Nov 27, 2010

Quilmes - All Boys

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

Quilmes could (and should) be leaving the last place of the Apertura, and could also do a step forward in their desperate tries to avoid direct relegation - not very big chances for that, but Gimnasia look even more awfull, so you never know. Today, they are finally able to return on El Centenario, after a few matches played on neutral ground, due to some problems with the supporters. And besides the return to their home ground, and their good recent form (4 points in the last 2 matches), they wil also be receiving an All Boys team filled with injury worries. The surprise package of the Apertura is coming into this match with 4-5 injuries, almost all of them being first team players. The most important one will be the absence of striker Ereros, which, combined with Fabbiani's absence, triggered the change of the tactical formation to a 4-4-2, trying to get more defensive stability, since there will be some diminished firepower up front. Quilmes is in a big need of points, and I'm expecting them to take control of the game, and push for the goal early on. However, All Boys proved several times they are very solid and stable in the back, and with the new formation, they shouldbe extra-careful. Add to that Quilmes looks awful in offence, and lack too much creativity, the under bet looks pretty good here. GL!

under 2.25 goals @ 1.75, 4/10
Result: 2-1, LOST

Espoli - Olmedo

Ecuador Primera Division, Segunda Etapa

My first thought for this round was to go for Universidad Catolica, but odds dropping like crazy there and Emelec only with a mixed squad (not alternative), making that match completely without any value. But for this game, despite the odds being much lower, it also looks more achievable. Espoli is one of the 3 teams that are involved in the relegation, and besides having the highest chances of saving themselves from dropping into Serie B, they also have the easiest fixture of this last round. Macara has a tough travel to El Nacional, Catolica plays at home against a 'mixed' Emelec, while Espoli are going at home against Olmedo, a team just as poor as they are, but a team that is safe, without an objective, waiting for the holiday period. Both teams will be with full squads, but as I said, I question Olmedo's players level of committment and interest in this game. Espoli is preparing a formation with 5 midfielders, so as to dominate the midfield and get the ball back quickly if they lose it, going fast in attack. A draw should be enough here for 'The Police' team, but only if Catolica doesn't win. And since everybody knows it's risky business to wait for another result when you can solve the problem yourself, I'm confident Espoli will go for the win today. GL!

Espoli (-0.5 AH) @ 1.78, 4/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Nov 23, 2010

LDU Quito - Deportivo Quito

Ecuador Primera Division, Segunda Etapa

This is a logical follow-up bet to the one from yesterday. As expected, LDU won comfortably against El Nacional, and are 99% in the final of the championship (the only way for them to miss it is to lose their 2 remaining matches by at least 3 goals, while Emelec should win their matches by at least 3 goals... sounds a bit fantasy). And, since LDU played yesterday with most of their regulars (only Barcos was unfit, while Guagua was suspended), I see it as impossible that even one of the regulars will play today as well, keeping in mind that on Thursday they will play a decisive game against Independiente, leaving for Argentina today, as soon as the match against Deportivo ends. So, they can afford to lose both hames left in the league, as long as they keep the difference at a minimum, and with the alternative line-up that Bauza will probably field, I don't give them much chances (doubt that even the reserves will play, as they also need them for the Sudamericana match). Deportivo is sure they will be playing the play-off for the last Libertadores spot, but the 3rd place is in their sight, as it will allow them to finish the play-off series playing at home, and that could be a nice advantage. And a win today will make them out of Barcelona's reach. They will miss a couple of players, most notably 'Zlatan' Fernandez, but overall, they should have a better squad than Liga's 3rd string team. And since this is also a derby of Quito, I expect them to want to win the match. GL!

Deportivo Quito @ 2.30, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

LDU Quito - El Nacional

Ecuador Primera Division, Segunda Etapa

Liga de Quito are having one of the toughest weeks in their history, as they will have to play no less than 4 matches in 7 days, matches that will define their future. They will play today and tomorrow in the league, Thursday is Sudamericana and Sunday again in the league.And with 3 points clear of Emelec, a win today will put them 6 points ahead, but thanks to the superior goal difference, they will secure their final berth. So the list of priorities is simple: play for the win today - getting into the final, play with reserves tomorrow so the regulars will be fit for the Sudamericana clash, than give them another rest in the last round of the championship. Today is El Nacional, tomorrow Deportivo Quito, so it's obvious the regulars will go for the weaker opponent in the earlier match. No final line-up has been made public, but coach Bauza said he'll go for it with the best available players. There are of course some doubtful players (Barcos, Luna, Salgueiro, Calderon, Reasco and de la Cruz), and if they're not at 100%, they won't be risked, but I'm pretty sure at least half of them will start tonight's game. And with El Nacional safe, without an objective, they shouldn't waste too much time, and I'm expecting an early lead. GL!

LDU (-0.75 AH) @ 1.70, 4/10
Result: 3-1, WON

Nov 22, 2010

Alianza Lima - Total Chalaco

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla A

Another capital match for both of them. Alianza is going for the Libertadores ticket, having Universitario breathing down on the back of their necks, while Chalaco is playing their last hopes of remaining in the division for 2011. However, Chalaco's hopes should begin fading, as realistically speaking, they can only fight for the 3 points against Inti Gas in the last round. Don't see how they will be able to snatch some points here, or next round at San Martin. Adding to that, Chalaco's financial troubles are still of actuality, and even this week there have been protests from the players, threatening the directors, and missing a few training sessions, being on strike. Morale is low, money is scarce, relegation looks like a certain thing, so probably, deep inside, the players have already surrendered. Meanwhile, Alianza should give their best, and make the most of this match, as it will put them 5 points clear of Universitario, and it will give them some fresh air before the last 2 rounds, which could turn to be very difficult for them (at Inti Gas and hosting San Martin in the last round). And after two good results, the 2-2 draw with Universitario and the 1-0 win at Cristal, morale should also be at the top. GL!

Alianza Lima (-1.25 AH) @ 1.96, 4/10
Result: 2-1, HALF LOST

Gimnasia - Velez

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

Estudiantes and Velez are simply a class better than the rest mug-teams from Argentina, so it should come as no surprise that they are dominating almost all the tables (Apertura, Libertadores aggregate, relegation aggregate). It looks like the battle for the title is going all the way, and since Estudiantes won easily yesterday (despite being soundly dominated in the last 10 minutes, barely touching the ball), Velez are also in a must-win situation. And they will most likely win today, as I don't think Gimnasia has enough quality to keep the pace with Velez for 90 minutes. And here comes another tricky thing. Estudiantes are Gimnasia's bitter rivals, so with a Velez win, they will keep the pressure on El Leon. I'm sure there are many Gimnasia fans and players that would love to give Velez a helping hand. And if Gimnasia's situation wouldn't be so dramatic (they are deep inside the relegation play-off zone), I would take that thing as certain. But since they are also in desperate need of points, I have my doubts about them helping Velez. Even so, Velez has much more skills and class to win this the fair way, and their are rightly favorites here. GL!

Velez (-0.75 AH) @ 1.84, 3/10
Result: 0-0, LOST

Nov 21, 2010

Alianza Atletico - Juan Aurich

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla B

Pretty bad day, regarding the available matches, as I can't say I'm crazy about any of them. I'll try to make the most of what I get, though. In recent matches, we have seen a lot of improvements from Alianza Atletico's behalf, and despite managing to lose just two matches in the last 10, they still haven't managed to get out of the relegation zone, and it looks like the fight will go down until the last round, in a final showdown with Cienciano in Cusco. However, if they manage to win today, they could have the higher ground in the supposed final, or they could even be safe before that, as next week they host Huancayo, while Cienciano has a pretty much impossible mission at Juan Aurich. So plenty to play for here, players and staff are characterizing the game as a final, so expect 100% commitment from the entire squad. Juan Aurich has nothing to play for, despite still having some mathematical chances to reach the final, but that is almost impossible, as Leon needs just one point to seal the qualification. And with the qualification for Sudamericana already in their pockets, there won't be any need for the players to bruise their knees. Juan Aurich won't have it easy here, as they never do, failing to win in all their visits to Sullana so far, in 5 tries. The funny thing is that neither Alianza won a single match when hosting Juan Aurich. However, they have the knife at the bone now, and that 3-1 win for them in Chiclayo a month ago is sure to give them some hopes, and I'm expecting them to perform at 200% of what they are capable. GL!

Alianza Atletico (-0.5 AH) @ 2.04, 3/10
Result: 1-0, WON

Estudiantes - Huracan

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

Estudiantes got a cold shower last week, after losing at Tigre, and also losing the first place in the Apertura, being overtaken by Velez, with the same number of points, but better goal difference. So, with 5 games left, Estudiantes can't afford to take any more wrong turns, if they want to avoid the previous season's disaster, losing the Clausura in the last round. Defender Desabato won't be taking part in this match, but despite that, there are overall good news for Estudiantes, as they welcome back defender Roncaglia and goalkeeper Orion. Otherwise, no problems for them, as they have fit all the players, and the offensive trio will be the usual one: Enzo Perez, Gaston Fernandez and Hoyos, with Veron and Brana close by. It's worth mentioning that Estudiantes has only victories at home, 6 on a string in this Apertura, and haven't conceded a single goal yet, while Huracan are having problems when playing away from home, losing by a pretty large difference to Olimpo, Boca, Racing or Gimnasia, teams that are all in the wrong side of the table. The handicap is a bit high, and I don't really like playing more than -1 on anyone from Argentina, but with their form, and with Estudiantes' hunger for points, I think we can expect a relaxing 2-0 here, maybe even a 3-0. GL!

Estudiantes (-1.25 AH) @ 1.80, 4/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Jose Galvez - Universitario

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla A

Both teams are still having to fight for, that is why I'm expecting a committed performance from all of the players. Universitario are 5 points behind Alianza, with 3 matches left, and they aren't giving up hope to catch their bitter rivals. They can be encouraged by Alianza's tougher schedule, as they will have to travel next week to Inti Gas, where it will be a difficult visit, before finishing the Liguilla at home, against San Martin. So, Alianza with some tough games remaining are almost sure of losing some points, a thing which Universitario could speculate to put some more pressure on Los Intimos. Meanwhile, Jose Galvez are fighting to avoid relegation, and should have all their regulars fit, as they chose to rest them in their previous match, the visit at Inti Gas that ended in a 0-6 trashing. They are considering this match to be the most important of the season, and indeed, with a win today, they will have very high chances to remain in Primera next year. They will do everything in their power to win the match, so I'm expecting a good game, with both teams going for the win and for the goals. Every outcome is possible, and since I'm expecting both teams to score, the over looks like a good option to bet on. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 2.06, 3/10
Result: 0-1, LOST