Flamengo play River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final. Who will win the Copa Libertadores? Read this Copa Libertadores preview to inform your River Plate vs. Flamengo prediction.
This will be the first Copa Libertadores final played over a single match on a neutral venue. The format is the same as Europe’s Champions League final.
If the match results in a draw, thirty minutes of extra time will be played. If there is still no victor the Copa Libertadores champion will be decided by a penalty shootout.
Time: Saturday 23 November 20:00 UTC kickoff
Venue: Estadio Monumental, Lima
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Reigning champions River Plate are attempting to win their fifth continental title here.
In contrast, Flamengo have won just a single Copa Libertadores title and this will be only their second ever final appearance.
Flamengo vs. River Plate predictions
This is expected to be a close final, as demonstrated by the Asian Handicap which is set at 0. The Over/Under goal line is set at 2.25, slightly below this year’s tournament average of 2.31 goals per game.
The Brazilians are only slightly favoured by the odds so this is a fixture that could go either way, which should make for an intriguing final.
Key area: Who will win the midfield battle?
Argentinian international goalkeeper Franco Armani has conceded just 0.4 goals per game in the tournament so far, keeping clean sheets in 60% of his games on the way to the final.
He will have his work cut out to sustain such impressive stats in the final against arguably the most fearsome attack on the continent.
Flamengo’s attacking players were too much for fellow Brazilian’s Gremio to handle in the semifinal second leg.
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Bruno Henrique has been excellent for Flamengo, contributing five goals in the Copa Libertadores so far. However, it is his five assists that should perhaps concern River Plate more. Alongside Everton Ribiero, Vitinho and exciting young talent Reinier, Henrique is the supply line for the tournament’s top goalscorer Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa.
Gabigol’s goals record is outstanding and he is a huge threat behind defences, with the ability to work dangerous shots within the penalty area.
The Brazilian international’s movement gave Gremio a torrid time in the semifinal. It is vital that River Plate’s midfield three cut off his supply line to protect the centre back pairing being exposed.
Stopping Flamengo may not be enough however. River really struggled to create chances over the two legs against River Plate in the semifinal so may struggle to score themselves with a repeat performance.
Will Copa Libertadores experience play a part?
Despite Flamengo’s strengths, River Plate’s status as reigning champions, not to mention their 2015 title, could well be a factor in this final.
Certainly last season’s victory over bitter rivals River Plate in exceptionally challenging circumstances shows they have a winning mentality. Marcelo Gallardo knows what it takes to triumph in this competition, and he will be a difficult man to stop as he attempts to win his third title in five years.
Who will win the 2019 Copa Libertadores?
River Plate perhaps have the tournament experience but Flamengo’s attacking strength is what gives them the edge in the prematch odds.
The Brazilians to score Over 1 goal is available at 1.751* and could be seen as a value pick for those expecting the Flamengo midfield to provide service to Gabigol.
Finals can be tight affairs however, and River Plate may use their experience to attempt to stifle the game in the same way they did during the semifinal second leg.
Under 2 goals to be scored in the match is available at 2.140* which could be of interest to bettors expecting such a scenario. Exequiel Palacios and the River midfield may well neutralise Flamengo’s supply line, but could possibly struggle to create chances themselves.
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