Apr 19, 2014

U Catolica - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

LDU Quito are still favorites, or at least on par, against pretty much everyone in the Ecuadorian league except the big guns. That's obviously a sign that the bookies are setting the odds based on the team's name, and they also expect them to get back into form sooner rather than later. But from what I've seen, that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. LDU are playing without too many ideas, and even the players and the coach agree that there isn't too much you can ask from the team currently. Their famous offensive game is no more, as they are constantly struggling to create danger for the opposition. That's why we have a very rare statistic, with them having the second worst offense in the league. Their main focus is to destroy the plays, instead of trying to build some fluid actions. Worth mentioning: they only scored 1 goal in 6 away games!!! Catolica is one of the better teams in the league, and are also pleasant to the eye, constantly trying to get forward as soon and as efficiently as possible. They won't have it easy, that's for sure, as it is very difficult to play against a team bent on destroying good football, but they do have what it takes to win against LDU. They won the last 3 games against LDU, who only got worse as time went by, so they have a good platform to build on. GL!

Catolica DNB @ 1.97, 4/10
Result: 3-1, WON

Apr 11, 2014

Penarol - Deportivo Anzoategui

Copa Libertadores 2014, Group Stage

Since both of these teams are out of the competition already, this game is pretty much just to complete the schedule. I doubt there is anything real at stake, despite the pre-match talk about leaving the competition with honor. And Penarol are certainly showing that they couldn't care less, as not a single regular player is expected to start tonight's game. Forward Mauro Fernandez can be considered the highest profile player to take on the Venezuelans, but the rest of the team gives me no hope of a positive result. Deportivo Anzoategui aren't much of a team either, and it is still uncertain if they will be using their best available squad or a mixed one.  However, in this match without anything to play for, and against a team playing with a complete squad of reserves/youngsters, it's a bit of a stretch to give out such a big handicap. The Venezuelan team has a bad record away from home, that's true, but Penarol haven't exactly been shining either, and I don't see them winning big (maybe not winning at all). GL!

Anzoategui (+1.5 AH) @ 1.77, 5/10
Result: 1-1, WON

Mar 26, 2014

Mar 24, 2014

Emelec - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Despite what the table is showing, with 7 places and 8 points separating them, this surely won’t be a walk in the park for Emelec. Their packed schedule is bound to catch up with them sooner rather than later, and there are already complaints about fatigue, after a tough match with Leon and a very long voyage to and from Mexico. So I’m quite sure that there will be some players who will be rested, because they won’t be able to give their 100% anyway. LDU Quito are still in reconstruction, so it was expected that they would struggle this season as well. However, they look quite solid defensive-wise, and they’ve only conceded 2 goals in 4 visits. And there will definitely be some extra-motivation for them in this derby, so I really don’t see the hosts going for an easy win. Emelec only won 3 of their last 8 games with LDU, and none of those victories was by more than a goal’s margin, and I don’t see that changing here. I’m eyeing a draw here, but it’s nice to have some insurance in case of a narrow Emelec win. GL!

LDU (+0.75 AH) @ 2.01, 3/10
Result: 3-0, LOST

Mar 19, 2014

Nacional - Atletico Nacional

Copa Libertadores 2014, Group Stage

As you are probably well aware, last week I’ve had a very solid bet, full of confidence, against Nacional Montevideo. And unfortunately, that bet went to the crapper, after Atletico Nacional received a red card in the first minute of the game. So it would be pointless talking about that game, even though it is worth mentioning that despite having a man-down from the start, the Colombians were still able to recover from a 0-2 deficit and tie the game. Tonight, Nacional will still rest most of their regulars, as they only have 1 point in the group, and are focusing on the local league. Furthermore, from last week’s team, they will add 3 more youngsters, as 3 players are forbidden by the law to play in Uruguay. And on top of all this, their form couldn’t get much worse than this, as they’ve lost 4 of their last 6 games.

Atletico will use a similar squad to last week’s one, and there should definitely be a revenge factor here, as the 2-2 in Colombia against a team of youngsters certainly doesn’t sit well with them. They also need to keep in touch with the leaders, Gremio, and their main rivals for qualification, Newell’s Old Boys. All in all, I have pretty much the same confidence as last week, and this time we also have a nice line. GL!

Atletico DNB @ 1.84, 5/10 
Result: 0-1, WON