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Gremio and Lanus ready for final push

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  • Final of 2017 Copa Libertadores sees Gremio (Brazil) meet Lanus (Argentina)
  • Gremio are two-time South American club champions, Lanus are final debutants
  • Winners will represent the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017

The 2017 Copa Libertadores kicked off in January, with 47 teams in contention. Today, just two are left standing, Gremio and Lanus, who meet on Wednesday in the first leg of the final of South America’s top club competition. 

Both sides have been in equally good form of late, though a look at the history books shows that Gremio have the better record in the competition. The 1983 and 1995 champions also finished runners-up in 1984 and 2007 after losing to Argentinian sides on both of those occasions (Independiente and Boca Juniors, respectively).

As for El Granate, this is their first-ever appearance in the final.

This is the 14th time that Argentinian and Brazilian clubs will face off in the final, with the former leading by nine victories to four to date. The winners will represent South America at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017.

The match
Gremio (BRA) – Lanus (ARG)

Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre

21:45 (local time)

Gremio were unbeaten at home until they lost to Barcelona of Ecuador in the second leg of the semi-final. The Brazilian outfit have been averaging 2.33 goals per match at the Arena do Gremio, though it remains to be seen if that defeat has dented their confidence.

As for Lanus, they have lost their last two games on the road, both without scoring. However, the Argentinian side have happy memories of their only visit to Brazil in the competition so far, a 3-1 win at Chapecoense.

In a change to the rules, away goals will not count double in the final. 

Player to watch
Luan (Gremio)

The 24-year-old forward is widely regarded as Brazil’s best home-based player and had the opportunity to leave the club before this season. He decided to stay on, however, to help Gremio win the Libertadores, an objective he is just two games away from achieving. Luan has played a vital role in his side’s run to the final, having topped the scoring charts for them with seven goals in ten games.  

Did you know?
This is Gremio coach Renato Gaucho’s third Copa Libertadores final. The Brazilian won the competition as a player with Gremio in 1983, when they beat Penarol of Uruguay in the final. He also lost a final as the coach of Fluminense in 2008, when the trophy went to Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito of Ecuador.

What they said
“It’s going to be very tough. It’s a Libertadores final against a Brazilian team. But we’ve got the weapons we need to fight. We’ll try to play our game, albeit as a visiting team. We’ll be looking to keep the ball, move it around and find space, especially in attack.”
Lanus midfielder Nicolas Pasquini



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