Copa Sudamericana Preview: Sao Paulo out to arrest slump

Topics

Sao Paulo's Michel Bastos said the Brazilian giants are desperate to return to form in the Copa Sudamericana.

Muricy Ramalho's Sao Paulo and Chilean outfit Huachipato will meet in the last 16 of South America's second-tier competition.

Sao Paulo, however, head into Tuesday's opening leg at the Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo on a four-game winless streak in the Brazilian Serie A.

Defeats to Coritiba, Corinthians and Fluminense, and a draw against Flamengo, has seen Sao Paulo fall 10 points off the pace in third position.

Alarmingly for Sao Paulo, they have conceded 11 goals in that period.

Bastos - back in the squad after serving a one-game ban - urged his team-mates to prove their worth.

"Quality we have, but we have to show it on the pitch," said Bastos.

"We have another contest, a group of players with a good opportunity to leave behind the latest games.

"We are thinking about the future, which is to win the Libertadores spot and go far in the Copa Sudamericana."

Sao Paulo won through to the round of 16 after edging fellow Brazilian side Criciuma 3-2 on aggregate.

Huachipato were also narrow winners in the second round, downing Ecuador's Universidad Catolica 2-1 over two legs.

Mario Salas' men are sixth in the Chilean Primera Division after eight games, 11 points behind league-leading Universidad Chile.

Huachipato's most recent league fixture was almost a fortnight ago - a 2-2 draw at Antofagasta.

There are three first-leg matches on Wednesday.

Brazilian team Goias travel to Ecuador, where they will play Emelec.

Goias were fortunate to progress from the second round, having qualified 2-2 on away goals ahead of Fluminense.

Emelec earned a last-16 showdown with Goias after upstaging Uruguay's River Plate 3-2.

Bahia - unbeaten in eight games at home - host Peruvian club Cesar Vallejo in Brazil.

Internacional were bundled out by Bahia 3-1 on aggregate, while Cesar Vallejo trounced Club Universitario 5-2.

Colombian powerhouses Atletico Nacional are at home to Brazil's Vitoria after prevailing against General Diaz on away goals.

Vitoria, who have lost four away games in a row, will be up against it at the Estadio Atanasio Girardot in Medellin.