Aug 13, 2011

Racing - Liverpool

Uruguay Primera Division, Apertura

Small bet on this match, as it is the only one that looks interesting today. This is the first round of the Uruguayan championship, but today we have little action. With the main contenders to the title (Nacional and Penarol) not scheduled to play, we have a clash between two mid-table teams, that still don't know where they are, and what to expect from this season. Liverpool went through a lot of changes in the pre-season, with regards to the playing squad and the technical staff. From what is expected in today's line-up, only 4 players have had an important role to play in the club last season, while the rest of the players are either last season's substitues, or new signings (and these new players are nothing spectacular at first sight). Meanwhile, Racing is going for continuity. They have kept most of their players from last season (when they did a pretty good campaign), and as a result, 8 players from today's expected line-up had a more or less important role in the last year. Therefore, I'm choosing Racing here, as the unity of the group should be a lot stronger than Liverpool's, and the team-play also should have better effects. GL!

Racing (-0.25 AH) @ 2.03, 4/10
Result: 1-1, HALF LOST

Aug 9, 2011

LDU Quito - Independiente Jose Teran

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Following their mid-week trip to Venezuela (where they drew 1-1 with Yaracuyanos), LDU returns to the local league to close the 4th round. And they need a win, if they are to keep the pace with their city rivals, Deportivo Quito. As a reminder, Emelec won the first round of the championship, and are already in the final, so LDU has no other choice than to win this second round, if they want to challenge for silverware at the end of the season. And they have been doing well so far, despite a first round loss at Olmedo (missed a lot of first team players + received 2 red cards), but then they recovered and won with Emelec (again with a depleted squad) and at Imbabura. They can count on some players now, although there are still a few unavailable, but at least they will have defender Guagua and Calderon again. Bieler could also be given a place in the starting line-up, up-front along Barcos. Independiente is coming after 2 consecutive wins, but against Espoli and Imbabura, so we can't really rely on those results. LDU are huge favorites here, and in the last 1 and a half years, they have won all 6 matches against Independiente, 4 times even covering the handicap. Their engine started working again, so I believe they won't have to sweat too much, and I expect a comfortable 2-0 win. GL!

LDU (-1.25 AH) @ 1.79, 4/10
Result: 1-2, LOST

Aug 8, 2011

Sporting Cristal - Sport Boys

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Sporting Cristal has been in awful form recently, having not won in the last 10 matches, and are coming into this derby in a not so good mood. So then, why to bet on them? First of all, I still give them an advantage in quality, despite being near the bottom of the table, 3 points behind Boys. They have some good players, and with a little bit of work, they could very well climb some places in the standings. Then, we have their form. It's true that their stats are very grim, but in Peru, very few teams keep a winless run for too long, and Cristal's 10 matches run is bound to end sooner or later, and if not against Boys (who are usually very poor travelers - only 2 wins on the road last season), then I don't know against whom. And Cristal will also be able to count on several players that haven't been used last round. They will have a renewed midfield line, as they welcome back Advincula and Lobaton from the national team, along with new signings Espinoza and Ross. Offensive-wise, Cristal should also look better, as they have 3 good forwards ready to jump in: new signings Alva and Gonzalez-Vigil, as well as last season's top-scorer Ximenez. All in all, Cristal have the quality to end their bad run, and the return of the above-mentioned players should provide them with a boost. GL!

Cristal (-0.5 AH) @ 1.75, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

Aug 7, 2011

El Nacional - Emelec

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Expecting several goals here. Carrasco's tiqui-tiqui has worked and not so far... They managed to pulverize Imbabura in the first round, with a sounding 5-0, but then they just faded-out, losing to a depleted LDU Quito, and then managing just a 1-0 win with Manta. So I expect a reaction tonight, especially since we'll see the debut of Emelec's 2 new strikers: Nicolas Vigneri and Franco, both Uruguayan players, who will be sharing the offensive duties with Hurtado, in what should be an offensive 4-3-3. And I expect it to work, since El Nacional have the poorest defense so far in the Segunda Etapa, conceding 7 goals in 3 matches. But it won't all be easy for Emelec.El Nacional is also expected to react after their 2 consecutive trashings, and they usually get strong at home against the big teams, and they especially have an eye for Emelec. The Electricos haven't won at El Nacional since 2002. Striker Anangono has score 9 times so far for El Nacional, and will be the main threat for Emelec's defense. The 2 coaches, Carrasco and Saralegui, are also good friends, and have known each other for a long time, so they could try to exploit the others weaknesses. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 2.06, 3/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Universitario - CNI

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Important day for Universitario, but unfortunately the celebrations are stained by internal problems. Today, the Peruvian giants will be celebrating 87 years of their proud history, so a win at home would be the best possible way to celebrate, and to make the fans happy. And players have already said they will be giving their all to win on this day, and are trying to put behind them the financial insecurity (they are more or less up to date with the wages, but there is still some insecurity for the near future). And they also need to pick themselves up from last round's defeat at Aurich (heavy match, so the players shouldn't take it too hard). Forward Johan Fano is suspended, and will be replaced by Ruidiaz, which is a good thing in my opinion, as Ruidiaz is faster than Fano, and more agile, with very good dribbling skills. Vitti is also playing, and his skills are likely to make the difference in this match. CNI managed a win last round, against Cesar Vallejo (unstable team), but now should be a totally different story, especially since CNI are renowned poor traveler, having won just one match away from home this season. Quality advantage goes for the Cremas, and if mentally they will be ready, this should go as an easy crowd-pleasing victory. GL!

Universitario (-1 AH) @ 2.15, 3/10
Result: 2-0, WON