Copa Libertadores 2019: Round of 16 Schedule, Power Rankings

Less than a month after Brazil knocked Argentina out of the Copa America, South American soccer's biggest rivalry reignites at club level.

Of the eight round-of-16 ties in the Copa Libertadores, three pit a team from Argentina against one from Brazil.

Since the tournament was launched in 1960, the two nations have won 43 of the 59 titles between them, and it would be foolish to back against them taking the tally to 44 this year.

The pick of the three ties and arguably the pick of the crop as far as the round of 16 is concerned sees defending champion River Plate taking on Cruzeiro, who are desperate to end a 22-year wait for a Libertadores title.

Here, Newsweek ranks all the teams that have progressed to the round of 16.

1. Palmeiras

The 1999 champions won five of their six games in Group F, finishing with 15 points and scoring 13 goals, conceding just once in the process.

The reigning Brazilian champions are in pole position to retain the domestic title and a first Libertadores title in two decades seems a realistic possibility.

A round of 16 tie against Godoy Cruz should not pose too much of a problem for the Verdao.

Palmeiras, Copa Libertadores
Gustavo Scarpa of Palmeiras celebrates after scoring the first goal of his team with teammates during the match between Palmeiras and San Lorenzo as part of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 at Allianz Parque Arena on May 8 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ale Cabral/Getty

2. Internacional

The two-time winners topped their group ahead of River Plate, marking them as one of the favorites for the title.

With Peruvian international Paolo Guerrero and Rafael Sobis, Internacional's offensive options are second to none, but it conceded a goal per game in the group stages.

All the same, it should have too much for Nacional in the round of 16.

3. Cruzeiro

Like Palmeiras, Cruzeiro topped its group with 15 points, scoring 11 goals and conceding just twice. And, as with Palmeiras, it heads to Argentina for the round of 16.

However, the challenge awaiting the Raposa will be considerably trickier as they face defending champions River Plate.

Cruizero's continental form hasn't translated to the domestic front, with the team sitting 16th in the Brazilian league.

4. Flamengo

The Libertadores is an obsession for Brazil's most popular club, who only lifted the trophy once, in 1981. Flamengo topped Group D purely on goal difference but arrives into the round of 16 in good form, sitting third in the league table just five points behind Palmeiras and Santos.

Expect the new signings, including former Bayern Munich star Rafinha, to hit the ground running.

5. River Plate

The holders are only the bookmakers' sixth-favorite to retain the title this season and a round-of-16 tie against Cruzeiro will test River's credentials.

Marcelo Gallardo will be without the injured Pity Martinez and Juan Fernando Quintero but River should be fresher than its opponents, as the Argentinian league doesn't begin until next week.

The defending champions should not be underestimated.

6. Boca Juniors

A late Carlos Tevez goal gave Boca a crucial win over Athletico Paranaense in the group stages, allowing the Xeneizes to top the group. The six-time winners face the Brazilian side again in the round of 16 in what is probably one of the most balanced ties on the card.

Boca hasn't won the Libertadores since 2007 but doesn't need extra motivation after losing the final against arch-rivals River last year.

Carlos Tevez, Boca Juniors
Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors celebrates with teammates after winning a group G match between Boca Juniors and Atletico Paranaense as part of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 at Estadio Alberto J. Armando on May 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Marcelo Endelli/Getty

7. Gremio

It's hard to know what to make of the three-time winners this season. Tenth in the Brazilian league, Gremio finished second behind Libertad Asuncion in Group H and will face the Paraguayans again in the round of 16.

Despite the domestic wobble, few teams thrive in the Libertadores like Gremio, who lifted the trophy in 2017 and were eliminated on away goals by River last year.

In Everton, it probably has one of the players of the tournament, after the Brazilian burst onto the scene at the Copa America last month.

8. Athletico Paranaense

The side from Curitiba finished second behind Boca Juniors in Group G and now face last season's runners-up in the round of 16.

Under Tiago Nunes, the team has developed immensely, winning the Copa Sudamericana last season and thrashing Boca 3-0 at home this year.

The rematch against the Argentinians promises to be a fiery encounter, after Athletico complained about the referee following their 1-0 loss in May.

9. Cerro Porteno

The first of three Paraguayan teams in the knockout stages, Cerro Porteno topped Group E by virtue of goal difference.

A round of 16 tie against an out-of-sorts San Lorenzo is a glorious opportunity to reach the last eight and nurture hopes of a first semifinal in eight years.

10. Libertad Asuncion

Like Cerro Porteno, Libertad also topped the group but its reward is a round of 16 tie against three-time winners Gremio, whom it faced in Group H.

The Paraguayans won't be favorite but have done enough in the group – where they scored almost two goals a game – to deserve consideration as a potential dark horse.

11. Olimpia Asuncion

The third Paraguayan team in the round of 16, Olimpia topped its group but finished with the fewest points of any group winners.

The altitude makes the first leg away in Ecuador against LDU Quito a challenging prospect, but the three-time winners have enough to cope with adverse conditions.

12. San Lorenzo

The 2014 winners are one of the biggest question marks of the tournament. Having finished second in Group F, they appointed Juan Antonio Pizzi in place of Jorge Almiron in April and ended the season in disarray, finishing 23rd in the league.

While a round-of-16 tie against Cerro Porteno isn't prohibitive, San Lorenzo needs a major squad overhaul and it wouldn't be surprising to see it crash out at the first hurdle of the knockout stages.

13. Nacional

The only team left flying the Uruguayan flag faces a difficult task om Internacional, but the three-time winners can never be ruled out.

The tie is steeped into Libertadores' history, with Nacional winning the final against Internacional in 1980 and the Brazilians exacting revenge in 2006 on their way to the title.

14. LDU Quito

The Ecuadorians punched above their weight in an ultra-competitive Group D and knocked out Uruguayan royalty Penarol in the process.

As ever for LDU, home games are a major advantage because of the altitude and Pablo Repetto's men will have to make conditions count against Olimpia in the first leg.

15. Godoy Cruz

The final Argentinian team in the knockout stage, Godoy Cruz only missed out on top spot in Group C because of goal difference. That one-goal swing could prove costly as it pitted the Mendoza-based club against title-favorites Palmeiras in the round of 16.

16. Emelec

Unlike fellow Ecuadorian side LDU Quito, geography deprives Emelec of the advantage of playing at altitude. Having only scraped by into the knockout stages, it's hard to see it getting past Flamengo.

Schedules (all times ET)

Tuesday, July 23

  • River Plate vs Cruzeiro—6:15 p.m., beIN Sports, beinSPORTS en Espanol
  • Godoy Cruz vs Palmeiras—8:30, p.m. beIN Sports
  • LDU Quito vs Olimpia—8:30 p.m., beinSPORTS en Espanol

Wednesday, July 24

  • San Lorenzo vs Cerro Porteno—6:15 p.m., beinSPORTS en Espanol
  • Nacional vs Internacional—6:15 p.m., beIN Sports
  • Emelec vs Flamengo—8:30 p.m., beIN Sports
  • Athletico Paranaense vs Boca Juniors—8:30 p.m., beinSPORTS en Espanol

Thursday, July 25

  • Gremio vs Libertad—8:30 p.m., beIN Sports, beinSPORTS en Espanol
Copa Libertadores 2019: Round of 16 Schedule, Power Rankings | Sports