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Quito look for early strike in Copa home leg

8 December 2011 12:03

LDU Quito are preparing to attack in the home leg of their Copa Sudamericana final clash with Universidad de Chile on Thursday.

The Ecuadorian side have a formidable record as hosts in the altitude in Quito, the country's capital, and they will be out to make the most of their home advantage in the first leg.

Argentine star Ezequiel Gonzalez will start as a playmaker, linking up with compatriots Hernan Barcos and Claudio Bieler up front to try and build a lead in anticipation of their visit to Santiago on Wednesday.

Barcos has been crucial in helping LDU Quito advance to the final, having netted seven times to guide them to the final two.

LDU Quito have an impeccable record in South American competition, with this appearance marking their fifth continental final in the past four years.

Universidad are also planning to go for the win in Quito, playing three at the back in an offensive line-up.

Chelsea target Eduardo Vargas starts alongside former River Plate striker Gustavo Canales in attack, with the latter returning after sitting out their Clausura quarter-final win over Union Espanola on Sunday.

Vargas, 22, has starred throughout the tournament, topping the scoring charts with eight goals and attracting the attention of English Premier League outfit Chelsea.

Universidad de Chile will play in their first ever Copa Sudamericana final, having progressed to the semi-finals on four occasions and fallen short.

Both teams are coached by Argentines who hail from Santa Fe.

Edgardo Bauza is the Liga boss while Jorge Sampaoli is in charge at Universidad.

Both clubs faced fierce competition in advancing to book their spots in the final.

LDU Quito got past Argentina's Independiente and Velez Sarsfield, while Universidad de Chile took down Flamengo, Arsenal de Sarandi and Vasco da Gama.

The outcome of the two-legged final could well be known after the first leg with both teams set to attack.

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