Preview: Gremio vs. The Strongest – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Copa Libertadores clash between Gremio and The Strongest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After a month out, Gremio will take the field again this week when the play host to Bolivian outfit The Strongest in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday night.

With most parts of Rio Grande do Sul still recovering from the recent catastrophic floods, Gremio will play their next four home fixtures at Estadio Couto Pereira in Curitiba.

Match preview

Botafogo defender Adryelson battling with Luis Suarez of Gremio on July 9, 2023© Reuters

After having their last two games in this competition postponed, Gremio are the only side in the Copa Libertadores to have three games left to play and will be hoping to return to action with a victory at their temporary home ground.

The last time Gremio took the field, they played out a goalless draw away to Operario PR in the Copa do Brasil, which was the second consecutive match in which they failed to find the back of the net.

Since Luis Suarez departed Brazil for MLS, goals have proven difficult to come by for the Imortal Tricolor, as they have only found the net four times in as many league games this season, with Diego Costa, who was brought in to fill the void left by Suarez, yet to register his first of the season.

However, it did not take long for Costa to make the headlines for his new club, having already picked up his first red card against Bahia last month, in an incident that led Renato Gaucho to tell his entire coaching staff and the club’s reserve players to leave the bench during the game and move to the locker room.

Gremio are currently at the bottom of the group with three points after three games, though they did pick up their first win of the competition last time out, beating Estudiantes 1-0 at Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi.

The Strongest's Luciano Ursino and teammates look dejected on June 28, 2023© Reuters

Meanwhile, The Strongest have been unaffected by the match postponements in this competition and are on the verge of securing top spot, having already punched their ticket to the round of 16.

Tigre have been in excellent form lately and enter their final game of the group unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, while the only defeat they have conceded in their last 12 was in the Bolivian Primera Division Apertura semi-final against Universitario de Vinto last month.

Spaniard Ismael Rescalvo has made a very impressive start to his tenure as head coach of the Bolivian giants, and is unbeaten after his first five games in charge since taking over from Pablo Lavallen at the start of the month.

The new boss has also tasted his first Copa Libertadores victory for his new employers, having steered his side to a commanding 4-0 win over Huachipato at home a couple of weeks ago and he will be determined to keep his 100% winning record in the competition intact here.

When these sides met back on matchday one, The Strongest proved too strong for the Brazilian outfit and came away with a 2-0 win 3,502 meters above sea level in La Paz, thanks to goals from Luciano Ursino and Enrique Triverio.

Gremio Copa Libertadores form:

Gremio form (all competitions):

The Strongest Copa Libertadores form:

The Strongest form (all competitions):

Team News

Gremio coach Renato Gaucho reacts on July 9, 2023© Reuters

Gremio will be unable to call upon Mathias Villasanti, who was shown a red card in the Tricolours win over Estudiantes last month and he will be forced to serve his one-match suspension in this match.

The hosts are also missing as many as seven players at the moment due to injury, including the likes of Andre Martins, Lucas Milla, Jhonata Robert, Gustavo Martins and club captain Pedro Geromel.

For the visitors, Diego Wayar was withdrawn just 30 minutes into the match against Oriente Petrolero at the weekend and has been flagged as a major injury doubt for this one.

Wayar will be joined on the sidelines by Daniel Lino and Jaime Arrascaita, who are ruled out for the foreseeable future with a knock and muscle injury, respectively.

Gremio possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Pedro, Ely, Kannemann, Fabio; Pepe, Dodi, Galdino, Cristaldo, Soltedo; Pedro

The Strongest possible starting lineup:
Viscarra; Caire, Aimar, Jusino, Quaglio; Lopez, Ursino, Amoroso, Ortega, Ramallo; Triverio

SM words green background

We say: Gremio 1-1 The Strongest

While Gremio are massive favourites according to the bookmakers, it will be interesting to see how they fare after a full month away from competitive football and playing at a makeshift home ground.

The visitors have been very good in this competition so far, and we feel they may be able to hold their opponents to draw in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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