Preview: Boca Juniors vs. Nacional – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Copa Libertadores clash between Boca Juniors and Nacional, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After a goalless draw in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores round of 16 match Boca Juniors and Nacional both have everything to play for on Thursday.

There is very little between them which should lead to another close encounter, but unlike their previous meeting there will be a victor this time around.

Match preview

Boca Juniors' Edinson Cavani is seen during his presentation to the fans on August 1, 2023© Reuters

Boca Juniors won the Argentine Primera Division last season and will be wanting to add more silverware to the cabinet this season by claiming the Copa Libertadores.

The Blue and Gold head into this match on the back of a nine-match unbeaten streak which should create plenty of confidence in the team, particularly since they managed to keep six clean sheets during that period.

If Jorge Almiron‘s men are able to continue that run at the back they will put themselves in a strong position to progress into the next stage of the competition.

However, there will be equally as much pressure on those at the other end of the field to try and break the deadlock between them and Nacional, which is where new signing Edison Cavani could end up playing a role with his experience.

Nacional coach Alvaro Gutierrez during the match on May 4, 2023© Reuters

Considering the strong run of form that Boca Juniors are enjoying there is no shortage of momentum behind them, which is something that they will want to tap into, especially in front of their own fans.

Despite the impressive performances of the hosts as of late, it was actually Nacional who came closest to finding the back of the net in the first leg as they managed 12 shots throughout the game in comparison to the four shots their opponents had.

The visitors may not have put together as long of an undefeated run as their opponents, but they have gone three matches without a loss and just like Boca Juniors, they have been doing well defensively.

Alvaro Gutierrez has been guiding his team well when it comes to keeping clean sheets, which is something that they have managed to do in all three of their most recent matches in all competitions.

Following an underwhelming Uruguayan Primera Division Torneo Intermedio campaign there will be pressure on Nacional to deliver here with the fans hoping to see a stronger performance overall.

Boca Juniors Copa Libertadores form:

Boca Juniors form (all competitions):

Nacional Copa Libertadores form:

Nacional form (all competitions):

Team News

Boca Juniors coach Jorge Almiron during the match on May 26, 2023© Reuters

Cavani is someone that the hosts could opt to bring into the starting lineup immediately after signing for the club this week as he brings a lot of experience and quality to the team.

Defensively, it is unlikely that Boca Juniors will make any alterations considering the impressive performances that they have been putting in as of late, with the back four set to be unchanged.

Thiago Helguera could be an option for the visitors this time around as his youthful energy in the heart of the midfield could be a difference-maker in this game.

Nacional are expected to keep having four at the back right now, which is something that has proven to be important and should lead to them being tough to break down.

Boca Juniors possible starting lineup:
Romero; Weigandt, Vigal, Valentini, Barco; Medina, Varela, Fernandez; Cavani, Benedetto, Zeballos

Nacional possible starting lineup:
Rochet; Lozano, Polenta, Noguera, Candido; Y Rodriguez, D Rodriguez; Fagundez, Zabala, Pereiro; Ramirez

SM words green background

We say: Boca Juniors 2-0 Nacional

There was very little to separate them in the first leg and it is likely that this will be another close game between two strong teams.

However, with the home advantage and the recent impressive defensive run that Boca Juniors have been enjoying, they will head into this one as the slight favourites.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

ID:520598:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect13410:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!