Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa
It's nice to finally change the setting from Copa America to a national championship (especially after my 2 recent slumps), so let's see what the restart of the Ecuadorian league has to offer. Deportivo Quito is, of course, once again hoping for the title. They came close to qualifying for the final, but they couldn't keep the pace, so they have to start all over again. They have pretty much the same squad as in the first round, so they can hope to be up there again, but for this first match, they are having some serious problems within their squad, as 6 first team players are unavailable: goalkeeper Elizaga, midfielder Escobar, defender Castro and forward Cano are all injured, while midfielder Oswaldo Minda and top league striker Bevacqua are suspended. From all of them, only Elizaga and Bevacqua are key absences, as they are top players (Elizaga was one of Ecuador's best players in their short Copa America adventure), but also important is the absence of Escobar and Minda, which could prove to be disruptive for their midfield line. Manta is an ok team, who finished the first round in good form, losing just 1 of their last 6 games, including a 2-0 win over Deportivo. They shouldn't have many problems with avoiding relegation, but even so, they should want a good campaign, especially since most of their regulars remained with the team. I doubt that Deportivo will cover the handicap, with so many absences in their squad. GL!
Manta (+1.25 AH) @ 2.02, 4/10Result: 4-0, LOST