Semi-finals await for Flamengo
Flamengo v Corinthians
Flamengo have been the tournament's favourites since day one and holding a 2-0 lead from their first leg against Corinthians will only see their price continue to shorten.
Goals from Giorgian De Arrascaeta and Gabriel Barbosa saw the Brazilian giants topple a Corinthian side who have simply not been good enough this year and their extended stay looks all but over.
De Arrascaeta responded quickly to a defensive mix up, curling an unstoppable effort from just inside the area. Barbosa was also allowed too much time on the edge of the box, guiding his left footed effort into the bottom corner and effectively putting the match to bed.
Flamengo didn't ease up on their Brazilian opponents, as David Luiz's header and left footed strike caused problems for Corinthians. Flamengo continued to probe and press, but were unable to kill off the tie completely.
In order for Corinthians to progress, they will need to win 3-0 inside 90 minutes or within 120, something they haven't achieved away to Flamengo since 2015. It's worth noting, however, that Flamengo have only lost three home matches in their last 20.
More impressively, Flamengo have only lost one of their last 20 home Copa Libertadores matches.
Last year's top goalscorer Gabriel Barbosa has grown into this year's competition, and with five goals to his name, he remains Flamengo's most valuable asset in the final third.
Despite Corinthians sitting in second place in Serie A with Flamengo back in sixth, don't let that fool you, as there is quite frankly a gulf in class between the two sides. Flamengo are a different animal in this competition, as this is the trophy they so desperately crave.
Head coach Dorival Junior has already indicated his intentions to play their normal game is very much music to my ears, as Corinthians will have no choice but to put numbers forward and Flamengo can be deadly on the break. One goal in favour of the home side will completely kill the tie.
On home soil, in front of a sell out crowd, I'm backing Flamengo to win and under 3.5 goals at 1.768/11.
Athletico PR to finally exit
Estudiantes v Athletico PR
It was very muchmission accomplished for Estudiantes as they left Arena da Baixada with a 0-0 draw, leaving their Brazilian opponents frustrated. The aim for the Argentinians was simple; to leave without defeat, and having survived a disallowed 81st minute goal thanks to VAR, they will be confident of getting through in the second leg.
And why wouldn't they be? They've won all four home Copa Libertadores matches to date, scoring ten goals in the process from seven different players, including a 4-1 victory over Velez Sarsfield, who are still in the competition.
It's worth noting that Velez Sarsfield knocked out River Plate, drawing 0-0 away from home in the process, showing that Estudiantes' 4-1 demolition was highly impressive.
One thing guaranteed is the atmosphere inside Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi. La Plata has been a cauldron this season and that's only helped Estudiantes achieve their four victories. Not only has it proven to be one of the more intimidating stadiums this year, but the team match the aggressive atmosphere.
Although Estudiantes will look to get the ball down and play, they've continuously shown they are a threat from balls into the box, and Athletico may not live with that. That was evident earlier in the tournament, when Bolivia's The Strongest scored not one, not two, not three...but four headers in their 5-0 victory over Athletico.
Estudiantes' Manual Castro (below) has proven to be deadly in the box, scoring three goals for his side in the Copa Libertadores so far.
The Brazilians have not travelled well this year either, having scored just one goal in four away matches; it has been their home form which has got them out of tricky situations so far. Two final home wins rescued embarrassment in a weak group to qualify for the knockout stages, but their inability to test Estudiantes' goalkeeper in the first leg (two shots on target from 23) may prove costly.
Factoring in just how good Estudiantes have been at home this season, it's hard to dismiss their current price at odds-against versus a side who are lucky to still be in the competition. As a result, I'm backing the Argentinians to prevail at 2.206/5.
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