Copa Libertadores 2012, Matchday 2: Boca Juniors, La U Kick Off Campaigns

Boca Juniors manager Julio Cesar Falcioni directs his team during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Boca Juniors. Boca plays in Copa Libertadores on February 14, 2012. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Universidad de Chile, Boca Juniors, Corinthians and Flamengo all get their Copa Libertadores campaigns underway this week.

Unlike other continental competitions, Copa Libertadores is a bit more spread out to accommodate its teams. Though last week was Matchday 1, not every single team participated. Some of the tournament's big favorites did not play last week, but after this week, everyone will have played at least once.

Defensor Sporting vs. Deportivo Quito - Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. ET

After last week's 3-0 home loss to Velez, anything but a win on Tuesday could all but mathematically dump Defensor out of the tournament. Deportivo Quito gave away two points in stoppage time against Chivas, but were able to nick a draw. They'll be very satisfied and like their position with another road draw.

Zamora vs. Boca Juniors - Tuesday, 7:15 p.m. ET

Zamora got into the competition by winning one half-season in Venezuela, but they finished fifth in last year's aggregate table and currently sit in seventh in Argentina. They're not in the class of Boca, and even on the road, there's no excuse for Boca Juniors to not win their opener.

Atletico Nacional vs. Universidad de Chile - Tuesday, 9:30 p.m ET

Universidad de Chile lost Eduardo Vargas to Napoli in the winter, but they're still one of the favorites to win the Libertadores. They signed Peruvian international Raul Ruidaz to replace him, and he has two goals in his first two games with the club. Additionally, 17-year-old budding star Angelo Hernandez was handed the No. 7 shirt and should start to see playing time. Atletico Nacional took a breather in the last tournament in Colombia after securing a Libertadores place in the Apertura, so they're a slightly unknown quantity.

The Strongest vs. Santos FC - Wednesday, 4:45 p.m. ET

Is The Strongest the best team name ever? Apologies, but my knowledge of the Bolivian teams is sparse. I know they play in La Paz, where it's very tough for teams to go away. I also know that Santos are the best football team in the world outside of Europe, so they should probably win.

Lanus vs. Flamengo - Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Without question, this is the marquee fixture of this round of games. Both teams could contend for a title in their domestic leagues this year, provided they're not too hindered by deep runs in the Libertadores. Flamengo boast the likes of Ronaldinho and Vagner Love, while Lanus are deep and coming off of a 4-1 win in the Argentine Primera over San Lorenzo.

Deportivo Tachira vs. Corinthians - Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. ET

After last year's disastrous failure to qualify for the Libertadores that resulted in Ronaldo's retirement and Roberto Carlos' sale to Anzhi, winning the competition is absolutely the top priority for Corinthians. Deportivo Tachira are no joke, but if the rhetoric coming out of the Corinthians board room and from the press isn't just empty talk, they're in for a steamrolling from a determined side.

Nacional vs. Libertad - Thursday, 5:15 p.m. ET

These teams play in Group 5, one of the strongest groups in the tournament, and recorded big wins last week. Libertad ran over Alianza Lima at home, while Nacional went away and upset Vasco da Gama. These teams will both be darkhorse contenders for the title if they can get to the knockout stages, and if either team can win the match they will become the clear favorites to win the group.

Godoy Cruz vs. Peñarol - Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET

With La U poised to win Group 8, these two teams are probably playing for second place. Godoy Cruz didn't get off to the best start domestically with a loss in Argentina last week, but they have a talented set of attacking players and they had a good showing in last year's Libertadores. Peñarol were last season's surprise finalists, and they'll look to counter quickly down the wings against a shaky Godoy Cruz defense.

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