Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Copa Libertadores: Group stage preview Part 2

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on February 11, 2010
Internacional of Porto Alegre

Internacional, seen here celebrating their 2006 Copa Libertadores triumph, have been drawn in Group Five.

In the second part of our Copa Libertadores group stage preview, Stoppage Time looks at groups 5-8:

GROUP 5: Internacional (BRA), Cerro (URU), Deportivo Quito (ECU), Emelec (ECU)

Internacional, the 2006 Libertadores champions, qualified this year by virtue of finishing second in the Campeonato Brasileiro behind champions Flamengo. They will face off against Uruguayans Cerro, who won a post-season mini-league to qualify, Deportivo Quito (not to be confused with 2008 Libertadores champions LDU Quito) and Emelec, both of the latter two teams coming from Ecuador. Deportivo won the national championship last year but have yet to progress beyond the round of 16 stage of this competition. Emelec finished third in the national league and, therefore, had to play against Argentinians Newell’s Old Boys in the first stage in order to qualify.

GROUP 6: Banfield (ARG), Nacional (URU), Deportivo Cuenca (ECU), Morelia (MEX)

Three time Libertadores champions Nacional of Montevideo are the most prominent name in group six but they haven’t reached a Libertadores final since 1988, the year of their most recent success. Banfield created their own piece of history in 2009 as they won the Argentina Apertura tournament to claim their first major title. Ecuador runners-up Cuenca and Mexico’s Morelia will be tough to predict as they will be making only their seventh and second appearances in the tournament respectively.

GROUP 7: Velez Sarsfield (ARG), Colo Colo (CHI), Deportivo Italia (VEN), Cruzeiro (BRA)

This is arguably the most distinguished group of the tournament featuring three former Libertadores champions with five titles between them (only Deportivo Italia have yet to win the title out of this quartet). Argentina’s Clausura champions Velez and Brazilians Cruzeiro, who overcame Bolivian side Real Potosi in the first stage, are expected to fight it out for top spot as Chileans Colo Colo haven’t been so strong in this competition in recent years. Deportivo Italia, runners up in their domestic championship in 2009, last played in the Libertadores ten years ago and aren’t expected to trouble their opponents too much this time either.

GROUP 8: Flamengo (BRA), Universidad de Chile (CHI), FC Caracas (VEN), Universidad Catolica (CHI)

Flamengo won their only Libertadores title in 1981 inspired by the legendary Zico and the current crop hope to emulate their previous achievement with recently returned Adriano having a similar impact in the goalscoring charts as he did in the run-in to last year’s Brasileiro success. The six-time Brazilian champions will play against Chilean sides Universidad de Chile (their country’s Apertura champions) and Universidad Catolica (who beat Argentine side Colon Santa Fe in the first stage) as well as Venezuelan champions FC Caracas in a group they’re widely tipped to win.

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