Since Copa Libertadores was so much fun last week, they figured they'd do it again this week. For those of you who are new to this rodeo, there aren't set match days like there are in Champions League. Some teams will get their group stage games over quickly, while some will take long 2-3 week breaks between games. It's just a matter of how everyone can fit games into their schedule. Without further ado, the games.
Peñarol vs. EmelecTuesday, 5:15 p.m. ET
Things get started with a fantastic game, and the scheduling gods were nice enough to hold kickoff until after Champions League ends. Both teams were very impressive in wins last week and are excellent at countering quickly. No result will be particularly surprising here.
Millonarios vs. TijuanaTuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
The best game of the night features some real and adopted Americans. Seattle Sounders loanee Fredy Montero should take the pitch for Millonarios in the first ever Copa Libertadores game for Tijuana. The Xolos are cooling off domestically, but have the talent to compete for a knockout stage place. Their back line is suspect, though, and they will struggle to keep Millonairos off the scoreboard.
Olimpia vs. Universidad de ChileTuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Even though they're still stumbling domestically, La U got off to a good start in the Libertadores last week with a win over Deportivo Lara. Meanwhile, Olimpia found themselves overmatched against Newell's Old Boys. La U and Newell's are heavy favorites to get out of this group, and this one might be sorted after just two rounds if Olimpia lose on Tuesday.
Toluca vs. NacionalTuesday, 9:45 p.m. ET
Sinha showed off his old man game with a couple of nasty assists against Boca Juniors in a win last week, while Nacional needed a miracle comeback to grab a draw against Barcelona. Road points are going to be big in this group of death, and a draw would be a brilliant result for Nacional. However, old man Sinha went 90 minutes on the weekend and might not be his best.
Velez Sarsfield vs. Municipal IquiqueWednesday, 5:45 p.m. ET
Velez got off to a horrible start last week, digging themselves a hole with a home loss to Emelec. Group 4 is a tough one, and they can't afford to drop any more points at home. A win in Argentina over Iquique -- undoubtedly the weakest team in the group -- is a must on Wednesday.
Huachipato vs. Caracas FCWednesday, 5:45 p.m. ET
Copa Libertadores is awesome because it's often hard to make any sense of it. Take Huachipato, who downed Gremio last week. They're almost certainly the weakest of the Chilean sides in the competition, but they can put themselves in position to advance with three more points this week. Their fans will expect a home win over an average Caracas team.
San Jose vs. CorinthiansWednesday, 8 p.m. ET
Everyone expects the defending champions (of the continent AND the world, no less) Corinthians to stroll into the knockout stage without much of an issue, but they face a tough test to open their Libertadores campaign. San Jose don't have names that any casual fan will recognize, but Bolivian teams are always difficult to beat at home, at high altitude. There's no reason to pick against a Corinthians win, but no reason to be surprised if they fail to pull it out.
Fluminense vs. GremioWednesday, 8 p.m. ET
It's possible that Gremio's Libertadores campaign could be over before it really got started. Fluminense are one of the favorites to win the competition, and they didn't have to play this weekend. Fred is in white hot form. Gremio's new signings haven't blended in yet. Expect victory for the home side, even though Gremio have the raw talent to spring an upset.
Cerro Porteño vs. Real GarcilasoThursday, 5:15 p.m. ET
Real Garcilaso grabbed a surprising point against Santa Fe last week, and who's to say they can't do it again? Cerro Porteño didn't look good against Deportes Tolima, and are more of a counter-attacking side than one who controls the game. Real Garcilaso isn't going to push guys forward with reckless abandon and try to control the game. A 0-0 or 1-1 draw seems likely.
Deportivo Lara vs. Newell's Old BoysThursday, 5:15 p.m. ET
I'm willing to call the 3-0 loss Newell's suffered this weekend a one-off bad result. They're a lot better than that. They showed it over the course of last season, in their opening Argentine Primera game and in their first Libertadores game against Olimpia. They're going to beat Lara.
Tigre vs. LibertadThursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Regardless of what happens on Thursday night, neither Tigre or Libertad have reason to be alarmed. They're better than Palmeiras and Sporting Cristal. However, neither team is good enough to present a legitimate challenge for the Libertadores. Basically, Group 2 is horrible.
Independiente Santa Fe vs. Deportes TolimaThursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
The home side won 2-1 in both of the domestic tilts between these two clubs in 2012, but recent form seems to tip the balance towards Deportes Tolima a bit. They were vey good in their Libertadores opener, while Santa Fe disappointed. A draw seems like a likely result.