2013 Copa Libertadores: Favorites Fluminense, Nacional facing uphill climbs

Fluminense and Nacional have to overturn road losses this week, though both will like their chances after losing their first leg matches by one goal. In the biggest tie of the round of 16, things are going according to plan for Atletico Mineiro.

Two of South America's giants, Fluminense and Nacional, have some serious work to do in the second legs of their Copa Libertadores Round of 16 ties. In the other tie that will be settled this week, Atletico Mineiro have a big lead and look poised to progress to the quarterfinal.

Atletico Mineiro vs. Sao Paulo

Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET

With an away win and two away goals in hand, Atletico Mineiro are serious favorites to progress over Sao Paulo, who still haven't figured out how to compete with the biggest clubs in South America in a post-Lucas world. They suffered a heartbreaking penalty loss to rivals Corinthians in their state championship on the weekend, and it would be stunning to see them pull off a comeback against Ronaldinho and co.

Fluminense vs. Emelec

Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET

Fluminense, one of the tournament favorites, suffered a blow just before the first leg of this tie when they found out that playmaker Deco had failed a drugs test. He was kept out of the first leg of the tie and results from his 'B' sample test are expected shortly. He claims that tainted legal health supplements caused his positive test. Without Deco, Flu grabbed an away goal in Ecuador through Wagner, but fell 2-1, with Carlinhos giving away a late penalty that Emelec's Fernando Gaibor converted.

Even without Deco, Flu have to be considered slight favorites to go through. A 1-0 win will see them progress, and they've been excellent at keeping clean sheets at home in recent years. They were less than spectacular in the group stage, however, finishing with an even goal differential despite winning the group on 11 points. Flu getting bounced in the Round of 16 would have sounded surprising before the tournament started, but certainly not anymore. They've yet to reach their potential and Emelec are performing superbly in their domestic league.

Nacional vs. Real Garcilaso

Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Real Garcilaso's progression to the knockout stages of Copa Libertadores can't simply be chalked up to them drawing a weak group anymore. Nacional failed to get an away goal in Peru during the first leg, which the hosts won 1-0. Nacional looked the better side early in the first leg, but Rolando Bogado fired his side ahead with a header on a set piece, and Real Garcilaso were able to hold on for the win. They'll be underdogs in Montevideo, but they're certainly in with a chance after keeping a clean sheet in the first leg.

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