In the search for the third championship, Flamengo will meet on April 9 their opponents in the group stage of the Libertadores. With the definition of the last classified in Uruguay, last Wednesday, the draw pots were defined and all the teams that will be able to face Rubro-Negro in the continental tournament are already known.
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In the sixth position in the Conmebol ranking, Flamengo will be one of the key players in the draw. The only open question is in pot 4, which includes the four teams that will advance from the preliminary round. They will be known after the draw, as the return matches will take place between the 13th and 15th of April.
CHECK THE POT DIVISION:
Libertadores 2021 draw pots (Photo: Reproduction / Twitter)
According to the regulations of the Libertadores, clubs from the same country can only fall in the same group if one of the teams comes from the previous phases. This means that only Santos or Grêmio can fall in the same group as Flamengo.
GROUP OF DEATH OR WETNESS?
Given the definition of the pots, it is already possible to imagine possible scenarios for the Flamengo group. One possibility of a “group of death”, for example, is that Rubro-Negro faces only rivals that were champions of the tournament. In Pot 2, there is the LDU (EQU); in Pot 3, there are Vélez Sarsfield and Argentino Juniors, both from Argentina; while Grêmio, Atlético Nacional (COL), San Lorenzo (ARG) and Santos are in Pot 4.
Other possible indigestible opponents are Racing, which eliminated the Rio club in the round of 16 of the last edition, and Defensa y Justicia, the current champion of the South American Championship. The Argentine teams are present in Pot 2 and will not be able to fall into the groups headed by River Plate and Boca Juniors.
On the other hand, there is also the chance that Flamengo will fall into a more peaceful group. In Pot 2, Universidad Católica (CHI) emerges as a shorter and altitude-free travel option, in addition to the well-known Barcelona de Guayaquil (EQU), which lost both matches to Rubro-Negro at the 2020 Libertadores.
In Pot 3, Universitario (PER) and Sporting Cristal (PER) appear as easier logistics options and without the altitude problem. Finally, in Pot 4, Unión La Calera (CHI) and Rentistas (URU) are the less traditional clubs that play at sea level.
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ESCAPE OF ALTITUDE
A common ‘headache’ for Brazilians at Libertadores is the issue of altitude. In the last season, for example, Flamengo faced Independiente Del Valle at 2,850 meters above sea level and scored 5-0. In this edition, there are the following clubs that operate in cities with high altitude:
Buddy 2: LDU (2,850 meters) and Independiente Santa Fé (2,640 meters);
Buddy 3: América de Cali (1,000 meters), Deportivo Táchira (900 meters) and The Strongest (3,600 meters);
Buddy 4: Deportivo La Guaira (900 meters), Always Ready (3,600 meters), Independiente Del Valle * (2,850 meters) and Bolívar * (3,600 meters).
* will still compete in the third preliminary round of Libertadores
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