Copa Libertadores 2022, Quarterfinals, Thursday, 11/08/2022

A stadium called Allianz? A cup second leg eagerly anticipated by an entire continent? No, this is not the quarter-final of the Champions League, but that of its South American counterpart – the Copa Libertadores!

Palmeiras and Atletico-MG are the two teams that will face each other in an epic fight on Thursday night and will probably also decide the overall winner between them. At least according to the bookmakers’ betting odds.

Personally, meanwhile, in my Palmeiras Atletico-MG tip I “do not” assume a final decision within the regular seasons.

While half of Europe is chasing the 16-year-old Endrick Felipe (who is secretly considered the greatest Brazilian young talent since Ronaldo), his hometown club SE Palmeiras has to solve by far the trickiest task of the season.

Many experts knew in advance that the quarter-final between Palmeiras and Atletico Mineiro would be nothing less than an early final. After all, two absolute giants meet here.

However, the Alvinegro were unable to capitalise on their home advantage less than a week ago. In a thrilling duel, in which the reigning Brazilian champions were more often in control, the final score was “only” 2:2.

Palmeiras can definitely live with this result! Because the defending champions knew even before the game started that they would not march through against this opponent with the same ease that they had displayed so far!

The Periquito Verde had, in fact, won more than half of its eight Copa Libertadores 2022 matches up to that point in a manner that would be categorised as a “landslide”.

Even in the round of 16, a team like Cerro Porteno could be beaten 3-0 and 5-0 off the cuff. No question: judging by the tournament so far, nobody has made a better overall impression than Palmeiras.

Palmeiras also seem to be enjoying the upper hand in Serie A at the moment. For the Perquito Verde lead the runaway pack at the top, while Atletico Mineiro’s last year’s dominance, which saw them become champions with aplomb, now seems to have slipped away.

Atletico MG should not be written off because of this, but at this very highest level Palmeiras could be in slightly better shape on Thursday. This is also proven by a look at the respective form curves.

Palmeiras had won all of their last four Serie A matches before the 2-2 first leg. The form curve of the upcoming opponents, on the other hand, is a lot more mixed.

After all, Atletico-MG have only won one of their last eight competitive matches – and that only against promoted Botafogo. Moreover, the Allianz Parque is a hot spot for the visitors.

For here, in the greatest football sanctuary of all green and white striped fans, the Alvinegro have not been able to win any of their last seven guest games, but have by no means always lost out (5 draws, 2 defeats).

At this point, however, it is important to proceed with calculation, because in my eyes a success for the home side is by no means set in stone, as a draw is also considered very likely in my opinion.

In fact, 80% of the last five direct duels have ended in a draw! This leads to a much higher payout on the betting markets with an average of 3.20 than a win for the home side favoured by the leading bookmakers (1.83).

Summary: Football fans can expect a game on a knife edge. Personally, I am wavering between a win for the home side and extra time!

On paper, many things point to the former. After all, Palmeiras have dominated half of their Copa Libertadores so far and are now top of the Serie A table.

However, I wouldn’t let that fool me, because the Alvinegro are a tough opponent! Four of the last five direct duels have ended in a draw, which is why I am deliberately going for the better odds on Thursday.

My Palmeiras Atletico-MG tip: Draw!