Sao Paulo (AFP)

With three Brazilian clubs in the last four and an Ecuadorian intruder, the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, begin Tuesday with the 100% Brazilian shock Atlético Mineiro-Palmeiras.

Defending Palmeiras will have home advantage for this first leg (9:30 p.m. local, 2:30 a.m. Wednesday Paris time) at his stadium in Sao Paulo, before playing the return to Mineirao de Belo Horizonte on September 28.

But Atlético Mineiro, carried by his flamboyant attack duo Hulk-Diego Costa which allows him to prance at the head of Brasileirao, will have all the weapons in hand to waver the teammates of Felipe Melo, their current dolphins in the Brazilian league.

In the other semi-final, the third Brazilian representative, Flamengo, will compete for the other ticket to the final, on November 27 at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo (Uruguay), with the Ecuadorians of Barcelona SC.

The Rio de Janeiro club, which receives on the outward journey Wednesday (9:30 p.m. local, 2:30 a.m. Thursday Paris time), is a favorite against the Ecuadorian intruder.

The "Fla", who lifted the Libertadores in 2019, certainly has several injuries, but especially received two reinforcements of weight during the transfer window: the veteran David Luiz, and Kenedy, on loan from Chelsea.

The Ecuadorian club, without high-sounding names in its eleven, will seek to afford the scalp of a second Brazilian club in a row, after having dismissed in quarters Fluminense, another great Carioca club.

The program of the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores:

First matches:

Tuesday September 21

In Sao Paulo (9:30 p.m. local / 2:30 a.m. Paris time, GMT +2): Palmeiras (BRA) - Atlético Mineiro (BRA)

Wednesday September 22

In Rio de Janeiro (9:30 p.m. local / 2:30 a.m. Paris time, GMT +2): Flamengo (BRA) - Barcelona (ECU)

Return matches:

Tuesday September 28

(9:30 p.m. local / 2:30 a.m. Paris time, GMT +2) In Belo Horizonte: Atlético Mineiro (BRA) - Palmeiras (BRA)

Wednesday September 29:

(9:30 p.m. local / 2:30 a.m. Paris time, GMT +2) In Guayaquil: Barcelona (ECU) - Flamengo (BRA)

© 2021 AFP

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