Very close to achieving for the fifth time in its history a place in the Copa Libertadores decision, Grêmio will face Barcelona from Ecuador on Wednesday, November 1, in the return game of the semifinals of the 2017 edition of tournament. At the Grêmio Arena, in Porto Alegre, the match starts at 21:45 (Brasília time).
In the first leg of the duel in Guayaquil, the Gauchos thrashed 3-0 to give them the chance to advance to the decision if they win, or even be even beaten by up to two goals difference.
To the Ecuadorian team remains to fight for a victory by four goals of advantage to obtain the classification. It can come with a difference of three goals, but in this case, it would also be necessary to score four goals. If he returns the 3-0, the Guayaquil club will take the decision for the penalties.
Grêmio’s recent performance
Despite the wide advantage, the tricolor of Rio de Janeiro decided not to take any risk of losing players to Wednesday’s duel and climbed a reserve team to face Avaí on Sunday, October 29, in a match for the thirty-first round of the Brazilian Championship.
He ended up having to settle for the 2-2 draw. With that, he missed a great opportunity to put his name back on track as Corinthians, the leader, fell to Ponte Preta, 1-0, in Campinas.
With 51 points (15 wins, six draws and ten losses), Grêmio is in fourth place. The eight-point difference to Corinthians is still reversible. After all, there are seven days left and 21 points left until the end of the competition. However, at no point did the tricolors, led by coach Renato Gaucho, show a willingness to try to reach that trophy. In addition, Palmeiras and Santos are also ahead in the marking.
This lack of interest in the national tournament has affected the Grêmio numbers in their domains. With 26 points (eight wins, two draws and five losses), the team from Rio Grande do Sul is only the tenth best entrant of the 2017 edition of Brasileirão.
However, even with the five defeats, none of them suffered a goal margin similar to what Barcelona need to advance to the final of the Libertadores.
The current form of Barcelona
After a series of six unbeaten games (four draws and two defeats), Barcelona managed to get the better of the LDU classic, played on Saturday, October 28, for the sixteenth round of the Ecuadorian Championship. At home, he scored 2 to 0.
The win was merely moral, as the Guayaquill club has no real chance of fighting for the title. Although he has two more games to complete than his main rivals, he appears only in eighth place among the 12 teams that compete for the Ecuadorian Serie A with 16 points (three wins, seven draws and four losses). They are 14 less than the leading Delfin.
The victory in the classic is not the only factor that can fuel the hopes of the fans of Barcelona, who in the previous stages managed to eliminate the Brazilians Palmeiras and Santos. Uruguayan striker Jonatan Daniel Alvez Sagar and defender Gabriel Marques de Andrade Pinto, absolute holders of the team, could be re-connected. They did not participate in the first match of the semifinals because they were suspended.
History of the matches
The teams have already been rivals in a knockout in the 2012 season. For the South American Cup, Grêmio won 1-0 in Ecuador and confirmed the score by scoring 2 to 1 in Porto Alegre.
Despite the favorable curriculum in the 2017 edition of the Copa Libertadores against Brazilian clubs, the defeat in Guayaquill was, in practice, a spade of lime in Barcelona. Even if the team has the courage to leave for Grêmio in Porto Alegre, it will end up benefiting the rival, a specialist in counterattacks at speeds pulled by Luan, fully recovered from injury.
Therefore, the guess of the owners of the house is the most appropriate for the confrontation. It has a price of 1.70 in Bet365. Draw shows return of 3.60 and Ecuadorian success multiplies capital by 5.00.