Ecuadorians must win
Emelec v Independiente Petrolero
There are no complications for Emelec this week. If the Ecuadorians win and Deportivo Táchira fail to win against Palmeiras, they will progress to the knockout stages. Anything other than a win and they'll find themselves competing in the Copa Sudamericana.
However, although it doesn't look like it at first glance, Emelec's fate is very much in their own hands. There is absolutely no chance that Táchira travel to Brazil and turn over the current Champions and with Emelec sitting on a much better goal difference. A win over Independiente Petrolero on home soil looks sure to happen.
The fact that Emelec are priced at 1/12 tells you everything you need to know about this match, but they are more then generous alternatives available in this encounter.
As mentioned in last week's column, the Bolivian side debuting in the competition is very, very weak and their quick rise into this competition has come far too quick. I think they'll be more than glad it will all be over after their trip to Ecuador.
The Bolivians have shipped eleven goals in their two away matches and have nothing to compete for, and with everything factored in, I'll be using the Bet Builder option on a huge night for the Ecuadorians.
Emelec -1, a goal in each half and to be leading at HT creates a 1.758/11 betting opportunity I'll happily stake 1.5 points on.
Chileans can qualify
Colo Colo v Fortaleza
This match is a winner takes all situation and easily one of the standout matches in the final round of group matches. Colo Colo must beat Fortaleza in order to qualify for the knockout stages, while the Brazilians need to avoid defeat in Chile for the debutants to progress at their very first attempt.
The Brazilians have certainly grown into the tournament, holding River Plate to a 1-1 draw on home soil in between beating Alianza Lima on both occasions. However, in front of a sell out crowd in their opening game, Fortaleza were outplayed by Colo Colo, who went on to win 2-1.
Whether it was a case of nerves for the Brazilians, they were slow into stride and the Chileans took full advantage, finding themselves 2-0 up after the 49th minute.
Inevitably, the away side dropped deeper and deeper and Renato Kayser was able to score from close range with 20 minutes left on the clock, but the Chileans held on and I feel if they are out of the traps quick once again, Colo Colo can land the double over the debutants.
It's pretty much do or die for Gustavo Quinteros' side, which is fairly reflected in their 2.01/1 price to win. However, at home and having already beaten the Brazilians, the edge is with Colo Colo and they are worthy of a one-point stake to leapfrog into second spot.
Paraguayans will shut out Bolivians
Libertad v The Strongest
All four teams head into the final group match with the possibility of progressing to the knockout stage, which is very rare. However, the likelihood of The Strongest filling either of these two is minimal due to their poor away record.
That has been reflected in their two trips to date, which includes a 1-0 defeat way to Athletico PR as well as a 0-0 draw against Venezuela's Caracas.
As stated last week, The Strongest do not travel well, and Libertad are a far stronger team with a real possibility of topping the group due to Athletico PR's poor goal difference.
Libertad handled the heat in Bolivia, escaping with a valuable point and back on a level playing field, they should get the job done and progress to the knockouts in first place.
Libertad are 1.402/5 to win, which isn't a price I want to push, but a chance must be taken once again on The Strongest failing to score away from home and BTTS No at 1.9010/11 is far too generous.
I'll advise a one-point stake on this selection on what should be a comfortable night for the Paraguayans if they score early.
Brazilians looking for redemption
Corinthians v Always Ready
On the opening week for this column, Always Ready produced the goods and landed two odds-against winners for us. However, the Bolivians have been found out away from home, suffering a 2-0 defeat away to Boca Juniors and 3-0 to the hands of Deportivo Cali. Cali head to Argentina in hope of defying the odds and qualifying for the knockout rounds.
Back in Brazil, Always Ready are sure to be taught a footballing lesson, with Corinthians in desperate need of three points to guarantee them a spot in the next round. Although their goal difference is better than Boca's, there is certainly no harm in Corinthians adding a few to their tally in order to guarantee qualification.
It's worth noting that Always Ready pick up plenty of yellow cards on their travels, and they've finished both away matches with 10 men.
Corinthians are two from two on home soil in this competition, and more impressively they are yet to concede. While they have yet to blow anyone away, they'll be keen to prove to the tournaments market leaders that they should be feared in the next round of the competition.
The Brazilians are 1/14 to win the match, but by using the Bet Builder option, Corinthians to take a lead into the break and BTTS No creates a much better proposition at 1.705/7.
Best of luck.
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