Oct 9, 2010

Peru - Costa Rica

International Friendly

Peru looks really good in this new era under 'El Mago' Markarian, and have won both matches played so far, against Canada and Jamaica, and I was impressed by their play, showing some new life in them. And the new coach also managed to set an improved atmosphere in the camp, and that could also be a reason for the good play. He'll change the system for today's match, as he'll move away from the 4-4-2 used in the previous two games, and will try a 3-4-3 here, which on paper looks good, as we'll have Rengifo, Chavez and Farfan up-front. All of them look in solid form, and I'm expecting them to transfer their league form to the national team. the three-defenders line might look a bit shaky, but Ramos, Zambrano and Vilchez are solid centre-backs, and when defending, Peru's tactical plan can easily change to a 5-3-2, as the wingers Guizasola and Rabanal will probably have defensive duties. For Costa Rica, this match won't probably mean too much, as they are lead by an interim coach, who will be changed after next week's game, and also some regulars are missing, most notably in attack, where neither Bryan Ruiz, nor Saborio or Parks have been called-up, so the strikers will be from the local league, without much experience. In defense we also see some lack of quality, as only Badilla is a regular, and will most probably play along 2 debutants. Peru shouldn't have any problems winning this, and a 2-0 score is my call. GL!

Peru (-0.75 AH) @ 1.85, 4/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Oct 8, 2010

Japan - Argentina

International Friendly

This match seems to be similar to the Iran - Brazil one, but the outcome shouldn't be as clear. Unlike their South American rivals, Argentina went to Japan with all their available stars (probably part of the agreement), and they are expected to field a very strong team, with all their big names: Messi, Tevez and Milito are expected to start, while others (like Di Maria or Higuain) will have their chances in the second half. So, as we can see, a lot of players capable of scoring by themselves. The only problem will be the lack of motivation for the Argentinian players, and the possible fatigue due to changing time zones and jet lag, but their class still remains, and if they show at least half of what they've shown last match, against Spain, they'll have no problems here. For the Japan team, this will be the start of a new era, under Alberto Zaccheroni, and in their post-World Cup games, they managed to win both of them, against Paraguay and Guatemala. I'm sure they'll give their best today too, and I expect more determination from their part as compared with the Argentinians, and I could even see them scoring a goal. But with some absences in defense for the Asians, I'm also counting on the Argentinian superstars to take full advantage and score at least a couple of goals. The line is lower than for Brazil's game, but I'll also lower the stakes a bit, as I'm still 'impressed' by the Brazilian's lazy attitude, and I'm afraid the Argentinians might do the same. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.96, 3/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Oct 7, 2010

Iran - Brazil

International Friendly

New life and new tactics for the Brazilian National Team ever since Dunga left after the World Cup, as they are done with the defensive tactics employed by him. Now, Brazil reverted to their old offensive style, and coach Menezes is building a new squad from the many talented and young player that he has at his disposal. That means no more over-paid self-sufficient players, who couldn't give a rats' ass about the National team, and this new young players are giving their all for the team, hoping to seal their place for the 2011 Copa America. They made a great match last month against USA, fully controlling the game and going forward at all times, and the 2-0 result looks very mild for the Americans. The Iranians shouldn't be organized as well as the USA, and they should also try something, as a Friendly against Brazil is always a reason to celebrate, and a goal for them will be as good as a victory. Moreover, Brazil probably received quite some money to play in this game, so I'm also expecting the players to make a show, to justify the fee. And they certainly have enough quality to do it. I see goals here, and a pleasant match to watch, so it shouldn't be any doubt about the over 3 goals. GL!

over 3 goals @ 1.92, 4/10
Result: 0-3, VOID

Newell's Old Boys - San Jose

Copa Sudamericana

At first, I was thinking about a +2 handicap on the Bolivians, but after some more thought, I found the under much better. That's because I'm certainly not expecting San Jose to score, and the way I see it, that would be the only way this match could go over, as Newell's certainly isn't a team to score more than 3 goals, even against an obviously weaker opponent. Both teams will go in this match will all they have, and the only expected change in a line-up will be for Newell's, where defender Fideleff will replace Venezuelan Cichero, who is on international duty. Also, both teams played with their best squad during the weekend, but the Argentinians should be more fresh, as they played on Friday, while the Bolivians played only 3 days ago, so without some fresh legs, and in front of a superior opponent, I'm expecting very defensive tactics from San Jose, with some hopes for counter attacks, as if the game finishes with a tight score, the qualification will be settled in Bolivia. But Newell's isn't a team that concedes easy goals, and neither do they go in an attacking frenzy, so the score shouldn't get crazy. Worst case scenario that I can see for this bet is a 3-0, in which case it will be void, but I think a 2-0 looks more realistic. GL!

under 3 goals @ 1.87, 3/10
Result: 6-0, LOST

Oct 3, 2010

Libertad - Sportivo Luqueno

Paraguay Primera Division, Clausura

Libertad lost surprisingly last week at 3 de Febrero, and missed a huge chance to get back in the lead for the Clausura title (although I wouldn't be surprised if that match was a bit fishy, as the odds for 3 de Febrero were highly exaggerated). But with Cerro Porteno also drawing, Libertad didn't lose too much ground, and are just one point behind them, with plenty of time for things to change. Today they will face Sportivo Luqueno, and everything points towards a nice home win. Their team is without important absences, and all the regulars are expected to play tonight, including top scorers Maciel and Orue, so they will be looking forward to do some damage. Besides, whenever they are playing on Nicolas Leoz, they are turning into monsters, and as proof, they haven't failed to win a single game at home in Clausura, and scored a massive average of 3 goals per match, while receiving just 1. Libertad should also have a morale advantage over Luqueno, as they won the last 2 direct meetings, both of them played in Luque, and despite losing at home against them in March, they can use the excuse of being amidst a fixture congestion, due to their participation in Libertadores. Today, they will have no excuses, and everybody expects to see the spectacular Libertad that they have become. GL!

Libertad (-1 AH) @ 1.88, 4/10
Result: 3-1, WON