Libertadores Guide for Thursday
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Matchday 3 concludes today with the Argentine clubs entering the fray. They have not played competitive matches since the middle of March.
Racing Club - Nacional
Nacional travels to Argentina sitting in 2nd place in Uruguay, one point off the lead. Their Argentine captain Gonzalo Bergessio spent a season with Racing back in 2006-07. He has 10 goals in 10 matches for Nacional this season. Racing is led by exciting young midfielder Matías Zaracho, he has a goal and an assist in this year's Libertadores competition.
Defensa y Justicia - Delfin
Delfin comes into the match in 9th place in Ecuador and off of dropping a 2-0 lead against Independiente del Valle last weekend. Captain Carlos Garcés has been key for Los Auriazules, scoring 4 goals and playing nearly every minute this season. Defensa is led by their captain, goalkeeper Ezequiel Unsain. The 25-year old has been a mainstay for the club since joining from Newell's in early 2017.
São Paulo - River Plate
The home side comes into the match off back-to-back draws in the Brasileiro, dropping them to 3rd place. 27-year old Luciano has been the leading scorer this season with 4 goals. Keep an eye on promising young midfielder Igor Gomes as well. Nicolás De La Cruz is an exciting attacking player for River. They have to shake off the disappointment of dropping the Argentine league title to their hated rivals Boca Juniors on the last day of the season in March.
Independiente Del Valle - Flamengo
Two top teams meeting here as Flamengo heads to Ecuador. The Mengão had won four straight before a 2-0 loss last weekend. Gabriel Barbosa leads the team with 5 goals, former NYCFC manager Dome Torrent has been getting the most out of Gabigol so far this year. Independiente del Valle have not lost since the restart of play. They will be trying to avenge a 3-0 loss to Flamengo in Matchweek 1. Their own Gabigol, Panamanian Gabriel Torres, will be counted on in the attack, he had two goals in their come from behind win over the weekend.
Libertad - Boca Juniors
The build-up to this match has been marred with controversy over the coronavirus outbreak at Boca. There are still some questions on matchday about who will be able to participate. Legendary striker Carlos Tévez was inspirational in Boca's run to the title and will still be counted upon. Former Atlanta United winger Tito Villalba has been in and out of the Libertad lineup this season and has 2 goals and 3 assists in 14 matches.
Barcelona - Junior
Junior comes in after winning the Colombian Superliga trophy over the weekend in a brilliant comeback. Carmelo Valencia's late goal clinched the win and the trophy. Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 5 matches in Ecuador and sit in 3rd place, 1 point off the lead. With 5 goals and 7 assists this season in all competitions, 34-year old talisman Damián Díaz will be tasked with carrying the home team to victory tonight.
Guaraní - Tigre
The 2nd division Argentine squad has to go on the road to Paraguay. They'll be facing a team that was won back-to-back matches and is currently in 4th place in the table. Guaraní are led by veteran striker Raúl Bobadilla, he has 9 goals in 13 matches this season. Former Argentina youth international Juan Cavallaro will be expected to lead Tigre tonight with the odds heavily against them.