the probable lineups for the duel for the Libertadores < No Attack

Players from Caracas and Atlético, who will face each other in the first round of the Copa Libertadores group stage
(photo: Disclosure/Caracas and Leandro Couri/EM/DA Press)

The time is coming! Atlético is preparing to begin its 14th participation in the Copa Libertadores and, once again, has the opportunity to seek its second continental title. The first opponent in Group G is Caracas. The match will be played at 7pm (Brasília time) this Thursday (4/4), at the UCV Olympic Stadium, in Caracas, Venezuela. Next, the On Attack brings the likely lineups for the confrontation.

Caracas is experiencing a terrible start to 2024 and has gone eight games without a win – with four draws and four defeats in the period. The team occupies 11th place in the Venezuelan Championship (out of 14 teams) and changed coach on the eve of the clash against Galo: the new commander is Henry Meléndez, 39 years old.

Atlético has faced ups and downs at the start of the season, but is alive in the fight for the Campeonato Mineiro title. Last Saturday (30/3), Galo conceded a draw to rival Cruzeiro, 2-2, in stoppage time of the first match in the final at Arena MRV, in Belo Horizonte.

Probable Caracas lineup

Meléndez’s first line-up in charge of Caracas is still unknown. The coach has two absences: defenders Roger Manríque (injury to the right thigh adductor) and Daniel Rivillo (sprained left ankle).

Defender/left-back Robert Quijada appears as a doubt. Recovering from an injury to the adductor of his left thigh, the athlete has an uncertain presence in the match against Atlético.

In this way, the probable Caracas lineup features: Wuilker Fariñez; Luis Casiani, Francisco La Mantía, Robert Quijada (Bianneider Tamayo) and Renné Rivas; Bryant Ortega, Yeison Mena and Vicente Rodríguez; Ender Echenique, Danny Pérez and Edwuin Pernía.

Henry Meléndez, new coach of Caracas, will debut in charge of the team against Atlético(photo: Disclosure/Caracas)

Atlético’s probable lineup

In the air, there is a relevant doubt about Atlético’s lineup against Caracas: will Argentine coach Gabriel Milito enter with full strength in the Copa Libertadores debut or will he spare some of his starters thinking about the final against Cruzeiro? Against Raposa, next Sunday (6/4), the black and white team will need to win to keep the Campeonato Mineiro cup.

If they choose to use the starting team, the tendency is for Galo’s formation to be the same as in the first game of the decision against their biggest rival, last weekend. Expelled in the round of 16 of the 2023 Libertadores, with Argentinos Juniors, Milito will have to serve an automatic suspension in the continental tournament.

It is possible, in any case, that some specific changes will be made. Atlético’s Argentine commander indicated that some athletes could be preserved due to physical exhaustion.

“I have a good squad and I will obviously take fatigue into account, because the efforts in each match will be very great. Based on this, we will form the team that will play in the next match. Zaracho, for example, wanted to continue, but we understand that he has recovered from an injury. After so much effort, he couldn’t continue. Lemos left because he was cramping.”

Gabriel Milito, Atlético coach

Gabriel Milito during Atlético 2 x 2 Cruzeiro at Arena MRV - (photo: Alexandre Guzanshe/EM/DA Press)
Gabriel Milito cited the importance of rest for his game model at Atlético(photo: Alexandre Guzanshe/EM/DA Press)

Therefore, the probable Atlético lineup features: Everson; Mauricio Lemos (Igor Rabello), Bruno Fuchs and Jemerson; Saravia, Battaglia (Otávio), Zaracho (Gustavo Scarpa), Igor Gomes and Guilherme Arana; Paulinho and Hulk.

In Atlético’s medical department, left-back/midfielder Rubens (fracture in his right hand) and striker Brahian Palacios (injury in his right thigh) continue to undergo treatment. The one who joined the two this week was midfielder Edenilson, who suffered a dislocation with torn ligaments in his left elbow.

The article is in Portuguese

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