Sao Paulo vs Barcelona Prediction: Luciano to fire hosts to victory

 | Thursday 16th May 2024, 15:52pm

Thursday 16th May 2024, 15:52pm

Brazilian outfit Sao Paulo can book their place in the next round of the Copa Libertadores with a victory over Ecuadorian side Barcelona in the early hours of Friday morning (01:00).

Can they do exactly that? Here's my Sao Paulo vs Barcelona prediction - including a 12/1 #PickYourPunt.

Sao Paulo vs Barcelona Tips

  • Sao Paulo -1 handicap @ 1/1
  • #PickYourPunt - Luciano to score & Sao Paulo to win 3-1 @ 12/1

Team News

Sao Paulo are likely to be without forward Jonathan Calleri, who has three goals in this season’s Libertadores. The former West Ham striker has been ruled out until late May with a calf injury.

Centre-half Franklin Guerra is injured for the visitors and won’t feature in this clash.

Sao Paulo vs Barcelona Odds

Sao Paulo are strong 3/10 favourites for this clash, with Barcelona a huge 8/1 and the draw chalked up at 7/2.

Both teams to score is available at 11/8, with over 2.5 goals being priced up at 10/11.

Luciano Neves is the 7/2 favourite to open the scoring in Calleri’s absence, with former Spurs star Lucas Moura also towards the head of the market with the winger 5/1 to get the ball rolling on Friday.

Sao Paulo -1 handicap @ 1/1

Sao Paulo fell to a defeat in their first game of the group stage, handing the advantage to Talleres de Cordoba with a 2-1 away defeat. The Argentine side are unbeaten through five games, leaving the Brazilian outfit four points off top spot. However, a win over Barcelona would move them within a point of the leaders, securing a top-two finish at worst.

Sao Paulo have bounced back from that opening defeat well, claiming three wins on the spin. They won 2-0 and 3-1 across two clashes with Cobresal, while they claimed a 2-0 victory at Barcelona in April.

The visitors have failed to win any of their last eight games in this competition and they’ve suffered five defeats in that stretch. The Ecuadorian side have lost by two clear goals in each of their previous two defeats in the group.

Barcelona have conceded at least twice in six of their last eight Libertadores games and with Sao Paulo on an impressive run of form, take the hosts to secure a victory by two clear goals.

Sao Paulo -1 vs Barcelona at 1-1

#PickYourPunt - Luciano to score & Sao Paulo to win 3-1 @ 12/1

With Calleri out, Luciano Neves looks best placed to step up and take over the scoring burden for Sao Paulo. The 30-year-old has scored three goals across his last three appearances, including a strike against Cobresal in his side’s last Libertadores game.

Luciano has five goals for Sao Paulo so far this term, scoring twice across three starts in continental competition. He should help the hosts to victory in what could prove to be a high-scoring clash.

Barcelona have scored in four of their last five Libertadores matches, including a 4-2 loss at Palmeiras in last season’s competition. They’ve also lost four of those five matches, so the hosts should be confident of a comfortable win.

With Sao Paulo winning their last three Libertadores games by exactly two goals, take the hosts to secure a 3-1 victory on Thursday night, with Luciano getting on the scoresheet.

That #PickYourPunt double is priced at 12/1.

Find more Football Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights

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