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

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

Gremio will be aiming to secure top spot when they host Estudiantes in the Copa Libertadores at the Estadio Couto Pereira on Saturday.

The Imortal Tricolor have already guaranteed their place in the knockout stages, but a win here would see them finish top of Group C.

Match preview

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Gremio secured a vital 1-0 victory against Huachipato last time out, thanks to an early goal from Diego Costa. Renato Portaluppi‘s side needed a result to avoid elimination from the Copa Libertadores and they were able to get a win to seal qualification.

Their important win saw them leapfrog their opponents and they now sit on nine points, having played a game less than the teams in first and third place.

The Brazilian side now require a win on Saturday against Estudiantes to claim top spot, as they are just one point behind leaders The Strongest.

The hosts boast a strong record against the visitors, having won three out of five meetings, with one loss and one draw.

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Estudiantes were in action in the Argentine Primera Division against Godoy Cruz, salvaging a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi on Monday.

After falling behind to a Vicente Poggi goal in the 24th minute, it appeared Eduardo Dominguez‘s men were set to suffer their third consecutive defeat across all competitions. However, Zaid Romero ensured a share of the spoils with four minutes remaining.

Los Pincharratas are winless in their last three matches and are already eliminated from the Copa Libertadores despite having one more group stage fixture to play.

The Argentine side have four points from five matches in the competition, four points behind third-placed Huachipato. With nothing left to play for, the visitors will simply be looking to avoid a hat-trick of defeats against the hosts and a run of four games without a win in all competitions.

Gremio Copa Libertadores form:

Gremio form (all competitions):

Estudiantes Copa Libertadores form:

Estudiantes form (all competitions):

Team News

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Gremio will be missing the services of Paraguayan midfielder Mathias Villasanti, who has been named as part of the country’s squad for the Copa America.

On the injury front, they will be without up to five players including Pedro Geromel, Andre Henrique, Lucas Mila, Jhonata Robert and Cristian Pavon.

Costa was back in the XI to score the crucial goal last time out and should be leading the attack once again.

Estudiantes are expected to remain without Chilean midfielder Javier Altamirano, who has been out of action since March, when he picked up a severe head injury.

Guido Carrillo, who was forced off injured against Huachipato, also remains sidelined with a thigh injury until later this month.

Gremio possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Joao Pedro, Ely, Kannemann, Reinaldo; Pepe, Dodi; Everton, Cristaldo, Soltedo; Costa

Estudiantes possible starting lineup:
Mansilla; Mancuso, Romero, Lollo, Meza; Ascacibar, Perez, Palacios, Sosa; Cetre, Correa

We say: Gremio 2-1 Estudiantes

After losing their opening two games, Gremio have found some form, winning three on the trot. They should be too strong for the weakest team in the group, so we expect a victory for the home side.

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

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