Jan 28, 2011

Cerro Porteno - Deportivo Petare

Copa Libertadores

Early bet on this match, as I expect the odds to drop some more on match day. Deportivo Petare isn't a team with too much international experience. In fact, they're only international appearances in the last 10 years were 2 times in Sudamericana (never went past the preliminary stages) and last year in the Copa Libertadores groups. They may have been handed a tough group, but they did little to impress, and showed a clear image of how poor the Venezuelan football really is (lost twice against both Velez and Colo Colo, and their only point came at home after a draw against Cruzeiro). I'm not watching Venezuela closely, but I seriously doubt they have improved at all since last year, especially since in the first 2 rounds they drew with Anzoategui and lost at Mineros Guyana. Cerro Porteno may not have the quality of teams like Velez Sarsfield, but they're a good team, and can pose problems even to some of the big names. They also made a couple of interesting signings during the pre-season, like strikers Lucero and Fabbro, as well as defenders Uglessich and Lautaro Formica. Pretty good players, that could help the team a lot. And with Cerro being one of the powerhouses of the Paraguayan football, and also with tons of international experience, they should solve this match quite easily, as the Venezuelans shouldn't pose much of a problem. GL!

Cerro Porteno (-1 AH) @ 1.97, 4/10
Result: 1-0, VOID

Jan 27, 2011

Alianza Lima - Jaguares Chiapas

Copa Libertadores

Nice odds on the Peruvians here, despite them dropping a bit since the market opened. Alianza wants the qualification to the Group stage, and for this they want and need to win, and win big, in order to save themselves from extra-stress in the tricky return leg. Alianza had a solid off-season, managing to bring in some good players like Junior Viza (who unfortunately won't play today), or Christian Ramos from the league champions. They also played several friendlies in Argentina, with positive results, the highlight being their success in the Copa Ciudad de Rosario, ahead of Newell's and Universidad Catolica, in which they played some good matches, and their strikers Ovelar and Peirone (who are expected to start tonight as well) seemed pretty comfortable. Jaguares looked like an uncomfortable team in the Mexican Apertura, but if there's one thing they miss, that's international experience, and they really need that against a rival like Alianza. They also needed to travel over 3000 km to Peru, this coming right after a match on Sunday, so some heavy legs are to be expected. Moreover, Jagures have only won 2 times as visitors in the league (one of them being away at lowly Necaxa), so for sure they are going to face some problems in Lima, against a team that knows how to put pressure, and against a fanatic public. Despite the drop, the odds are still good in my opinion, as the real price shouldn't have been more than 1.60 for Alianza. GL!

Alianza Lima (-0.5 AH) @ 1.85, 5/10
Result: 0-2, LOST

Corinthians - Deportes Tolima

Copa Libertadores

I like this match a lot, despite the fact that I usually hate handicaps higher than 1.00 in South American competitions. But for this clash, the Brazilians have reportedly prepared a super-offensive team, in an attempt to solve the qualification issue tonight, without having to go and work to hard in Colombia. As reports are saying, Corinthians will use 3 strikers tonight, namely Jorge Henrique, very talented Dentinho, and veteran Ronaldo - whose experience could prove invaluable to the team. Along them, offensive midfielder Bruno Cesar should also play, and he can cause some havoc with his forward runs. And let's not forget the other veteran, Roberto Carlos, who can still cause a lot of problems on the left flank. Corinthians didn't enjoy a very good start of the Paulista championship, so I'm counting on them to turn it around in this match, especially since they are playing at home, and last year in Serie A they have won 15 out of 19 games. I don't see Tolima as being anything special, especially away from home, in front of the hard-core Brazilian supporters. Their only hope is to keep the scoreline to a minimum and hope to turn it around in Colombia, but really doubt that can happen. Corinthians could easily win by at least 2 goals even if they play in the second gear, so it will probably all depend on how lazy the Brazilians get, but knowing that this is a two-legged match, my money's on committed performance. GL!

Corinthians (-1.5 AH) @ 2.07, 3/10
Result: 0-0, LOST