Preview: Estudiantes vs. Huachipato – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Copa Libertadores clash between Estudiantes and Huachipato, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Estudiantes will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in the Copa Libertadores when they take on Huachipato at Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi on Wednesday night.

Owing to the heavy rains that caused two match postponements earlier in the competition, Group C is the only one that will not be decided in this round of matches.

Match preview

© Reuters

Estudiantes enter their fifth match of the competition in third place in the group standings with four points, one behind their opponents here and six fewer than The Strongest at the top of the table.

Los Pincharratas were crowned Copa de La Liga champions at the start of the month, marking their second title in five months after winning the Copa Argentina last December, though they have not tasted continental success since 2008-09 when they beat Cruzeiro in this competition.

In the last round, Eduardo Dominguez‘s side were beaten 1-0 by The Strongest, and after back-to-back wins, they suffered their first league loss in the second phase of the Argentine Primera Division, beaten 2-1 by Lanus on the road last week.

Of their two home games in this competition, the hosts have won one and lost their most recent one to Gremio, though their historical record at Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi in the Copa Libertadores is solid, with eight wins in their last ten.

These two played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse back on matchday one when Estudiantes set up to play on the counter. However, back at home, Dominguez’s men will likely try to assert their dominance from the off.

Meanwhile, after what can only be described as a sensational 2023 season, which saw them win the Chilean Primera Division on the final day of the campaign, this year has been significantly more challenging for Huachipato.

Los Acereros are currently down in 11th place in their domestic league this season, and with just four wins in their first 14 games, they already trail league leaders Universidad de Chile by 13 points.

Owing to their poor league form, the club decided to part ways with Javier Sanguinetti just 17 matches into his tenure a couple of weeks ago and brought in Francisco Troncoso to try and steady the ship.

However, the new boss suffered a 1-0 home defeat on debut but did manage to notch up his first victory over the weekend, grinding out a 1-0 victory over Everton, and he will now try to deliver another solid performance on the continental stage.

If Gremio lose to The Strongest in the other match in this section, Huachipato can guarantee their place in the round of 16 if they secure an against-the-odds win in this one.

Estudiantes Copa Libertadores form:

Estudiantes form (all competitions):

Huachipato Copa Libertadores form:

Team News

© Reuters

Estudiantes have just one absentee for this match in Chile international Javier Altamirano, who is not expected to return in the foreseeable future after having a seizure on the pitch back in March.

Zaid Abner Romero was given the nod to start over the weekend, but Santiago Flores is expected to return to partner Luciano Lollo in the central defensive pairing here, with Eros Mancuso and Gaston Benedetti at full-backs.

Huachipato will have to make do without the services of their influential attacking midfielder Gonzalo Montes, who was sent off against The Strongest in the last match and will serve his one-match suspension in this one.

Veteran Sebastian Saez or Julian Brea are the most likely to replace Montes in the starting lineup, while Maximiliano Rodriguez and Cris Martinez are expected to lead the line for the visitors.

Jimmy Martinez and Leandro Diaz have been ruled of this match due to a leg and muscle injury, respectively.

Estudiantes possible starting lineup:
Mansilla; Mancuso, Lollo, Flores, Benedetti; Ascacibar, Zuqui, Sosa; Cetre, Piatti; Correa

Huachipato possible starting lineup:
Parra; Loyola, Gazzolo, Malanca, Diaz; Silva, Sepulveda, J Martinez, Brea, C Martinez; Rodriguez

We say: Estudiantes 2-1 Huachipato

While Estudiantes have been a long way from the sort of form we saw last season, they have maintained an impressive record at Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi this term. The hosts have already beaten The Strongest on home turf in this competition and we feel they will be able to grind out another victory in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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