After six winning selections from seven in the last two weeks, Nathan Joyes heads to Brazil and Argentina in red hot form, with a close eye on Manchester City's new star.
"His brace, which included a bulldozing run and clever finish, as well as a towering header helped Fluminense defeat Santa Fe 2-1 in Colombia."
Juniors to continue impressive streak
Argentinos Juniors are thoroughly enjoying themselves in this year's Copa Libertadores campaign. Three wins from three, six goals scored, and they have yet to concede a single goal. A win against Catolica on Wednesday all but secures their qualification into the knock-out stages nice and early.
And it's hard to look beyond Diego Dabove's side, who have already been to Chile and defeated Gus Poyet's side 2-0. Back on home soil, a fourth win out of four looks very much on the cards.
Despite Poyet's side losing their first two games in Group F, they managed to secure their first three points with a 3-1 victory at home against Uruguay's Nacional, who have only picked up a point so far, and another loss against Atletico Nacional will see their attentions turn to focussing on finishing third and qualifying for the next round of the Copa Sudamericana instead.
But don't let that victory fool you. Catolica simply aren't good enough to progress from this stage of the competition. They've failed to qualify out of the group stages for the past two seasons, and it looks likely that this season will be no different. After losing to Atletico Nacional in week two, they lost to Melipilla in their domestic league, a very average Chilean side - and Poyet's side rarely threatened.
That was the case in week one of the Copa Libertadores, when Argentinos Juniors ran out 2-0 winners in Chile. Poyet's side lacked any kind of threat to break down the stern defence of Juniors, and now away from home, the same outcome beckons.
Catolica will have to watch out for Gabriel Avalos once again, who has already bagged himself three goals in the group stages and is very much the home side's main man at present.
Argentinos Juniors are 1.68/13 to win but adding in over 1.5 match goals brings it up to 1.9720/21, which is more than worthy of a one-point stake, seeing as though they have managed to score in all matches to date.
Fred to lead by example
Remember Brazil's target man, Fred? How could you not. Well, he isn't quite finished at the ripe old age of 37 and he rolled back the years the last time these two met.
His brace, which included a bulldozing run and clever finish, as well as a towering header helped Fluminense defeat Santa Fe 2-1 in Colombia.
Having watched that game back again, the score line heavily flattered the Colombians, even on home soil. If it wasn't for a remarkably clever finish from Giraldo to lift it over Marcos' head, Santa Fe would have returned a blank, having offered very little going forward.
It was even nominated for goal of the week, but I'd be surprised if lightning struck twice...
Fluminense, on the other hand, called goalkeeper Castellanos into action on several occasions, as well as hitting the bar in the second half when 2-0 up.
It was a combination of old and young which saw Fluminense prevail, and one player very much in the public eye at the moment is 17-year-old Kayky, who has agreed to join Manchester City in 2022.
The Brazilian side like to utilise their wide men and stretch their opponents, and Kayky is one of the best youngsters in that position in South America right now. Santa Fe will know the threat his possesses but stopping him is almost impossible at present.
The young star has scored three goals in his 11 appearances for Fluminense, including bagging his first Copa Libertadores goal against Junior last week. He ran Santa Fe ragged for 60 minutes in the reverse fixture, and I fully expect him to be providing the service once again.
A win for Fluminense could be vital in this match, with only three points separating them in top spot and Santa Fe, down in fourth. A win would take the pressure of their trip to Argentina when they face River Plate, and if results go their way, a win could almost qualify Fluminense to the knock out stages.
Priced at a very generous 1.84/5, I'm fully expecting the Brazilians to record back to back wins against Santa Fe.
Nathan’s Copa Libertadores P&L