Preview: LDU Quito vs. Sao Paulo – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Copa Sudamericana clash between LDU Quito and Sao Paulo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The Copa Sudamericana has reached the quarter-final stage, and LDU Quito will host Sao Paulo in their first-leg match on Thursday.

The hosts head into this one in the midst of an incredible 17-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, which is something that the visitors will be pushing to break down.

Match preview

LDU Quito's Jhojan Julio celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on May 20, 2021© Reuters

LDU Quito are enjoying quite the run of form at the moment in all competitions, with a 17-match unbeaten run being something that has bred a lot of confidence into the squad.

However, they will be wary of the fact that the run was almost brought to an end during their previous Copa Sudamericana game when they faced Nublense.

The second leg of that match technically saw LDU Quito lose in the normal game, suffering a 3-2 defeat on the day, but the aggregate score took things to penalties which is where they progressed.

Luis Zubeldia will not want to see his team go that close to being knocked out this time around though, but to achieve that they will want to kick things off with a perfect start in the first leg.

Boasting the home advantage first will allow LDU Quito to set the precedent of the tie if they take advantage of it, but after two goalless draws in their last two matches, an improved attacking performance will be necessary.

Mateo Retegui at Copa Sudamericana for Tigre versus Sao Paulo© Reuters

However, the visitors also struggled for goals during their most recent outing as they played out a goalless draw against Botafogo, which showcases the strength at the back, but the need for more edge at the opposite end of the pitch.

Despite that result Sao Paulo should be relatively confident considering the fact they reached the final of this competition last season.

They ultimately fell short at the final hurdle in that one, but that loss is something that should be inspiring them to go one step further this time around.

Dorival Junior‘s men had to come back from a first-leg loss in the previous round though, and while they managed that comfortably it is not a position they will wish to be in again.

It was the away leg of those two games that proved problematic last time out which adds further pressure, but since losing that game they have been undefeated in all competitions.

LDU Quito Copa Sudamericana form:

Sao Paulo Copa Sudamericana form:

Sao Paulo form (all competitions):

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Team News

Lanus head coach Luis Zubeldia pictured in December 2020© Reuters

The Ecuadorians will want to provide more bite up front than they have managed recently and Jhojan Julio is someone who could be entrusted to do exactly that.

It is equally important for LDU Quito to not allow themselves to be in an uphill battle for the second leg either, and after a clean sheet in their last outing, the same back four are likely to retain their places.

The visitors may also look at retaining the same defensive setup from their most recent game after having the same success at keeping the ball out of the net, showcasing their defensive capabilities.

James Rodriguez has been a key part of the team since signing a two-year deal in the summer, and his attacking qualities just behind the striker could prove to be vital here.

LDU Quito possible starting lineup:
Dominguez; Padilla, Rodriguez, Ade, Quinonez; Ibarra, Martinez, Piovi, Alvarado; Guerrero, Julio

Sao Paulo possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Rafinha, Arboleda, Beraldo, Paulista; Alisson, Maia; Rodriguez, Luciano, David; Calleri

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We say: LDU Quito 1-1 Sao Paulo

Both teams will bring strong squads to this match, and Sao Paulo will certainly be confident they have the quality to cause problems away from home.

However, the incredible run of form that LDU Quito are on right now will make them difficult to break, in what will likely be a very tight and cagey game.

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:curl

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