Athletico Paranaense and Libertad Asuncion face off again but in the opening leg of their Copa Libertadores last 16 tie at Arena da Baixada on Wednesday morning (1:30am, UK time).
The hosts previously reached the knockout phase on five occasions with their most successful run coming in 2005 when they lost to São Paulo in the final. As for Libertad it’s been 16 years since putting together a run that saw them reach the semi-finals.
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Where to watch Athletico Paranaense vs Libertad Asuncion on TV:
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Following a two years absence Athletico Paranaense are back playing Copa Libertadores football. In their previous three outings they’ve not got beyond the first knockout stage. Earlier this season Athletico were drawn into Group B with Libertad, The Strongest and Caracas subsequently finishing level on points with their Paraguayan rivals but due to an inferior goal-difference the Brazilian side finished second. Athletico’s three successes all came at home including a 2-0 success over Libertad. Heading into the competition’s resumption Christian and Pablo are Athletico’s leading scorers with both netting two goals each.
This is Libertad’s sixth consecutive Libertadores tournament appearance. During that stretch they’ve gone beyond the round of 16 just once. Daniel Garnero’s side finished as Group B’s joint leading scorers (eight goals) while possessing the best defence (six conceded). All of their wins (three) also came on home soil meaning across two fixtures against Athletico Paranaense they won 1-0 at Estadio Defensores del Chaco before suffering a 2-0 loss on the road. Lorenzo Melgarejo finished as Libertad’s top scorer on two goals. Elsewhere former Benfica marksman Óscar Cardozo got on the scoresheet when he netted in a 2-1 win over Caracas in April.
Scoreline prediction: Athletico Paranaense 2-1 Libertad Asuncion
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