Friday, March 10, 2017

Copa Libertadores Week 1 Power Rankings

Week 1 of the 2017 Copa Libertadores is in the books and we take a look at all the teams through a power ranking format. Who can be called a favourite after the first impressions?

The champion has to be number 1. Atlético Nacional did not take the field in Group A yet, but until they do so and do not convince, they earned top spot. Their first match will come in on March 15 against Barcelona SC. 

Throroughly impressive in their 4-0 thumping of San Lorenzo, Flamengo went all the way up in the rankings early on. Their group, including fellow Brazilians Paranaense and Universidad Católica is very doable. 

Not an out of this world performance from Nacional, but an away win at Argentine champions Lanús should count as a more than decent start for the Uruguayans. With a great start and games against Zulia and Chapecoense upcoming, they look set for the round of 16 sooner rather than later.

Without playing a game so far, River Plate look like the strongest of all Argentine sides out in the competition, more so after the disappointing performances of their countrymen. They have a highly manageable group and will start doing so March 16.

The Bolivians continue to be an absolute bank at home, winning their first game 2-0 against Santa Fe. If "Chumasteiger" continues his outstanding goalscoring form (6 goals in 5 games), we will see The Strongest in the round of 16.

Arguably the second strongest Argentine side, Estudiantes will need to find their legs quickly after dropping their league opener last night. In a group with holders Atlético Nacional, they can not make any mistake. Their first group match will be away to Botafogo on March 15.

Despite an away draw at Atlético Tucumán, Palmeiras look set for a successful campain, considering they played 70 minutes of said match down one man. When striker Miguel Borja finds his scoring form over in Brazil, it will be lights out for group opponents Peñarol and Jorge Wilstermann.

Talking of the Bolivians: Jorge Wilstermann find themselves in #8. Their 6-2 trashing of Peñarol was very impressive and their way to react to things getting close again convinced. They will however have trouble away from home against sides such as Palmeiras.

The third Brazilian side in the top 10. Grêmio did not impress, but did enough to celebrate a 0-2 win away to Zamora FC. It is all that counts at the moment: points. In a group with Deportes Iquique and Guaraní, they look set for the group win.

Chapecoense playing by itself is enough to get them into this ranking. But a mentally strong 2-1 win away in Venezuela's Zulia was impressive and sees them sit on top of their group to start with. Lanús and Nacional however will be another challenge. 


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