The Nacional vs San Lorenzo Copa Libertadores Final will take place at the Estadio Pedro Bidegain in Buenos Aires, on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (5:00 PM Pacific).
Nacional of Paraguay will travel to Buenos Aires on Wednesday to face Argentina’s San Lorenzo. Both teams will fancy their chances of winning the Copa Libertadores for the first time in their history as the 1st leg ended 1-1. San Lorenzo took the lead in the 2nd half, before Nacional equalized through Julio Santa Cruz with the very last kick of the ball.
The game should be outstanding- will San Lorenzo, aided by the Pope and veteran players (including a midfielder in Ortigoza who at first glance appears better suited to play American football) be able to win, or will dark horses Nacional achieve what all football underdogs dream of?
Nacional are confident going into this game, and all of Paraguay are going for them. Coach Gustavo Morinigo sounds bullish ahead of the return leg, and wants his side to go for the win (which means if they go ahead, they’ll sit back…). San Lorenzo are wary of the underdogs, but also are full of anticipation since they will be playing at home, a place where they haven’t lost and have only conceded one goal.
Here’s a look at the team news, predictions, and keys to the game.
San Lorenzo Team News and Predicted Line-Ups
San Lorenzo will again make changes going into a Copa Libertadores final match. Fabricio Fontanini will be replaced by Mauro Cetto in the defense, while Ignacio Piatti- who in early July became a designated player for Montreal, and has to join them before the MLS transfer window closes– will be replaced by Martin Cauteruccio.
4-4-2: Sebastian Torrico- Julio Buffarini – Mauro Cetto – Santiago Gentilleti – Emmanuel Mas- Hector Villalba- Nestor Ortigoza- Juan Mercier – Leandro Romagnoli- Martin Cauteruccio – Mauro Matos
Nacional Team News and Predicted Line-ups
Nacional, as with the first leg, will have to deal with an injury to one of their starters. Ramon Coronel is injured, so the young Juan Arguello will replace him at right back. But, that injury is not as crucial as it might first look, as Juan Arguello started the first leg and played well. Marcos Riveros should also return to the squad after his suspension, and that will be a big boost to the Paraguayan side. Brian Montenegro is still a doubt with injury, so Fredy Bareiro will likely start up top.
4-4-2 :Ignacion Don–Juan Arguello– Leonardo Caceres – Raul Piris- David Mendoza- Silvio Torales – Marcos Melgarejo – Derlis Orue –Marcos Riveros– Julain Benitez – Fredy Bareiro
Players to Watch
Nacional: Marcos Riveros
Marcos Riveros will be crucial to Nacional’s hopes in this leg. He was sorely missed in the first leg, as the Paraguayan side just couldn’t get past the San Lorenzo’s strong midfield duo, Juan Mercier and Nestor Ortigoza. Riveros will be keen to win the ball back and link the defense with attack. He will sit in front of the back four and will allow Nacional’s other midfielders to go forward. Also, expect him to take all the set pieces, and with his quality deliveries, hopefully Nacional will be able to convert their chances from dead balls better in the 2nd leg.
San Lorenzo: Leandro Romagnoli
Leandro Romagnoli was one of San Lorenzo’s outstanding performers in the 1st leg, and despite being over 30 he played like a young kid, and he put in a captain’s performance. More of the creative work will fall on his shoulders in this game, as San Lorenzo lost a crucial player- Piatti- to the MLS. Romagnoli is not afraid to try to beat players when he can, and at the same time he will trackback and get involved in physical battles.
Key to the Game: Forwards’ Finishing
Having put two midfielders as key players, and having said that the midfield battle would be the key for the last game, it would be easy to say that again. But this game won’t be defined by what the midfielders do- it will be defined by what the respective forwards do with the chances the midfielders create. Both teams, especially San Lorenzo, were wasteful with their chances in the first leg. Mauro Matos will look to get on the scoresheet from the start, while Fredy Bareiro will look to score in the his 2nd Copa Libertadores final in two years.
Nacional vs San Lorenzo Prediction
San Lorenzo are playing at home, have the Pope on their side, and have experience. Nacional looked somewhat overwhelmed in the first leg, and were lucky not to lose the game. San Lorenzo will just have too much for them. This game will be very close, San Lorenzo to win 2-1 (3-1 on aggregate).
Nacional vs San Lorenzo TV Schedule
The match is on Fox Deportes, this Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM Pacific.