Dec 15, 2010

Al-Wahda - Pachuca

FIFA Club World Cup

Well, Pachuca really disappointed in the quarter finals, creating far too few dangerous actions to really put enough pressure on the African's defense, and they payed the price for that, losing and being knocked-out of the competition. But now I think it's a good chance to recover our money. Al-Wahda's defense seems even poorer than Mazembe's, as it could have been broken even by Hekari (the Papua New Guineans missed a couple of nice chances, and put some pressure one them in the first half, but their low quality prevented them from scoring), and it was sliced open by Seongnam with 4 goals. And Pachuca just had a bad day against Mazembe, as they definitely got more than they showed. However, their defense is still a problem, as well as their goalkeeper, and with Al-Whada having a couple of very skilled Brazilians (Huga and Fernando Baiano), I'm expecting them to score again, at least one goal. The Mexicans also have some quality forwards, and I just can't believe they will leave the tournament without scoring at least a goal, and with how Al-Wahda's defense presented itself so far, one goal will surely come, and will most likely lead to others. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.81, 4/10
Result: 2-2, WON

Dec 14, 2010

Mazembe - Internacional

FIFA Club World Cup, Semi-Final

Also think it's time that Mazembe makes a small refund for the money lost on the over in their previous game. They weren't very impressive in their last match. They scored a screamer early in the game, and they just tried to defend the result. They played with a lot of heart, but their defensive ideas weren't too good, and the only reason why they managed to qualify to the semi-final is because Pachuca was close to awful in attack. With Internacional, I expect a whole different story. They have some very good players, and also a very good style of play. They are organized at the back, rarely allowing their opponents any spaces, and when they attack, they can be deadly. D'Alessandro is the playmaker of the team, and their best player, while Alecsandro is the man you can rely upon to put the ball in the back of the net. I really think this should be a clear and easy win for the Brazilians, as the Africans are shaky in the back, and lack too much talent and creativity up-front, relying only on powerful shots, a thing that Internacional rarely allows. The handicap is much better than the over, as for a full win with the over we need 4 goals, and I don't see Mazembe scoring at all. GL!

Internacional (-1.5 AH) @ 1.80, 4/10
Result: 2-0, LOST

Dec 13, 2010

Huracan - Independiente

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

Two teams in crisis of results will face each other tonight in Buenos Aires, and it's high time one of them wins. There is a lack of results in Primera Division for both teams, with Huracan losing their last 6 consecutive games and Independiente without a win for 7 matches, but for the Avellaneda team there is certainly not a lack of success, as they are the newly crowned champions of Copa Sudamericana, and that gives them a ticket for the preliminary round of Copa Libertadores 2011. Despite their run of 7 matches without a win, they have only lost 2 out of them, one away at surprise package All Boys, and one at home against eventual Apertura champions Estudiantes. But keep in mind, all of those matches were played with an alternative line-up, and rarely we could have seen more than 2-3 regulars, in order to rest them for Copa Sudamericana. But now, with the continental competition over, the rotation should be over, and tonight, more than half of the regulars are expected to start the game. Huracan looks hopeless at the moment, and their play seems even poorer than Gimnasia's, and I honestly don't know what they can do to turn things around. Maybe for Clausura, with a few good transfers, but Apertura is over for them. Independiente is on fire, and I expect them to bring the Sudamericana enthusiasm into this match, but I'll keep the stakes low, as the same enthusiasm could backfire on them. GL!

Independiente DNB @ 2.04, 3/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Racing Club - Velez Sarsfield

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

I'm going for the surprise here. Velez need to win and hope that Estudiantes doesn't, in order to win the title, or at least to force a deciding match between them. But in South America, unlike in most European countries, the rest of the teams don't bend over in the last round, and don't let the title hopefuls on a free run to the title. And we've seen this over and over again (Apertura 2009 - Banfield and Newell's were fighting for the title, and both teams lost in the last round; Clausura 2010 - Estudiantes drew at home against relegated Rosario Central, in the penultimate match of the season, gifting the title to Argentinos). So why can't we see something similar today? Especially since both teams are having very tough games. Racing is a very tough to beat team, especially when they are playing at home. They have a great offensive trio, Moreno-Hauche-Bieler, and they are scoring goals like crazy (all of them are expected to start). Of course, Velez's offense is even better, with Silva and Martinez topping the top scorers table, but if Estudiantes takes an early start, I seriously doubt their motivation. Thei away form also isn't as frightening as it should, so I think they'll have a lot of fighting to do. Odds are set like this only based on Velez's 'need to win', but in Argentina, that need to win usually means squat, and Racing not to lose looks like a nice bet. GL!

Racing (+0.5 AH) @ 1.82, 4/10
Result: 0-2, LOST

Universidad San Martin - Leon de Huanuco

Peru Primera Division, Final

After the first match ended, I clearly said to myself that the second match will be a no-bet. But due to some events that happened in the last few days, I changed my mind a bit. The most important thing is that Rodas's red card has been deemed illegal, so the small winger will play. And that is a huge boost for Leon, as Rodas is their best players, and 75% of the goals they have scored either came from him, either were scored by him. The only one that is still suspended is striker Calheira, but their main attacking force, Perea, is going to play. San Martin has started an earthquake after learning that Rodas can play, but they had no other option than accept it. So now I expect some extra motivation from their part, to prove they can win the title even with Rodas on the pitch. The suspended striker Arriola is an important miss, but they have a large number of offensive players, and Alemano, Garcia or Vitti can do the job for the Saints. And since the first match ended as a draw, this match is a must win for both teams (in case of a draw, a third game will take place), as none of them will want a decider, especially Huanuco, since they won't be able to choose the venue, so they surely won't be able to rely on the altitude advantage. I see a lot of goals here. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.92, 4/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Cucuta Deportivo - Once Caldas

Colombia Liga Postobon, Play-off

Odds dropped massively on home win, so there's surely no more value here. And even with some higher odds, this could have been tricky... both teams are playing for nothing, but morale should be clearly better in the Once Caldas camp, as they will play the national final, while Cucuta practically ended their season already, without anything major happening for them. And besides that, Once Caldas has the best squad in the league, so it won't be so easy to beat them, even if they are playing with their secondary players (because they are, as they have to play the finals next week). What I do expect in this game, are goals. As I said, Once's players that will start today's game are still at least decent players, and they can surely score here. Meanwhile, Cucuta will probably use their strongest line-up, in order to finish the season on a high note, and give the fans a last win on their stadium, against the probable champions. Without any pressure on either team, they will probably just focus on playing nice, and giving the fans something to cheer about, and the same should apply for Once Caldas. We should see some goals here, but small stakes, as you can't really trust Colombians. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.82, 3/10
Result: 2-1, WON