Fortaleza have been impressive in the continental stage, finishing second in Group F to advance to the knockout stage, while the visitors topped Group C to make it this far.
Fortaleza will play host to Estudiantes in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last -16 fixture at Castelao on Thursday. Both sides are heading into the tie on the back of defeats. The hosts had suffered a 3-2 loss to Atletico Mineiro in their Brazilian league fixture on Saturday. Meanwhile the Argentine outfit were defeated 2-0 by Newell’s Old Boys in their previous match. Despite the poor domestic form, Fortaleza have been impressive in the continental stage, finishing second in Group F to advance to the knockout stage, while the visitors topped Group C to make it this far.
HOJE TEM LEÃO! 🦁
— Fortaleza Esporte Clube 🦁 (@FortalezaEC) June 30, 2022
On Saturday, at Mineirao, Fortaleza went two goals ahead inside the opening half-hour courtesy of a brace from Ramarinho. However, after the break, the home side came out all guns blazing to score three goals in the last 15 minutes. Rubens (76), Rever (86) and Matheus Jussa (90+6) netted for Atletico Mineiro. The Brazilian outfit didn’t have a great start to the 2022 Copa Libertadoers, losing the opening two games before edging past Alianza Lima (2-1) and then shared spoils with River Plate. And then, in the final two games, Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s side secured all six points to clinch a spot in the round of 16.
Estudiantes on the other hand, lost to Newell’s courtesy of second half goals by Ramiro Sordo and Juan Fernando Garro. They are languishing at the 17rth spot in the Argentine Primera Division. But El Leon’s Copa Libertadores form has been pretty impressive, winning four of their six group games to finish at the top, five points above second placed Velez Sarsfied. The Argentinian side started their continental campaign with a dominant 4-1 win over Velez Sarsfield before sharing the points against Atletico Nacional. And then, recorded three back-to-back wins, keeping three clean sheets in the process to cruise through to the last-16.
Fortaleza back-three is likely to be marshalled by Marcelo Benevenuto. While the forward line is expected to be led by Moises, who netted three goals in the group stage including a brace in the victory against Colo Colo. Yago Pikachu, who operates down the right flank, is another threat going forward. The 30-year-old has netted 12 times in all competitions so far this season. As for Estudiantes, full-back Bruno is unavailable courtesy of a red card he picked up in the final group game. Mauro Boselli would be the key man up front alongside Leandro Diaz.
Fortaleza probable starting lineup: Boeck; Titi, Benevenuto, Tinga; Pikachu, Ronald, Felipe, Capixaba; Lima; Romero, Moises.
Estudiantes probable starting lineup: Andújar; Godboy, Rogel, Noguera, Mas; Rodriguez; Castro, Zuqui, Pellegrini; Diaz, Boselli
The Copa Libertadores match between Fortaleza and Estudiantes will take place at Castelao and it will kickoff at 6:00 am IST on July 1, Friday.
|Fortaleza vs Estudiantes||Key details|
|Date||June 29 (Brazil)|
|Kickoff time in Brazil||9:30 pm (Thursday)|
|Kickoff time in Argentina||9:30 pm (Thursday)|
The Copa Libertadores matches are televised on beIN Sports, fuboTV, Fanatiz, Sling World Sports and Vidgo