Copa Libertadores 2021 will bring us a controversial game between River Plate and Independiente Santa Fe today, as the Argentine side has been struck by a sudden Covid outbreak in its squad. Without a full lineup, El Millonario will try to seal their place in the next round at Estadio Monumental, fielding experienced midfielder Enzo Pérez as the team's goalkeeper. Here, take a look at the match information, storylines, predictions, odds, and how to watch it in the US.
Marcelo Gallardo's side has been suddenly hit with a massive number of infected players in the past days. Up to 20 positive results have weakened River Plate and even left them without an outright goalkeeper for this match, as Conmebol didn't allow the club to add two names that weren't previously registered.
Meanwhile, Independiente Santa Fe might be having an unexpected opportunity to grab a victory in Buenos Aires to keep on hoping with a spot in the Round of 16. Harold Rivera's boys haven't won so far, and their future in the competition is at serious risk. Will they take advantage of the extra player and pick up the three points?
River Plate vs Independiente Santa Fe: Match Information
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Time: 8 PM (ET)
Location: Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires
River Plate vs Independiente Santa Fe: Time by State in the US
ET: 8 PM
CT: 7 PM
MT: 6 PM
PT: 5 PM
River Plate vs Independiente Santa Fe: Storylines
River Plate head to one of the strangest matches in their history. Dealing with 20 players who were infected by Covid, their Libertadores squad has been reduced to just 12 players from which only ten are eligible for this game. What's worst, all their three goalkeepers are currently isolated.
Marcelo Gallardo could have submitted 50 players instead of 32 before the competition began, but he decided to name only the ones who he usually trained as he wouldn't be willing to play inexperienced youngsters no matter the circumstances. Well, the worst possible scenario has come and River's request to add two emergency goalkeepers was denied, so an outfield player will have to perform as a goalkeeper.
Besides, they'll go out to the field with only ten players. Needless to say, it will be one of the most awkward nights in the tournament's history. Independiente Santa Fe have also reported three players who tested positive, but they are in much better conditions as they have an entire lineup and even substitutes. Things don't look any good for River.
River Plate vs Independiente Santa Fe: Copa Libertadores 2021 Table
After Matchday 4, River Plate are currently second in Group D with six points, while Independiente Santa Fe find themselves at the bottom with only two points.
How to watch or live stream River Plate vs Independiente Santa Fe in the US
The game to be played between River Plate and Independiente Santa Fe for Matchday 5 of Copa Libertadores 2021 Group D will be broadcast in the US by Fanatiz, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, and beIN SPORTS en Español.
River Plate vs Independiente Santa Fe: Predictions and Odds
Oddsmakers in the US haven't revealed their predictions yet. However, taking into account River Plate's chaotic situation with the number of infected players that disallow them to name a full lineup without an outright goalkeeper, they will probably run from behind in the odds.
* Odds TBD.