Cardozo returns to his former stomping ground as Newell’s face tricky Libertad tie

Cardozo returns to his former stomping ground as Newell’s face tricky Libertad tie

Newell’s Old Boys v Libertad

Group F, CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana
29th April 2021
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario

After leaving Brazil with a point on the opening day of the 2021 Copa Sudamericana, it’s the group leaders Libertad up next for Newell’s Old Boys on Thursday night.

The Paraguayans comfortably dispatched the other team in the group, Palestino of Chile, 2-0 in their first game. Second half goals from Rodrigo Bogarín and ex-Newell’s forward Alfío Oviedo propelled Libertad the top of the group with three points. Newell’s and Atlético Goianiense have a point each and Palestino sit bottom of Group F, pointless.

With only the group winners set to progress to the next stage of the competition, avoiding defeat against Libertad would be a big positive for Newell’s considering their opponent’s strength.

Gumarelo are currently first in the Paraguayan Primera División, leading the pack with 26 points from 13 games. They count on the talents of a number of former Newell’s players with the standout name being leading scorer Óscar Cardozo who has netted 6 times in the league this season. Cardozo made his name at Newell’s and in his breakthrough season of 2006-2007, he scored 21 goals in 33 appearances before moving to Benfica for a record fee.

Now 37, he’s still a dangerous threat and the battle between him and Newell’s defender Cristian Lema, if he plays, will be intriguing.

Apart from Oviedo and Cardozo, the other two ex-Newell’s players currently wearing the Libertad shirt are Iván Piris and 33-year-old Argentine defender Leonel Vangioni who came through the Newell’s youth academy and played at the heart of our defence for six years.

Newell’s manager Germán Burgos won’t surprise anybody if he decides to rest a number of senior players against Libertad with all eyes now on Sunday’s Clásico Rosarino against rivals Rosario Central.

It’s the match that everyone wants to play in and even though it’ll be played in an empty stadium, anyone who does play on Thursday in the Copa Sudamericana will want to avoid any niggles or minor injuries to keep themselves fit for the Clásico.

A 2-1 defeat to Gimnasia on Monday night in the Copa de la Liga will have dented spirits at Newell’s somewhat, but the team’s reaction to going 2-0 down was promising and youngsters like Brian Aguirre, Diego Calcaterra and goalscorer Luciano Cingolani may have played themselves into contention for the Libertad game.

Newell’s Old Boys v Libertad Team News

Captain Maxi Rodríguez and central defender Cristian Lema could be rested with Sunday’s Clásico Rosarino in mind but Ignacio Scocco could start the game against Libertad after being limited to appearances off the bench in recent weeks.

Ramiro Macagno and Fernando Belluschi are back in Germán Burgos’ 23-man squad after missing the last few matches.

Pablo Pérez has the chance to play after being left out of Monday’s match against Gimnasia due to being on the verge of collecting a yellow card that would see him banned from Sunday’s Clásico Rosarino.

Julián Fernández, Matías Orihuela, Braian Rivero, Mariano Bíttolo, Franco Escobar, Francisco González and Santiago Gentiletti are all on the long-term injury list.

Argentine coach Daniel Garnero is expected to start with Óscar Cardozo at the head of the Libertad attack while goalscorers in last week’s win over Palestino, Bogarín and Oviedo, will provide support if needed from the bench.

The expected Libertad lineup is: Martín Silva, Iván Ramírez, Luis Cardozo, Diego Viera, Leonel Vangioni, Hugo Martínez, Ramón Martínez, Pedro Reinaldo Romero, Antonio Bareiro, Sebastián Ferreira and Óscar Cardozo.

📺 Watch Newell’s v Libertad on Thursday 29th April: Live on Fanatiz (US Only), BeIN USA, DirecTV and LiveScore app in the UK.
⏰ Kick-off: 21.30 ARG | 01.30 UK

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