Copa Libertadores 2018: Qualifying Round 2 preview and predictions

(Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images) /
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16 teams will play for a shot at reaching the group stage of the Copa Libertadores. Who will be favored in the second qualifying stage of the tournament?

The Copa Libertadores moves into its second stage of qualifying as the calendar moves into February. Sixteen teams try to stay alive in the tournament, as the winners of the two-leg series move on to play for a spot in the group stage.

Three teams advanced out of the first round of qualifiers. Deportivo Táchira, Olimpia, and Oriente Petrolero moved on to the next round. It speaks to the depth of the tournament field that a three-time Copa Libertadores winner like Olimpia has to play from the first round onward to get through the qualifiers.

They meet some more big names in South American soccer that are vying for one of the four qualifier spots in the main draw of the tournament. That includes Chapecoense, the Brazilian club that has persevered in the face of a tragic plane crash that wiped out most of its roster.

In addition to Olimpia, the field of 16 qualifiers still in the hunt for four spots in the next stage also includes another three-time winner of the tournament. Chapecoense will have to go through Uruguay’s Nacional to reach the group stage.

Who will reach the final qualifying stage? Let’s look at each quarter of the bracket and preview how things might play out over the next week and a half.