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Copa Libertadores

  • June 28, 2012
  • • 01:55
  • • Estadio Alberto Jacinto Armando, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
  • Referee: E. Osses

Boca Juniors - Corinthians Preview: Two of South America's giants face off in first leg of Copa Libertadores final

Boca Juniors - Corinthians Preview: Two of South America's giants face off in first leg of Copa Libertadores final

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La Bombonera will be packed to bursting point as Juan Roman Riquelme looks to be the man to unlock a stubborn Brazilian side in search of their first ever Libertadores title



Roncaglia, Schiavi, Caruzzo, Clemente
Ledesma, Somoza, Erviti
Mouche, Silva

Alessandro, Chicao, Leandro Castan, Fabio Santos
Ralf, Paulinho
Alex, Danilo
Jorge Henrique, Emerson

Corinthians will make one change from the team that secured progression to the final with a 1-1 draw against Santos. Emerson Sheikh returns from suspension and will therefore start in attack at the expense of Willian. This could see Tite move away from the 4-2-3-1 formation though it could remain the same should Jorge Henrique operate from the right.

Boca will line-up with the same starting XI that held Universidad de Chile to a goalless draw in the semi-final second leg. After training separately from the team on Monday, Juan Roman Riquelme rejoined the group and is now expected to be ready to face the Timao.

Ronaldo Schiavi will be partnered in defence by Matias Caruzzo, meaning that Juan Manuel Insaurralde will start among the substitutes. None of the starters played a part in the Xeneize's 3-1 league defeat to All Boys at the weekend as their title-winning chances had been reduced by losing to eventual winners Arsenal de Sarandi the week before.

  • Boca Juniors will be taking part in the 10th Copa Libertadores final in the history of the club. They have emerged victorious on six occasions, beating Brazilian clubs Gremio, Palmeiras, Santos and Cruzeiro in previous finales.
  • The Xeneize have only suffered defeat once in this year's edition of the competition and that came at the hands of Brazilian opposition in Fluminense.
  • A win would see Boca equal Independiente's all-time record of seven Libertadores triumphs. It could also be the fourth time Riquelme lifts the trophy, but he would need another two victories to match Francisco Sa's record of six winners' medals with both Independiente (4) and Boca (2).
  • In stark contrast, Corinthians will be participating in the final for the first time in their history.
  • The Timao possess the competition's meanest defence having only conceded three goals in their previous 12 Libertadores fixtures.
  • The Sao Paulo club are yet to taste defeat in the tournament though they came close to losing their opening group game. A header from Ralf rescued an embarrassing point against Deportivo Tachira in Venezuela.

Players to watch

J. Riquelme

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Looking to win his fourth Libertadores title, Boca will focus all of their attacking through Riquelme. His fantastic array of passing make him able to wreak havoc in the space of a few seconds and he will do just that if he is afforded too much space. His side will no doubt be fired up for the occasion in front of a full house at La Bombonera and he will need the help of his fellow midfielders to create space away from Ralf and Paulinho.

Emerson Sheik

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Emerson showed his class with an exquisite goal in the first leg of the semi-final against Santos and Corinthians fans will be hoping he can pull something similar out away from once more. He should be fresh after serving a suspension over the second leg and his acceleration could cause problems for Schiavi in defence. However, if the visitors are forced to sit back and he does not receive enough support in attack then it could well be a difficult night for him.

Editor's Prediction

It is hard to separate these two sides as they both possess resilient defences. Boca displayed this by stopping the typically prolific Universidad de Chile from scoring across two legs while Corinthians restricted Neymar's Santos to just one goal. Riquelme will no doubt be the key for the Argentines but and he will need to be watched closely. There will not be many goals and Corinthians would do well to squeeze out a draw.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Boca Juniors



Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

CA Boca Juniors BOC
CA Boca Juniors Boca Juniors
SC Corinthians Paulista COR
SC Corinthians Paulista Corinthians

Top 3 Predictions

CA Boca Juniors BOC
2 - 0
SC Corinthians Paulista COR
CA Boca Juniors BOC
0 - 1
SC Corinthians Paulista COR
CA Boca Juniors BOC
1 - 2
SC Corinthians Paulista COR