Uncertainty is the name of the game in this year's Copa Libertadores de America, with all eight groups still evenly poised. And as the stakes continues to rise, there are some interesting posers to be answered over the next three days. Can the Mexican trio of CD Guadalajara, Atlas and America get back on the winning trail? Will River Plate continue their recovery in Chile? And can Cucuta Deportivo recapture their stunning form of last season?
FIFA.com is here with a few pointers to those questions as it looks ahead to eight more midweek match-ups in Latin America's leading club tournament.
Game of the week
Group 5: Universidad Catolica-River Plate, Wednesday 12 March, 21:10 (local time).
FIFA.com users voted Group 5 the toughest in the competition and with two rounds of games gone it is not difficult to see why. All four sides are tied on three points each with only a single goal separating them in the table. All of which makes Wednesday's shootout between Universidad Catolica and River Plate, third and fourth in the section respectively, even more crucial to both sides' hopes.
The duo have identical records going into the tie, both losing their opening games before securing wins in their next outings. And for the UC the time has come to gain revenge for their 5-2 aggregate defeat to El Millo in the last 16 back in 1995, the only previous Copa meeting between the two.
America and Universidad San Martin, the other two members of the Group 5 quartet, will play out another of the week's pivotal encounters in Mexico City on Thursday evening. Although the Águilas are going into the game on the back of five straight defeats, the latest of them coming in the Mexican Clausura on Sunday, they have never lost at home to Peruvian opposition in the Copa.
After going down to Santos in their previous game in Group 6, CD Guadalajara are another Mexican outfit looking to bounce back when they entertain the ever-awkward Cucuta Deportivo of Colombia. Compatriots Atlas were on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat to Group 3 adversaries Boca Juniors last week, although they should be in for an less taxing evening when they receive a visit from UA Maracaibo on Wednesday. Los Zorros will still need to have their wits about them, however. The last time the Venezuelans pitched up in Mexico in 2006 they beat Pumas UNAM 1-0.
Two sides already drinking in the last-chance saloon are Group 1 strugglers Real Potosi and San Lorenzo, who face off on Tuesday. While the pointless Bolivians lie bottom, the Argentinians are faring little better with only a point to their name after two games. Having invested so heavily in their Libertadores campaign, will coach Ramon Diaz and Co be able to handle the mounting pressure?
Fellow countrymen Arsenal have worries of their own after crashing to a 6-0 defeat to Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro just a few days ago. Currently lying third in Group 8, the Sarandi side play host to LDU Quito, who have never won on Argentinian soil. The same can be said of LDU's domestic rivals Deportivo Cuenca, who travel to Lanus with the hope of taking a point to maintain their impetus in Group 2. The time could just be right for the Ecuadorians as well, with El Granate slumping to a 5-0 defeat in the clásico del Sur against Banfield on Saturday, their first home reverse in a year.
The week's remaining game is the all-Peruvian clash between Cienciano and Coronel Bolognesi, the first time that the Cusco outfit have faced domestic rivals after 34 appearances in the Copa.
Player to watch
Cienciano forward Gustavo Vassallo
The scorer of three goals in two games, Vassallo has become key to Cienciano's hopes of progressing. The 29-year-old hitman was snapped up from Universitario with the Libertadores in mind and has already repaid part of the outlay by notching twice against Nacional and once against Flamengo.
What they said...
"We're annoyed we lost to Santos and although there are lots of things we need to improve, I think the spirit in the team is good. We're going to try to keep playing good football." Chivas coach Efrain Flores looks ahead to Tuesday's home tie with Cucuta Deportivo.
This week's fixtures:
Real Potosi (BOL) - San Lorenzo (ARG)
Cienciano (PER) - Coronel Bolognesi (PER)
CD Guadalajara (MEX) - Cucuta Deportivo (COL)
Atlas (MEX) - UA Maracaibo (VEN)
Universidad Catolica (CHI) - River Plate (ARG)
Arsenal (ARG) - LDU Quito (ECU)
CA Lanus (ARG) - Deportivo Cuenca (ECU)
CF America (MEX) - Univ. San Martin (PER)