Next stop the last eight

Sixteen teams, eight games and one objective: to reach the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores 2008. Latin America's most prestigious club competition continues with another round of enthralling games this week, and at the end of it all only eight contenders will be left standing. Here to mark your card for three days of decisive action is

Game of the week
River Plate-San Lorenzo, Thursday 8 May, 20.30 (local time)

The only tie to pit together two teams from the same country will be played out to a conclusion in the suitably dramatic surroundings of the Estadio Monumental, where San Lorenzo will set out to defend the precious 2-1 lead secured at home last Wednesday. Hoping to show the way for El Ciclón will be two River old boys in coach Ramon Diaz and playmaker Andres D'Alessandro. Diego Simeone's men endured an inauspicious build-up for the showdown when they lost out to Boca Juniors in Sunday's Superclásico, although all they need to advance is a 1-0 win. Their last meeting on River's home patch came on 24 February, with LosMillonarios easing to a 2-0 victory.

Brazil will be hosting no fewer than four matches this week, the first of them on Tuesday evening when the Maracana stages Fluminense's bid to make good the 2-1 advantage they secured away to Atletico Nacional in Colombia last week. The following day will see Flamengo attempt something similar as they kick off two goals to the good against America after prevailing 4-2 in Mexico, a result that cost Águilas coach Ruben Romano his job.

Two other Brazilian sides are also in action on home soil on Wednesday. First, Cruzeiro and Boca Juniors face off at the Mineirao with the hosts still euphoric after pocketing the Mineiro state championship at the weekend. Los Xeneizes, meanwhile, will be intent on safeguarding the slender 2-1 win they earned at the Bombonera seven days ago. Worryingly for Boca, prior to Sunday's state decider Adilson Batista's charges had scored three goals on each of their four previous home outings.

Two three-time Libertadores champions, Sao Paulo and Nacional, go face to face that same day, with everything still to play for after a goalless stalemate in the first leg in Montevideo. El Bolso, coached by Gerardo Pelusso, are looking for a win or a score-draw to match their 2007 campaign, although things will not be easy against Muricy Ramalho, Adriano and Co, who have won all their home games in the 2008 Libertadores by one-goal margins.

The only Brazilian side on the road over the next three days are Santos, who travel to Colombia to take on Cucuta Deportivo with a seemingly comfortable two-goal cushion. To keep their hopes alive, Pedro Sarmiento and his men will need to improve on the 0-0 draw they earned at home to the same opposition in the group phase.

The other two games on the bill involve Estudiantes and Lanus. Following a 2-0 defeat away to LDU in Ecuador last Thursday, El Pincha face a tall order if they are to pen a new chapter in their book of legendary feats. El Granate, for their part, will have an even bigger task in trying to overturn their disappointing 1-0 reverse at home to Atlas. The Mexican press has already written off the Argentinians' chances of springing a surprise. Could that be the incentive the new boys need to keep their maiden Libertadores campaign going?

Player to watch
Richard Morales (Nacional striker)
At the ripe old age of 33, El Chengue has his sights set on leading the only Uruguayan side left standing to the zenith of South American club football. With a brace against Flamengo in the group phase, Morales has already shown what he can do against Brazilian opposition. Can he now repeat the trick in Sao Paulo?

What they said
"It's a big ask to come back from 2-0 down but it's not impossible. With our fans behind us we can get back into the tie, especially if we score in the first half. We've got what it takes to go through," Estudiantes coach Roberto Sensini, insisting his side's tie with LDU Quito is far from over.

This week's fixtures:

Tuesday 6 May
Fluminense (BRA) - Atletico Nacional (COL)
Atlas (MEX) - Lanus (ARG)
Estudiantes (ARG) - LDU (ECU)

Wednesday 7 May
Sao Paulo (BRA) - Nacional (URU)
Cruzeiro (BRA) - Boca Juniors (ARG)
Flamengo (BRA) - America (MEX)

Thursday 8 May
River Plate (ARG) - San Lorenzo (ARG)
Cucuta Deportivo (COL) - Santos (BRA)