Endrick and Edinson Cavani go head-to-head in Copa Libertadores clash
The Madrid-bound 17-year-old could feature in Abel Ferreira’s team to face Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores semi-finals.
Palmeiras and Boca Juniors are just 90 minutes away from the final of the Copa Libertadores.
They played out a cagey goalless draw at La Bombonera last week, meaning that tonight’s fixture is a straight shoot-out to reach the final. On paper, the Brazilian side are the favourites but in a one-off game Boca could pull off a surprise victory. The match will be played on Thursday evening at Estadio Allianz Parque.
In the build-up to the game much of the attention has been on Endrick, the 17-year-old wonderkid who has already agreed a transfer to Real Madrid. Head coach Abel Ferreira decided against starting Endrick in the first leg and he played just one minute at La Bombonera. However the youngster then started and scored in the São Paulo Championship last weekend. That was his eighth goal of the season.
Palmeiras have a full squad to choose from for tonight’s game so the Portuguese coach has a tough decision to make. Rony and Artur are expected to start in the front line, with either Luis Guilherme or Endrick to complete the attacking trio.
Endrick vs Edinson for a place in the final
For Boca, tonight’s game is a final chance to save a deeply underwhelming season. Poor results in the Argentine league saw the team finish in seventh place, meaning that tonight’s semi-final could well be their final game of real importance this season.
Coach Jorge Almirón will be relying on his experienced stars to make the difference against Palmieras, with Edinson Cavani likely to play a key role if Boca come out on top.
For years Cavani, known as ‘The Matador’, was one of the world’s deadliest finishers and he starred for the likes of Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in Europe. However he has struggled since moving to Boca in the summer and is yet to score in any of his four Libertadores appearances.
For tonight’s game much of the pre-match attention will fall on the young star and the old pro - Endrick and Edinson - to see which striker can prove the difference-maker for their team.
Palmerias vs Boca Juniors: Predicted starting XI
Palmeiras: Weverton - Marcos Rocha, Gustavo Gómez, Murilo, Piquerez - Zé Rafael, Gabriel Menino, Raphael Veiga - Endrick, Artur, Rony
Boca: Sergio Romero - Luis Advíncula, Nicolás Figal, Marcos Rojo, Frank Fabra - Cristian Medina, Pol Fernández, Equi Fernández, Valentín Barco - Edinson Cavani, Miguel Merentiel