Santos and Independiente meet in Copa Sudamericana round of 16. Now, every time one Brazilian and Argentinian team meet in any sport (especially football), you can expect to see a relentless clash with lots of intensity and emotions coming from both sides. Have no doubt, it will be the same tonight at Estadio Vila Belmiro in Sao Paolo. This is the first leg, with the rematch set in seven days. Santos is a moderate favorite, but Independiente is a tough nut to crack.
Santos (+100) isn’t that shinny in the Brazilian Serie A, where they hold ninth place after 11 rounds, with four wins and losses with three draws as well. Their goals difference is neutral, too, 13-13, suggesting that this team is nowhere near last year’s that reached the finals of Copa Libertadores and lost to Palmeiras.
The club had to sell lots of players to stay financially healthy, but despite doing that, the situation among the Black-and-Whites is not shiny at all.
They are playing much better at home than on the road, posting most of their wins in Sao Paolo. For instance, in the last five matches at home, they allowed just one goal, winning three times and recording two draws. In each win, Santos netted at least twice. However, away from home, this team is terrible, which is why they ended third in the Copa Libertadores group, not being able to defeat The Strongest or Barcelona SC in the defining games.
Independiente (+300) comes into this contest after a one-month pause. We’ll see how they handle that minus, because Santos played matches during the entire time. Their most recent event was against Colon de Santa Fe in the Argentinian Copa de la Liga semis. Independiente lost that one at home, 0-2, ending the season and a six-game unbeaten streak.
The Argentinian red Devils played in Copa Sudamericana Group B, Torque, Bahia, and Guabira, finishing first without a single loss – four wins and two draws, 11-5 goal difference. This is a solid and tough unit, with excellent tactical knowledge, and seeing them without a defeat on the road in the recent five matches isn’t odd at all.
They play inefficient games, as six of the past ten ended with under 2.5 goals, and the same number saw both teams not to score.
Head to Head Games
Three years ago, Independiente eliminated Santos from the Copa Libertadores round of 16, following a 3-0 win on aggregate. However, both matches ended 0-0 because the first one was awarded in favor of the Argentinian team due to Santos’ huge mistake. They allowed an ineligible player to start the match.
Santos will try to beat the rivals and gain an edge before the rematch, and they know that creating a solid lead in this one is their best chance for advancing to the quarterfinals. Also, the Brazilians are against an opponent who didn’t have a competitive game in more than a month, and that simply needs to be exploited. Therefore, we are picking the host’s win as the best solution for betting.
Pick: Santos to win
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.