Jul 29, 2011

Monarcas Morelia - Tempete FC

CONCACAF Champions League

This is the clearest match from all of the Preliminary round. Tempete is a team from Haiti, and is the poorest from this competition, along Alpha United. They qualified for the Champions League by finishing second in the CFU Club Championship, but even there, they did not impress. They needed penalties in the second round to go past Caledonia from T&T, moved to the final after another penalty shoot-out in the semi-final against Defence Force (also from T&T), and were beaten in the final by the Puerto Rico Islanders, 1-3 after extra-time. Now let's put them against Monarcas Morelia, a team that should be 3 or 4 classes above any team from the Carribean zone, and we should have a real trashing here. Haitians are a no match for Mexicans, under any circumstances, and this match should be no different. Monarcas should win by a minimum of 5-0, because that represents the quality gap, and from there they can score just for the fun. GL!

Monarcas (-2 AH) @ 1.58, 8/10
Result: 5-0, WON

Jul 28, 2011

Santos Laguna - Olimpia

CONCACAF Champions League

One thing is certain in this Champions League: the Mexicans bring profit, so we'll back both teams from this country in the Preliminary round. Herediano clearly showed last night the huge difference in quality between some of the teams, as they beat a team from Guyana 8-0. This probably won't be the case in this match, as Olimpia is one of the best non-Mexican teams from the competition, but still, they should be 2 classes below any Mexican team, including Santos Laguna. However, Olimpia are rather poor travelers, and aren't in such a great form as to put any problems to Santos in this first leg. Santos knows they will have a tough away match, so they should focus on getting as big an advantage as possible in this match, so they can take it easy in Honduras next week. And they certainly have the power to do so, especially after a confident performance in the league, where they've beaten Pachuca 4-1 last weekend. The handicap isn't very big for this match, and I think that a 2-0 win should be a minimum here, but of course, the score could get even bigger, depending on how good Santos feels on the pitch. GL!

Santos (-1.25 AH) @ 1.67, 5/10
Result: 3-1, WON

Jul 27, 2011

Herediano - Alpha United

CONCACAF Champions League

The 2011/2012 CONCACAF Champions League will start tonight with it's Preliminary Round, and it will mark an important event for both teams involved in this match. For Herediano, it will be their return to the highest level of football in CONCACAF, while Alpha United will be making the first appearance of a team from Guyana in the Champions League. So of course, both teams want to perform at their best. But there should a clear difference in quality between them. Alpha managed to qualify after finishing third in the CFU Club Championship, where they had alternating performances. They managed to hold Puerto Rico Islanders (big favorites) to a draw (lost in ET, in the semi-finals), as well as Defence Force in the third place match. But, they were quite lucky in both matches, as they could have easily lost both of them. Herediano won't be playing at their home stadium, but on the new Estadio Nacional, and this will be the first ever match played on it. They have managed to keep most of their squad with which they won Torneo Invierno and reached the semi-finals of Torneo Verano. Herediano also lost only 1 match as hosts in the entire season, and even if that doesn't count for too much here, it will help with their confidence, especially since Alpha are rather poor travelers when going outside their country. They also came to Costa Rica in several groups, and will only have 1 day to prepare for this match with all their players. Small stakes, as form is still questionable for Herediano, but quality should prevail. GL!

Herediano (-1.5 AH) @ 1.85, 3/10
Result: 8-0, WON