Grêmio to play first leg of Copa Libertadores playoff away from home on 23rd January 2013
Grêmio’s draw with city rivals Internacional on the last day of the season saw them drop from second place to third and, as a result, have to qualify for the group stages of the Copa Libertadores via a playoff in January.
The club were given the choice of playing the first leg of the qualifier at home or away and have opted to play away from Porto Alegre on 23rd January, meaning the home leg will take place at the new stadium early in February, despite not yet knowing who their opponent will be.
Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s team ended their season on the 9th December after the friendly against German club Hamburg to open the new Grêmio Arena and will return for pre-season training on 3rd January.
Missing out on second place could prove costly for the club as they will only have three weeks to prepare for the vital Libertadores clash before the first leg and will play the first game of the Gaúcho State Championship just three days before.
This puts extra pressure on player recruitment and having a successful training camp in Londrina, Paraná, to make sure their season gets off to an ideal start.