For Medellin, the match with Millonarios is probably of little importance but this cannot be said about their opponents. Millonarios entered the top eight with a 3-4 win at Envigado last Wednesday and a win in Saturday’s home game is vital in order to stay on course for a spot in the group phase. Any wrong move and a large amount of other teams is waiting to take their place in the top eight.
Santa Fe is one of those clubs, and play away to Medellin’s other side, Nacional, on Sunday. The battle around eighth place is certainly a Bogota matter at the moment as Santa Fe are Millonarios most prominent rivals. However, Santa Fe haven’t done too well in recent games and seem to have forgotten what it is like to win. Nacional, currently in fourth place, may well be able to take advantage of their opponents’ poor form.
Another team to aim for a top-eight spot is Deportivo Cali, who face a tough challenge against Huila. Cali beat Pasto last Wednesday after two consecutive defeats, and the question is whether that win gives them the confidence needed to bounce back. Huila are in second place and may not be as motivated as their spot in the next round seems practically guaranteed.
After Santa Fe and Deportivo Cali, Real Cartagena are the third club with just one point less than Millonarios. Cartagena beat Once Caldas on Wednesday and now travel to face Deportivo Pasto. The latter are currently in third place and are, just like Huila, rather certain of a spot in the group phase.
Fifth-placed Deportes Tolima host Deportivo Pereira in the city of Ibague, where the hosts aim to add a third consecutive victory. Pereira, currently sixth, are in decent form as well so it promises to be a close match. The losing team will likely feel the pressure of the many clubs waiting to take their place in the top eight.
Junior of Barranquilla host America de Cali and know that they need a victory in order to remain save in the top eight. Currently placed seventh, the risk of not making it to the next round is very real. It should be in Junior’s favor that America are practically out of contention and may lack the ambition to do well in this game.