Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Atletico Nacional vs Sao Paulo Copa Libertadores Football Match Preview And Prediction - July 14, 2016

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Sao Paulo’s hope of reaching the Copa Libertadores Final suffered a late but great blow last week in the first leg of their semi final against Atletico Nacional. They didn’t play well all game, but going into the final stages of the match the match was still tied at 0-0, but defender Maicon will have some serious explaining to do. He got sent off in the 73rd minute, and that spurred Atletico Nacional on to push for an away goal. They got one eight minutes later through Miguel Borja, and six minutes after that he netted a second to give Atletico Nacional a commanding lead going into the home leg of the fixture.

Atletico Nacional now look in prime position to reach their first Copa Libertadores Final since 1995, and they followed the first leg victory up with a 2-1 win in the Primera A at the weekend. This leaves them top of the table after their first two games, and looking back at their form isn’t going to make great reading for Sao Paulo.

The hosts are unbeaten in normal time in their last nine matches in all competitions, and although only four of these have ended with victory that doesn’t matter to them in the slightest here.

Sao Paulo followed up their dismal defeat last week with a 3-0 win against America Mineiro, but they are struggling domestically. They sit in 8th position in the Brazil Serie A table with just 21 points from their opening 14 matches, and they have only won two of their last nine matches in all competitions.

Away from home it’s even worse for Sao Paulo. They have only won twice in their last 22 matches on the road, and they haven’t won by two clear goals since August 2015. Atletico Nacional, on the other hand, have only lost two of their last 28 home matches and haven’t lost by more than a single goal since April 2015.

The hosts for this second leg haven’t got much pressure on them with such a commanding lead, so I’m not expecting it to be as cagey as it would be if they just led by a single goal. They should be able to play their usual game, and at home that is usually an excellent game. Odds of 17/20 for an Atletico Nacional Win look very good value to me, so that’s what I’m going for for my main prediction alongside a 2-1 correct score prediction at 15/2.

Atletico Nacional have won two, drawn two, and lost three of their last seven meetings with Sao Paulo, but they've never lost at home to them.

Atletico Nacional have won 79% of their last 28 home matches.

Left back Farid Diaz is still sidelined with a cut he picked up towards the end of June.

Defender Maicon will miss this clash after getting sent off in the first leg.

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