Fri, 14 May 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Dani Alves is set to return to Sao Paulo's starting lineup for Wednesday's clash with Argentina's Racing Club as Hernan Crespo's men seek to continue their unbeaten start to the Copa Libertadores group stage.

Alves was one of five first-team regulars rested in Sao Paulo's 2-2 draw with local rivals Corinthians on Sunday.

But he trained freely with the Tricolor Paulista on Monday and is expected to take his place in Crespo's starting eleven in Buenos Aires.

Others likely to return after beginning the Sao Paulo derby on the bench are defender Reinaldo Silva, midfielder Martin Benitez, forward Pablo Teixeira and striker Luciano Neves.

Alves, who played almost entirely at right-back during his spells at Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, was mainly used as a central midfielder in his first 18 months at Sao Paulo under former manager Fernando Diniz.

Since the arrival of Crespo in January, the 37-year-old has been deployed at right wing back as part of the Argentine coach's favored 3-5-2 formation.

Crespo could also include forward Eder Martins and midfielder Gabriel Sara on Wednesday as they recover from respective soft tissue injuries.

Sao Paulo currently lead Group E with two wins from as many matches while Racing are second with a victory and a draw.

This week's third Copa Libertadores match day will also feature Santa Fe's home clash with River Plate, Flamengo's visit to LDU Quito and Barcelona SC's home duel against Boca Juniors.

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