Sep 10, 2011

Danubio - Nacional Montevideo

Uruguay Primera Division, Apertura

Only 4 teams are still undefeated in Uruguay after 4 rounds, and 2 of them are facing each other in tonight's most attractive match. Danubio and Nacional are two of the league's 'greats', but so far, despite both being undefeated, they have pretty much opposed results, as Danubio won 1 and drew 3, while Nacional has it the other way around. And with Danubio acting as hosts today, I'll consider them slight favorites, even more so because Nacional's game is just not working right, and their defense is as bad as can be. And all of this despite their good win last week, 3-2 with River, despite playing for more than an hour with a man less. Coach Gallardo (who so far hasn't proved he has what it takes for this job) will make some changes in defense. Central defender Viera is suspended, which will provide another important blow for the team, but there will be changes in the lateral sections of the defense as well, in an attempt to solidify the second worst defense in the league. Danubio is traditionally strong at home, and I believe they can take advantage of Nacional's awful form. Anyway, the bookies made a mistake setting Nacional as favorites (I can't find a single argument for that), so the value is definitely on Danubio. GL!

Danubio DNB @ 1.97, 3/10
Result: 1-1, VOID

Manta - Deportivo Cuenca

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

This bet might seem as a bit of a stretch, especially if we look at Manta's recent form, but I see small value over here, and I'm going for it. Manta have indeed been in poor form, winning only 4 points in this second stage, and being without a win in the last 6 matches. But that should be history now, as last week they have signed a new coach, so I'm also counting a bit on the 'new coach effect'. Then we should look at Cuenca, whom I don't see as a much better team. They have been very unstable so far, and although they manage to snatch some good results against some of the good teams (won with LDU and Emelec), they also manage to fail miserably when they are favorites for a game (drew at Olmedo, and lost at Imbabura and LDU Loja). Manta was normally a pretty strong home team, and with coach Osma I expect some improvements in the team (especially since they can't get any worse than they were). Cuenca will miss striker Govea, who is still injured. In mutual matches, we can once again see why Manta should be considered a solid home team, as they have lost only 1 of their last 8 matches played on the Jocay stadium. I see this game as 50-50, that's why I see some small value in this bet, and I'm going to take it small. GL!

Manta DNB @ 2.02, 3/10
Result: 1-1, VOID

Sep 4, 2011

Nacional Asuncion - Independiente

Paraguay Primera Division, Clausura

Nacional entered a slight negative run of form, as they have 3 consecutive matches without a win, and there are already some voices of discontent, for which I expect a bounce back tonight. First of all, in the league, they drew at home with Cerro Porteno and lost at Sportivo Luqueno, but they were using mixed squads for those matches, so those matches can be overlooked. But, they were resting the regulars for the Sudamericana clashes, and the low level showed against Aurora (1-1 at home) was the result that sparked those negative comments. But they still are one of the best Paraguayan teams, and with a full team expected to start tonight, I trust them to turn things around, and silence those who are criticizing them. Especially since Independiente are one of the lower teams from the league. It's true that they have only lost one of the 5 matches played in the Clausura, but they also have only won one game in their last 14 games (9 of those were draws), and their recent good form came mostly against teams of similar stature (won at Cerro Porteno, and that's a big surprise, but otherwise they recorded only draws against teams like Sol de America, Luqueno, etc... including a loss at General Caballero). And keep in mind that we also have the revenge factor, as Independiente caused Nacional's biggest loss in the Apertura, trashing them 5-1. So I expect a blood-thirsty Nacional tonight, going out to strike early in the match, and they should win this comfortably. GL!
Nacional (-0.75 AH) @ 1.80, 4/10 
Result: 2-1, HALF WON

Penarol - Defensor Sporting

Uruguay Primera Division, Apertura

Second derby of this season in the Uruguayan first league, but the first between the teams that look like serious title contenders. Both teams started the season in style, being undefeated in the first 3 rounds, and although Penarol has a 2 points advantage, Defensor has the slight 'advantage' of having already played Nacional, the other big name of Uruguay. Penarol looked good in attack, cunning, and with deadly counter-attacks (except last match, that ended 0-0, but was played on a soaked pitch), but also their defense looked vulnerable at times, despite not conceding a goal yet, and a classy goalscorer like Risso could take advantage of that. And the defensive worries will surely get bigger today, for both teams. Penarol will miss defender Alejandro Gonzalez and defensive midfielder Nicolas Freitas. Meanwhile, Defensor continues with it's run of injured players, a run that started last tournament, and is still going on now. In the last few months, there are around 6-7 serious injuries for Defensor, and all of them in the defensive section. So, coach Repetto will have to dig even deeper to find a decent defensive line, one that it's been a long time since they showed their usual security. Zalayeta and Risso are the main offensive weapons for these 2 teams, and I'm quite sure they'll try to take as much advantage as possible from these weakened defenses. I expect some goals here. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 2.02, 3/10
Result: 1-0, LOST