Wednesday night, the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) carried out the 2017 Libertadores Cup draw. The number of participating teams has grown considerably, from 38 to 47, while one country less is represented, as Mexico opted out. This will be the 58th edition of the tournament and it will span for a whopping ten months – from 23 January to 29 November – the winner qualifying to the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup taking place 6-16 December in the Emirates.
Palmeiras ended up in group 5, together with Peñarol (Uruguay) and Jorge Wilstermann (Bolivia). The fourth team in the group will be the top dog of the knockout prequel featuring Atlético Tucumán (Argentina) vs El Nacional (Ecuador) and Atlético Junior (Colombia) vs Carabobo (Venezuela).
With all due respect to the adversaries in group 5, none of them strike fear in the hearts of palmeirenses. Peñarol are of course a traditional side and should be respected, but have not put together a truly competitive squad in years. Jorge Wilstermann are from Cochabamba, situated 2.500 meters above sea level: a piece of cake compared to La Paz’s 3.700. And the fourth team, yet to be defined… Well.
The group phase, where Palmeiras, Peñarol and Jorge Wilstermann enter the competition, only starts in early March. Our Verdão initiate their Libertadores campaign away, against the still undefined fourth team in the group, followed by two home games, against the Bolivians and the Argentines. The three completing games take place in reverse order.
Below, full tables with the eight groups.
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