Sao Paulo will scale Olimpia without Cafu

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The Independent Online
Sao Paulo will be without the influencial Cafu for the first leg of their Liberators of America Cup semi-final against Olimpia of Paraguay at the Morumbi stadium today. The Brazilian World Cup playeris recovering from the knee injury that prevented him from playing in the quarter-finals. He will be replaced by Doriva.

In the other semi-final, Junior, of Colombia, face the Argentine club Velez Sarsfield in Baranquilla, Colombia.

In the quarter-final, against Chile's Union Espanola, Sao Paulo came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw, but won the replay in Morumbi 4-3 in front of 80,000 fans. The Brazilian club will adopt a far less cautious approach against the Paraguans than in the first quarter-final. 'We were accustomed to playing in a 'closed' formation away and leaving the decision for home,' the sweeper Valber said. 'Now we can't do that.'

'We'll have to massacre Olimpia, score lots of goals and travel to Asuncion with our qualification guaranteed,' the full-back Junior Baiano added.

The Sao Paulo coach, Tele Santana, was critical of his team's performance against Union Espanola. Now, he said, Sao Paulo, the two-times defending champions, must take full advantage of their home draw. 'The presence of the fans will be decisive,' Santana said.

His Olimpia counterpart, Gustavo Benitez, said he was not impressed by what he had seen of Sao Paulo, and he said the Brazilians' defence showed 'deep chinks'.

'We saw they have a slow and disorganised defence. We are working out the formula to take advantage of this flaw,' Benitez said. 'But we won't lose our heads trying to exploit this error. We will watch our backs to avoid surprises.'

The Olimpia midfielder Gustavo Sotelo was also was realistic about his team's chances. 'It won't be easy to beat Sao Paulo, but a draw would be a good result for us,' he said.

The the second leg of the semi-fanal is due to be held on 17 August in Asuncion.

Sao Paulo: Zetti, Vitor, Junior Baiano, Gilmar, Andre, Valber, Doriva, Axel, Palhinha, Muller, Euller.

Olimpia: Battaglia, Caceres, Ramirez, Ayala, Suarez, Jara, Sanabria, Franco, Sotelo, Sanabria, Cardozo.