Fortaleza take on the visitors Estudiantes in the first leg of the round of last 16 match of Copa Libertadores. The match will be played on Friday, July 1st at Castelão (Fortaleza).
Fortaleza are frankly disappointing this season. "Tricolor of Steel" seriously surprised last season. Then a modest team was able to climb up to 4th place. But as much as there was a sharp jump, the recession was just as deep after that. Now the club is stuck in the relegation zone of Brasileirao, however, with some success there lately. And all the more curious, how will Fortaleza threat the Copa Libertadores in such a situation, as a burden or as a chance? In the group round, they managed to take 2nd place, beating Colo-Colo by 3 points in this dispute, due to an away victory in the last round.
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Estudiantes seems to be good, but rather inconsistent. "Pied Piper" successfully started the current draw. In the Diego Maradona Tournament, they scored an average of 2 points per match - this was enough to win their group. But, starting the playoffs in that draw, the favorite lost to Argentinos Juniors at home already in the first quarter-final round. Moreover, the team was in the majority, but managed to concede and then lose on penalties. At the start of the Liga, 7 points were taken in the first 3 rounds, but then there was a defeat to the modest Independiente. But in the framework of the Copa Libertadores, the Argentines were quite convincing. They took 13 points in their group, which was enough to take 1st place in their quartet. But the main struggle for the "rat-catchers" begins only now.
Fortaleza does not often play in international tournaments - and just in Serie A at the national level. So the Brazilians will play with Estudiantes for the first time in their history. Judging by everything, the experts give serious importance to the field factor - for them, the Brazilians quite clearly look like the favorites. But Fortaleza obviously does not shine, so we'd better choose the bet "visitors will not lose".
Prediction for the match: Estudiantes to win with +0.5 handicap (X2).