Flamengo and Palmeiras, the last champions, start as favourites

(CNN Spanish) — Head-to-head duels are what give any competition that special touch. It is there that the competitive spirit acquires more drama, passion in its followers and one sees what the teams that aspire to remain with the greatest sporting glory are made of.

The draw for the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores 2023 was held this Wednesday, with which the matches of the first knockout phase of the tournament and the keys to the final, which will be played in Brazil, were defined.

Palmeiras and Flamengo start as the main favorites to stay with “La Gloria Eterna”, the Conmebol motto for the Copa Libertadores 2023. They have earned supremacy for hierarchy in their interpreters, brilliance in their game, mystique and for winning, between both , the last four editions of this competition. Below are top tier teams such as River Plate, Fluminense, Atlético Paranaense and Atlético Mineiro.

The round of 16 of the LXIV (64) edition of the Copa Libertadores gave fascinating crosses. Let’s see what these challenges of the 16 best teams of the biggest Conmebol competition are made of.

Atletico Mineiro (Brazil) vs. Palmeiras (Brazil)

The monumental collision of these two Brazilian teams is a must for anyone who loves good football and especially for the “torcedores” —fans— of soccer in Brazil. Palmeiras was the better team in the first phase. They have won five of their six matches, finishing top of their group, and reconfirming themselves in this way, having won two of the last four editions of the competition. Their rival started the group stage at a different pace, losing the first two games, but then won three games in a row and improved their performance considerably. Early ending with favoritism for the REAL (Palmeiras).

Deyverson de Palmeiras. (Credit: Buddha Mendes/Getty Images)

River Plate (Argentina) vs. Porto Alegre International (Brazil)

Another high-level duel is what River Plate will play against Internacional de Porto Alegre. He millionaire He went from least to most in the contest. His performance and his achievement were not targeted, but he finished his performance in the group stage, with the high-ranking bearing that is known to the majestic Argentine team who want to recover the continental glory. To do this, they have to overcome the great team from Porto Alegre. Team with the typical Brazilian cadence of play. Solid, with a high-ranking gait and the courage of a gaúcho team (South of Brazil). He finished first and undefeated in his group. Duel of great equality and reserved prognosis.

Flamengo (Brazil) vs. Olympia (Paraguay)

Flamengo, the last champions, finished second in their group. They have not won any away games. However, he has shown flashes of his plasticity in this sport that he practices like few others. Warm up your engines as the competition progresses. This is how he has made his journey in the last four editions of this competition, reaching three finals and being crowned in two of them. As fearsome as it is admirable. Olympia is a giant of the continent. He finished first in his group and also undefeated. The temperance, character and a solid team that he possesses will have to be re-validated without batting an eye to climb Everest, which implies having Rio’s formidable team face-to-face. He Fla it is preferred to pass the key.

Atletico Nacional (Colombia) vs. Racing Club (Argentina)

Atlético Nacional finished second in their group. It went from oldest to youngest. They won three of their opening four games. Then they lost their last two games, perhaps the weakest group of the tournament. You will have to raise your level if you want to have a chance of qualifying against the team academic (racing club). The Argentine team was one of the good sensations in the group stage. He finished first in the initial stage of the competition, over a giant like Flamengo, whom he beat in one of the duels. Hierarchy, a lot of character and a hunger for glory are his credentials. Even duel with slight favoritism for the Argentine team.

Boca Juniors’ striker Luis Vazquez celebrates after scoring during the Copa Libertadores second round group stage soccer match between Argentina’s Boca Juniors and Venezuela’s Monagas at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires on June 29, 2023. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)

Boca Juniors (Argentina) vs. National team (Uruguay)

He xeneize he finished first in his group. He has won four duels in a competition in which he has started to show a better face than in the Argentine national tournament. Players with a great hierarchy, a lot of personality and a mystique make them an attentive team. You will have to improve if you want to increase your chances of advancing in the tournament.

Nacional is a typical Uruguayan team. A lot of temper, tactical order and play face to face with any rival in front of you. He finished second in his group. He has equaled as a guest at Internacional de Porto Alegre, as a team presence proves they are not a formation to be underestimated. Closed duel and a lot of equality.

Bolivar (Bolivia) vs. Athletico Paranaense (Brazil)

Bolívar was one of the revelations of the first phase. They finished second in their group, winning four games including a sensational win against Palmeiras themselves at home. Then he was beaten as a visitor since REAL (Palmeiras) but in the six games they showed courage, fluency in the game and at home they are a very complex team. He will have a duel of extreme difficulty. The Curitiba team finished first in their group. Play soccer like few others in this competition. He has luminosity, self-confidence and an air about his team play of a high standard. Clear favorite the Brazilian team.

Argentine Juniors (Argentina) vs. Fluminense (Brazil)

He Parent insect (Argentinians) went from highest to lowest in the contest. In their last match (they lost against Independiente del Valle, as visitors), they missed out on first place in the group. His ID card shows him with a team that stood up to par, in front of anyone, anywhere. He has shown good resources and will have to recover the memory of the first games. He competes with a staff of great excellence. He floo It has players of enormous individual brilliance. Former Real Madrid player Marcelo is a true crackwhich shows the validity and increases the thickness of a scratch Fantastic. The cariocas look like favorites to get through the stage.

Deportivo Pereira (Colombia) vs. Independent of the Valley (Ecuador)

The Colombian is a team with a lot of tactical order. He has good players, a good read on how to play based on the challenge his opponent implies. He finished second in his group in which he didn’t shine, it was very difficult for him to qualify, even if nobody gave him anything. He enhances his resources very well. A formation that he can give more than he has shown. The Ecuadorian team finished first in their group, although they lost two games. Both as a visitor. It will need to better match its swing productions if it is to have a chance of survival. Duel of extreme equality.

If there is a tie, it goes directly to penalties, the VAR continues and the grand finale will be in November

We recall that, in this case of playoffs, which will be played from August 2 to 9, the Video Referee Referee (VAR) will continue to be used. If the teams do not differentiate between themselves, the definition of who overcomes the phase will be made by shots from the spot. There will only be a 30-minute extension to the grand final, which will be played in a single match, on November 4 at Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracana stadium, which will welcome the big event as it did in 2020.

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