilian teams in the past, but not Palmeiras.
Junior vs Palmeiras: Prediction
Junior are considered favourites to beat Palmeiras, but personally I trust the Brazilian side to earn at least a draw.
Junior vs Palmeiras: Betting Tips
Palmeiras’ double chance is at 1.72 betting odds. Their win in “draw no bet” pays 2.50. They may have lost last weekend, but they lost to Corinthians away from home. Their roster is far better than that of Junior, and deep down I expect that defeat to Corinthians to motivate them even more, knowing that a loss to their biggest city rivals hurts their fans more than any other result.