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Palmeiras vs Santos prediction, preview, team news and more | 2020 Copa Libertadores Final

Santos will square off with Palmeiras on Saturday
Santos will square off with Palmeiras on Saturday
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 28 Jan 2021
Preview

It will be an all-Brazilian affair at the Maracana on Saturday, as Palmeiras and Santos battle it out for glory in the final of the 2020 Copa Libertadores.

Both sides saw off Argentine opposition in the semifinal. Palmeiras held on for a narrow 3-2 aggregate victory over River Plate, while Santos picked up a 3-0 home win against Boca Juniors after a goalless first leg.

However, the two sides have not been in the best of form domestically since their continental highs.

Palmeiras have just one win from their last five games and were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Vasco da Gama on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Santos lost 2-0 away to Atletico MG on Wednesday.

Palmeiras are aiming to win a second continental crown in what is their fifth final. Santos will also be disputing the Libertadores final for the fifth time, but will be seeking their fourth title.


Palmeiras vs Santos Head-to-Head

This is one of the most intense rivalries in Brazilian football, with matches between the pair referred to as the Clássico da Saudade.

The intensity comes from the fact that both clubs are preeminent in the state of Sao Paolo and matches between the sides are characterized by high passion and physicality.

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The fact that this is a final only adds to the drama and fireworks expected.

Despite being played at an empty stadium owing to COVID-19 guidelines, fans are expected to cheer their side to glory outside the Maracana.

In total, Palmeiras and Santos have met on 335 occasions in the past, and Palmeiras have the better record.

The Verdão have 140 wins to their name, with 562 goals scored and 474 conceded. Their opponents have been victorious on 106 occasions, while 87 previous games have ended in draws.

Their most recent meeting came in December, on matchday 24 of the Brazilian Serie A season, when they could not be separated in a 2-2 draw.

This is the third final to feature two Brazilian teams. In 2005, Sao Paulo defeated Athletico Paranaense. The next year, Internacional beat Sao Paulo.

Palmeiras form guide (Brazilian Serie A): D-L-L-W-D

Santos form guide (all competitions): L-L-L-W-W


Palmeiras vs Santos Team News

Palmeiras

Palmeiras have been boosted by the return to fitness of star forward Gabriel Veron, who recently recovered from a hamstring injury.

There are, however, still injury concerns, as Lula and Wesley are both ruled out long-term with knee injuries.

Holding midfielder Patrick de Paula is also available for selection, having served a suspension in the semifinal second leg.

Injuries: Lula, Wesley

Suspension: None

Santos

The Black-and-White have some fitness concerns ahead of the final clash with Palmeiras.

Carlos Andres Sanchez (ligament), Raniel (leg), Jobson (ACL), and Rafael Longuine (ACL) are unavailable for selection due to injuries.

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Santos captain Alison tested positive for COVID-19 recently and is currently in self-isolation.

Injuries: Carlos Andres Sanchez, Rafael Longuine, Raniel, Alison, Jobson

Suspension: None

Both managers fielded weakened teams in their midweek league fixtures but should name their strongest lineups on Saturday.


Palmeiras vs Santos Predicted XI

Palmeiras Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Weverton; Matias Vina, Gustavo Gomez, Luan Garcia, Marcos Rocha; Gabriel Menino, Patrik De Paula; Willian, Raphael Veiga, Gabriel Veron; Luiz Adriano

Santos Predicted XI (4-3-3): John Furtado (GK); Felipe Jonathan, Luan Peres, Laercio Solda, Lucas Braga; Diego Pituca, Nathan, Sandry Roberto; Yeferson Soteldo, Kai Jorge, Marinho


Palmeiras vs Santos Prediction

The fact that this is a final, coupled with a domestic derby, makes it extremely difficult to call. However, both sides' attacking impetus plus the prize on offer means that goals could be scored at both ends.

The return of Gabriel Veron for Palmeiras is a potential game-changer. The 18-year-old will seek to make a mark in what could be his last game for his boyhood club.

Ultimately, both sides might cancel each other out, with Palmeiras triumphing on penalties.

Prediction: Palmeiras 1-1 Santos (Palmeiras to win 4-3 on penalties)

Published 28 Jan 2021, 21:12 IST
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