Thursday, 14 July 2016

Boca Juniors vs Independiente del Valle Copa Libertadores Match Preview And Prediction - July 15, 2016

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Last week's first leg was the first time these two sides had met, with Independiente del Valle winning 2-1. Independiente del Valle have lost just 10% of their away days in Copa Libertadores by more than a single goal, whilst Boca Juniors have only won 33% of their last 15 home games in Copa Libertadores by two goals or more.

Holding midfielder Fernando Gago remains sidelined with an achilles tendon rupture.

Independiente del Valle are hoping to have a fully fit squad for this crucial tie.

Last week looked to be going to plan for Boca Juniors as they opened the scoring at Independiente del Valle within the first 15 minutes. However, the Ecuadorians fought back in the second half and showed why they are in such good form at the moment bu scoring two goals in the final half an hour to take a crucial lead into the second leg of this semi final tie.

The hosts deserved it as well. They dominated the ball against a largely ineffectual Boca Juniors and had 22 shots on goal throughout the match. They could have won by a larger margin, but now they will just be focused on keeping Boca out in Argentina and making it to their first ever Copa Libertadores Final.

The Argentinians are regulars in this competition though. They made the final in 2012 and have already won the Copa Libertadores four times this millennium. The last time was in 2007 though, and they have struggled this season. It’s debatable whether they would have gotten this far in the competition had it not been for their relatively easy path through the knockout stages.

Boca Junior’s goalless draw at home to Defensa back in May saw them end the first half of the Argentina Primera Division is a very disappointing 10th position, and it’s no surprise given that they have only won one of their last seven in all competitions. They have only managed two wins in their last six home matches too, although they are unbeaten in 13 there too.

Independiente del Valle can’t be accused of having the easy end of the draw in the Copa Libertadores. They eliminated the title holders River Plate early on in the knockout stages and have looked excellent throughout.

Their win against Boca last week was followed with a league win against Aucas to make it five wins from their last six games and no defeats, leaving them 3rd in the Ecuador Primera A.

It’s likely that the visitors will come into this game with a defensive mindset as they look to hold on to their one goal advantage. They have lost six of their last ten away games in the Copa Libertadores as well, but only once have they been beaten by more than a single goal.

This, combined with their probable defensive mindset and Boca Junior’s poor form, means that they should hold their own well. My prediction is for them to limit the hosts, so I’m backing an Independiente del Valle +1.5 Asian Handicap at 1.775 alongside a 2-1 win for Boca Juniors to take it to extra time for my correct score prediction.

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