Copa Libertadores 2013: Holy Group Of Death

Holy Group of Death! The 2013 Copa Libertadores draw is in the books and it was not very kind to those in Group 1, although tantalizing for the neutrals who get to watch the battle in that group play out. Boca Juniors, Nacional, Barcelona and Toluca all found themselves in the same group, making Group 1 the unquestioned Group of Death and one of the most competitive and exciting groups in recent years.

As a whole, the Brazilian clubs made out well in the draw. Defending Copa Libertadores champions and recently crowned Club World Cup winners Corinthians drew San Jose, Millionarios and Tijuana in a manageable group, although the travel to Mexico and altitude in Bolivia won't do them any favours.

Atletico Mineiro should advance with Arsenal and The Strongest in their group, while Sao Paulo will end up in the same group if they win their playoff and could set up a Brazilian sweep of Group 3. We could also see Brazil sweep Group 8, where Fluminese are going to be the favorites and Gremio will join them if they can win their mouthwatering playoff against LDU Quito.

The first stage of the tournament - the two-legged playoffs - will begin in late January and the group stage will get underway in February.

Group 1:
Barcelona (Ecuador), Nacional (Uruguay), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Toluca (Mexico)

Group 2:
Sporting Cristal (Peru), Libertad (Paraguay), Palmeiras (Brazil), Tigre or Deportivo Anzoategui

Group 3:
Arsenal (Argentina), The Strongest (Bolivia), Atletico Mineiro (Brazil), Sao Paulo or Bolívar

Group 4:
Velez Sarsfield (Argentina), Penarol (Uruguay), Emelec (Ecuador), Iquique or León

Group 5:
Corinthians (Brazil), San Jose (Bolivia), Millonarios (Colombia) Tijuana (Mexico)

Group 6:
Santa Fe (Colombia), Cerro Porteno (Paraguay), Real Garcilaso (Peru), Deportes Tolima or Cesar Vallejo

Group 7:
Deportivo Lara (Venezuela), Universidad de Chile (Chile), Newell’s Old Boys, Olimpia or Defensor Sporting

Group 8:
Fluminense (Brazil), Huachipato (Chile), Caracas (Venezuela), Gremio or LDU Quito

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