Feb 12, 2011

Tacuary - Guarani

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Nice value for this match, because as much as I think about it, I just can't seem to understand why on earth Tacuary is set favorite, and with odds less than 2. Seriously, no explanation at all. They are undefeated after 2 games, it's true, but their win came against Luqueno, which is one of the poorer teams in the league, while their draw came against Cerro Porteno, who is in bad form, and despite dominating the entire match, didn't manage to score the winner and clinch it. Guarani won the Apertura in 2010, and kept fighting at the top in the Clausura, so it's pretty much obvious they are the better team, and as proof we can also look at the head-to-head statistics, with Tacuary winning just 5 out of 23 matches, but only 2 of those wins came in the last 4 years. So it's a clear superiority for Guarani, and there's no reason why it shouldn't go on in this match. Copa Libertadores is scheduled next week, and Guarani will be performers, but they will use their regulars tonight, and I see them as favorites for this match. Going with the value. GL!

Guarani (+0.5 AH) @ 1.84, 4/10
Result: 0-0, WON

Estudiantes la Plata - Newell's Old Boys

Argentina Primera Division, Clausura

Argentina finally restarts it's league, so let's see what the front runners have reserved for this Clausura. Estudiantes of course wants the title, and they have a solid base on which to build, following their Apertura triumph. They were exceptional at home last year, winning all their 9 games, and only conceding a single goal. But things could be a bit different this season, as they have a new coach, Eduardo Berizzo, who will make his debut, and Estudiantes could be too big for him so early in his career. He said to favor an offensive style, similar to Marcelo Bielsa's style (from whom he learned a lot), so this could mean that Estudiantes won't be that defensive rock which we're used to. Newell's is also reported to be using an offensive formation for this duel, and their new signing, Claudio Bieler, is planned to feature in attack, hoping to regain his LDU Quito-form. Attacking Estudiantes might prove worth to try, as you rarely get anything from them if you focus solely on defense. The hosts certainly have the power to win, and void this bet on themselves (2-0 is very probably), but I'm also counting on Newell's to respond. GL!

over 2 goals @ 1.84, 3/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Feb 7, 2011

Emelec - LDU Loja

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Both teams have started the league with a win, but the difference in quality is still there, in Emelec's favor. Today's hosts are gunning for the title, while their less famous opponents will probably be happy just to remain in the league. LDU have beaten El Nacional in the first league, but it was mainly because El Nacional have been playing awfully, despite having an extra-man for almost an hour. Nothing impressive from Loja's part, and I don't expect an enthusiastic result today, especially since they will miss two defenders (Omar de Jesus and Renan Calle) who are not fit. Meanwhile, Emelec produced a solid display against Espoli, winning it 2-1, and for today they will have some more good news, as two of their recent transfers will make their debut: striker Strahman (who has already scored for Emelec in a friendly match) and Edison Mendez (who returns to Ecuador after a bad injury-struck season in Brazil), who is likely to relish the return to Ecuadorian football. The handicap line is higher than my liking, but LDU shouldn't be much of a challenge for Emelec, and I can't see anything lower than a 2-0 for the hosts. GL!

Emelec (-1.25 AH) @ 1.73, 5/10
Result: 3-2, HALF LOST

Feb 6, 2011

Nacional Montevideo - Montevideo Wanderers

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

The Uruguay Clausura is starting tonight, and a lot is expected from several team. Nacional is of course one of them, because ever since Juan Ramon Carrasco took over, the club has been reborn. Carrasco won 6 games and drew another 2, to finish Apertura as 2nd in the tables. And every time one of his teams are playing, the viewers can be sure to see a nice show. Carrasco is known as a super-offensive coach, and he rarely starts a match with less than 3 strikers on the pitch, and he has been doing that since his early managerial career. And we can look even at Nacional in the Apertura, where they managed to score 20 goals in the 8 games under his command. And for today, a 3-3-1-3 system is expected, and that is clearly a message of 'score as much as possible'. Wanderers also isn't a team to crowd the defense and hope for a draw. They have some fast players, and try to take advantage of the opposition's spaces every time possible. And since Nacional will be focused on attack, and with their ultra-offensive tactics, Wanderes will have plenty of spaces. The line for the over seems small, and I doubt we'll be seeing anything less than 3 goals. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.88, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST