Oct 23, 2010

Nacional Montevideo - Tacuarembo

Uruguay Primera Division, Apertura

A nice match is expected here, as it seems as it has all the necessary ingredients for a goal fest. Neither team made a good start of the championship, and both are struggling in the lower side of the table, but while Nacional is just 5 points behind the leaders, and has a solid position to get back in the title race, Tacuarembo is last from bottom, with only 5 points, and with a complicated fate in terms of relegation (they are 9 points clear of El Tanque Sisley, but El Tanque's points get multiplied by 2, so it could change any time). The certain things is that both teams are in a dire need for points, and both will go all-in for today's match in order to secure them. 3 strikers are expected to start for both teams tonight, which means we could be in for a nice, goal-plenty match. Nacional will try a 4-1-2-3 tactics, with Santiago Garcia (their top-scorer) included in the starting line-up, while Tacuarembo will give it a shot with a super offensive 3-1-3-3. Both teams are having some of the poorest defenses, so a thinner back line, with a focus on the goals scored, should increase the amount of goal scoring chances that they will create, and hopefully, it will also increase the number of goals scored. One more thing: at Tacuarembo, Jorge Gonzalez will make his debut as their new coach, and he is well known for his offensive mindedness, as all his previous clubs have shown good skills with him at the helm. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.82, 4/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Oct 21, 2010

Barcelona - Espoli

Ecuador Primera Divisio, Segunda Etapa

I'm again going with Barcelona here, as I seriously doubt they will continue with their bad form much longer. They are already at 6 games without a win, and their much expected 'revamp' last weekend (following 2 weeks of break and the debut of their new coach) remained much expected. Again Insua will prepare an offensive 3-5-2, with Bolanos in especially good mood in trainings, due to his offensive left winger role, and it looks like he will be often going on the same line as the forwards, Noir and Palacios. Barcelona is slowly getting back to it's original line-up, with almost all of the players making their return from injuries, and with a new coach - that already was at the club three times before, and has proven his worth, it is only a matter of time before they return to their previous form. Espoli looks like the perfect opponent to end a losing streak: They are in an even worse shape than Barcelona, winning just once in their last 10 games, last week being trashed at home by Cuenca, 2-5, after taking an early 2-0 lead. Also, they recorded only 2 wins away from home, so it will be tough for them to come away with something from El Monumental. A few absences should make their life even harder, as defender Ojeda and defensive midfielder Arce are suspended, while midfielders Quinonez and Quillupangui are injured. GL!

Barcelona (-0.75 AH) @ 1.79, 4/10
Result: 0-3, LOST

Toluca - FAS

CONCACAF Champions League

I never thought I'd see something like this: a Mexican team having to fight in the last match-day for it's qualification, in a group with Olimpia, Islanders and Fas. But it's real, as Toluca need a win or they're off. They have a much better situation than their rivals, as Olimpia and the Islanders will see eye to eye in a 'winner takes all' match, because the loser will 99% go home, as I think it's impossible for Toluca to lose. Let's go back to the Mexicans: 3 points tonight and they qualify for the quarters, regardless of other results, that's why newly chosen national team manager, de la Torre, will use a very offensive line-up, in an attempt to make a clear statement, and win the match since it's early stages. The altitude should also come to their aid, but they will most certainly try to take advantage of some internal problems amongst the Salvadoran ranks. FAS is in a very poor form, in the Champions League as well as in their local league, so morale isn't too good at all, especially with the players and the directors arguing over the lack of payment in the last few months. Toluca already won at home 4-0 against Olimpia, and 3-0 against the Islanders, so I can only wonder what the score will be against the poorest team in the league, in a match they are obliged to win. Expect a flowing score. GL!

 Toluca (-2 AH) @ 1.68, 5/10
Result: 5-0, WON

Oct 20, 2010

LDU Quito - Union San Felipe

Copa Sudamericana

The first leg of this tie was amazing. San Felipe made a great match, and their offensive powers really hurt LDU's defense. It is true that their great play was also helped by the Ecuadorians lack of reaction, as they only showed some solid play for about 15 minutes, in which they managed to score 2 times. But, in Quito, LDU usually becomes a monster, that not only does not loses it's games, they also tend to trash their opponents. And while usually they do it for fun, now they have to, as they need to score at least 2 goals to qualify. Their playing formation will suffer some modifications as compared to the first leg, as coach Bauza will change back to the system with 2 central midfielders, in order to increase the attacking options, and a third forward is expected behind Salgueiro and Barcos (probably Luna). The altitude should also give LDU the advantage, but San Felipe shouldn't be too impressed, and they will try to do their game, which hurt LDU so much last week. If the game is at least half as exciting as the first leg, this bet should be won by half-time, and with San Felipe now being able to count on their main striker, Vildozo (had some problems when entering the country), I'm expecting a good do-or-die game, with several goals. GL!

over 3 goals @ 2.01, 3/10
Result: 6-1, WON

Oct 18, 2010

Universitario - Jose Galvez

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla A

Very low odds on this one, but it will take something close to a miracle for it to fail. Universitario has said good-bye to the final, and now their only objective is to reach a place that allows them to qualify for next years' Copa Libertadores. And for that, they need as much points as they can get, as 7 points are separating them from Alianza and Cesar Vallejo, who are looking like their main rivals for the final Libertadores spot. That is why U's coach Del Solar (who will finally be able to lead the game from the bench) prepared a very offensive formation of 3-4-3, the same that helped them trash Melgar 4-0, a few weeks ago. So it could ve very likely that of offense we'll see Labarthe, Alva and Ruidiaz, a very good attacking trio. The main doubt is in defense, where Galliquio is with a shattered morale after being kicked-out of the National team, but even if he won't play, he defense will be composed of Carmona, Rabanal and Galvan, which looks very good.

Jose Galvez is entering in a critical state, and I doubt they had much preparation for this game. They didn't train for several days this week, as a protest against the management, who have failed to pay them for more than 2 months, and they are now threatening not to return to Chimbote after this match. That means that there are low chances that their minds are focused on the game, which also means their recent good form is pretty much useless. Universitario could have soundly beaten them even under normal circumstances, but now, it looks like a dead-certain outcome. Over could also be a choice here, but I'm afraid of a 2-0. GL!

Universitario (-1 AH) @ 1.74, 5/10
Result: 3-1, WON

Jorge Wilsterman - Universitario de Sucre

Bolivia Primera Division, Clausura

This will be a Bolivian derby of suffering, as the lowliest two clubs will face each other tonight. However, things are much worse for Jorge Wilsterman than for Universitario, despite just 1 point separating them in the standings, but Wilsterman is on a relegation play-off spot in the average points table, and that is where relegation is settled in the Bolivian league. And while things are looking grim, and La Paz is already quite comfortable ahead of Wilsterman, they have no choice but to keep fighting, and hoping for a miracle, especially since Real Mamore is threatening to relegate Wilsterman even further, to the spot of direct relegation. Universitario have no relegation worries this season, but they are fighting on two fronts, also being active in Copa Sudamericana, and this can be seen in their league performances, losing their last 4 matches. Three players have been confirmed as unavailable for this match for Universitario, as defender Albarracin and midfielder Liendo have been sent off last match, while top scorer Galindo still has a match of suspension to serve. Besides them, we could see some other changes in the team, as Universitario will have to travel to Brazil next week, in an almost impossible attempt to overturn a 0-1 deficit against Palmeiras. Wilsterman's home form has been poor, losing 3 out of 6 games, but the only thing poorer than that is Universitario's away record, who are still without a win, and have only managed a draw in 6 appearances. This, plus the probable multiple absences in their team, should make Wilsterman a strong favorite. GL!

Jorge Wilsterman (-0.75 AH) @ 2.01, 3/10
Result: 2-2, LOST

Oct 17, 2010

Cobreloa - Everton

Chile Primera Division

Both Cobreloa and Everton are in desperate need of points, and both are fighting for the same objective. Everton is in the relegation play-off zone, and even though a win here won't immediately help them, as they can't go higher than 15th place, it could help them in the long run. Meanwhile, Cobreloa are directly above the play-off zone, but only 2 points clear off Nublense, so a victory for them too is a must. Both teams are having some defensive issues, allowing goals quite easily, but recently, both have improved their attack, Everton managing to score 3 against La Serena last week, while Cobreloa scored 5 in their last 2 matches. Regarding team news, Everton is far from the ideal line-up, and they will be missing some key pieces of their team, most notably in defense, where Rencoret and Arias are injured and Saavedra is suspended, while in midfield, Ramirez is injured and Penailillo is with the u-20 national team. So they will have to patch up their defense and hope for the best, against a Cobreloa side that vows to attack from the beginning. Usually, the games between them are pretty nice, score-wise, and I can definitely see at least 3 goals here. The odds are very nice, and are surely worth some units. GL!

over 2.75 @ 2.10, 3/10
Result: 4-0, WON