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Copa Libertadores final - Flamengo vs River Plate: Match preview and players to watch out for in big decider

River Plate and Flamengo training Sessions Ahead of Copa Libertadores final
River Plate and Flamengo training Sessions Ahead of Copa Libertadores final
Louis Smith

The biggest game in South America is set to take place this weekend and fans of both River Plate and Flamengo are lighting up Lima. The Copa Libertadores final is set to be a classic and it's chance for either River Plate or Flamengo to create history.

The game will be played in Peru's capital and it will be a one-off final match rather than the usual two-legged home-and-away encounter which we have seen in the Libertadores Cup previously.

River Plate ( the current holders) are aiming to achieve something their fierce rivals, Boca Juniors, did back in 2001 by retaining the title.

Boca was the last team to retain their crown and River will be aiming to get another one over their rivals after they knocked them out of the competition in the last round as well as beating them in last year's final.

Standing in River Plate's way are the Brazilian powerhouse Flamengo.

Flamengo have been in scintillating form all year round and this weekend could be the best one in the club's history. The reason being that they could also be crowned champions of Brazil for the first time since 2009 without having to even kick a ball. If Palmeiras fail to beat Gremio on Sunday then the Rubro-Negro would lift their sixth Brazilian title.

Flamengo's attention will be on their huge fixture on Saturday and you could sense the level of excitement from the fans as they greeted the team bus with chanting and flares on the way to the airport. Manager Jorge Jesus got involved by being lifted up by the Flamengo faithful.

The final on Saturday will be Flamengo's first Libertadores Cup final since 1981. In 1981 Flamengo also recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory over the European champions Liverpool in the Intercontinental cup.

This could happen again if Flamengo win as they could potentially face Liverpool at the Club World Cup in December.

Watch out for

For River, Nicolas De La Cruz is one player to keep an eye on, he is the player who is likely to create chances for the Argentines. Exequiel Palacios will have the task of breaking down Flamengo attacks. If Juan Fernando Quintero is fit, he is likely to play. In last year's final, he had one of the best games of his career which enabled his side to lift the competition.

River Plate and Flamengo Training Sessions Ahead of Copa Libertadores Final
River Plate and Flamengo Training Sessions Ahead of Copa Libertadores Final

For Flamengo, Gabriel Barbosa or "Gabigol", as the Flamengo fans call him, will certainly be one to monitor as so far this season he has scored 38 times in 53 matches in all competitions. The main provider for Flamengo has been Uruguayan midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta who has provided 12 goals and 10 assists from midfield for club and country in 33 matches, a very impressive for a midfielder.

The game promises to be a very exciting one with two great managers aiming to be the cream of the crop in South America. River Plate Manager Marcelo Gallardo has already proved himself once and has been linked to the Barcelona job... A win on Saturday would only help his reputation grow.

Will River Plate retain their crown? or will Flamengo win only their 2nd Libertadores? Tune in on Saturday night to find out!

Marcelo Gallardo.
Marcelo Gallardo.

Match details

Kick-off time: 23 November 2019, 15:00 local time (IST, 01:30 AM, BST 20:00)

Venue: Estadio Monumental, Lima, Peru

Also check out:La Liga La Liga fixtures La liga table 2019-20


Edited by S Chowdhury

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