Ronaldinho and co can take a big step towards last four
Atletico Mineiro have been one of the most enthralling teams in this year’s Copa Libertadores.
The Brazilian giant’s blend of experience and youth has produced some exciting football, resulting in seven wins in eight games. A win against Mexican minnows Club Tijuana would represent a big step towards the final four in South America’s most prestigious club competition.
Ballon D’or winner Ronaldinho may no longer possess the level of fitness required to hack it at the very top level, though the fantastical skills and ability that made him one of the most magical players ever remain: he has netted four goals in eight appearances in the competition.
Other recognisable names include ex-Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva and former Wolfsburg steely holding man Josué, while recent Brazil call-up Bernard, who has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund, is typical of the exciting prospects being created in Belo Horizonte.
It is however, former Manchester City and Everton centre forward Jo who has been the star of this campaign. He notched a hat-trick against fellow Brazilians Sao Paulo in the second leg of the last round, taking his tally to a chart-topping six goals.
While some may be concerned Mineiro boss Cuca will have one eye on the league’s opener against Cortiba on Sunday, he will be fully focused on the task at hand, and worry about last year’s relegation strugglers after this fixture. 15/8 can be had on the Brazilians.
Tijuana, who are 13/10 to win this game, made the last eight after defeating Brazilian second tier team Palmeiras in the last 16, winning 2-1 on aggregate. However, a 0-0 draw at home against the side does not bode well, and 7/1 is available on the same scoreline this time.
The Mexicans also played Corinthians in the group stage, who finished two places below Mineiro in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, and while scraping a 1-0 draw at home, they lost 3-0 in the return fixture.
They have however been defensively solid, keeping clean sheets in all four of their home games, but the Brazilians quality should tell in what is a match likely to be settled by a goal or two.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.