Nov 5, 2011

Universitario - Inti Gas

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

All the talk about Universitario's financial crisis, administrative problems, their participation in Copa Sudamericana, and the fact that they will use a mixed squad for his match, gave us very sweet odds on them. But, let's take them one at a time. The financial crisis is real, but this week they received some money, and managed to pay a part of the debts towards the players. Not much, but enough to convince them to sign the Syndicate's papers, so now they play the points on the field (unlike their previous 2 matches, where they lost the points even before playing the match). Their Copa Sudamericana campaign could be a problem here, as indeed they will rest some key players, but it is not yet certain how many. But since they are really starting to be threatened by relegation (only 4 points in front of the 'red zone'), and encouraged by the fact that the players also agreed to sign those papers so they can avoid relegation, I'm expecting a pretty decent line-up, that won't be a sure victim. Especially since Inti Gas have lost 8 of their 13 away games, and have the worst defense as visitors, receiving 34 goals. The referee could also have an impact here, as I doubt it will be in anyone's interest to see Universitario relegating. GL!

Universitario (-0.5 AH) @ 2.14, 3/10
Result: 0-0, LOST

Nov 4, 2011

LDU Quito - Libertad

Copa Sudamericana, Quarter-finals

I'm going early with this bet, as odds already started to drop heavily, and will most likely continue to do so. The quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana presents us a few surprise teams, and one of them is Libertad Asuncion, who pulled off a great win and qualification against Sao Paulo. But now they have an even harder task, as they have odds against them. First, they have to face LDU Quito, a strong cup opponent, who is always a threat in the continental competitions, especially at home, as they have a huge advantage in the high altitude from Quito. Secondly, Libertad could also feel some heavy legs, as they played 4 matches in the last 10 days, and the coach had little chances to rotate his squad, as Libertad is also fighting for the national title. So, a run of many games, combined with the jet-lag and the effects of the altitude, don't look to good for the Paraguayans. LDU had a slightly easier schedule, and their excellent home form in the continental competitions give them the edge here. No important injuries for any of them, and I'm confident LDU will head into the second leg with an advantage. GL!

LDU (-1 AH) @ 1.89, 4/10
Result: 1-0, VOID

Nov 3, 2011

Universitario - Vasco da Gama

Copa Sudamericana, Quarter-finals

With only 6 rounds remaining in the Brasileiro championship, Vasco is still hanging on to their top spot. But after their last 0-0 draw, Corinthians tied them on points, with Botafogo also lurking close by, so obviously, the focus for everyone at the team goes to the local league. That is why they have decided to send only 3 of their regulars to play in tonight's match: goalkeeper Prass, defender Conserva and midfielder Diego Souza. All the others are left in Brazil, including star player Juninho Pernambucano, so the rest of the places on the pitch will be taken by reserves and maybe even a few youngsters. Universitario has ended it's national campaign, as it doesn't look likely they will score other points in the remaining rounds, due to some debts they have with the Players' Syndicate. All the players are well rested, as the weekend match from Cuzco was played by the reserves/youngsters, so they should be well prepared for the Brazilians. Universitario put in some good performances to knock-out Godoy Cruz in the previous round, and they should again have the edge here, against a second-string Brazilian team, that is also probably thinking more about their weekend clash with Santos. GL!

Universitario DNB @ 1.96, 4/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Nov 2, 2011

Santa Fe - Velez

Copa Sudamericana, Quarter-finals

I'm expecting some goals here, so this line obviously seems rather low. Velez doesn't seem like the most offensive team in Argentina, and that is true, but they come into this match on a nice goal-scoring form, as they have scored at least a goal in their last 9 matches (althoough in those 9 games they scored only 11 goals), but the fact is that they are scoring. And since they took their best players to Bogota (full strenght line-up is expected), I don't expect them to go down so easily, especially since they can do a lot of damage on counter-attacks. However, I'm expecting Santa Fe to be in a commanding position for this match, helped also by the altitude, and they can score the 2 goals needed for the void all by themselves. Especially since they enjoy being giant-killers, and for that we only need to look at their previous match, when they trashed Botafogo with 4-1. They should also be well rested, as they had a full week to prepare for this match, and know that a narrow 1-0 lead probably won't be enough for the second-leg. GL!

over 2 goals @ 1.80, 3/10
Result: 1-1, VOID

Oct 31, 2011

Emelec - LDU Loja

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Great improvement for Emelec since the start of the second stage. If at the beginning they were barely getting points, had a funny defense, and everybody was criticising Carrasco's super-offensive tactics, now they have 6 victories in their last 10 matches, and are still hopeful of catching up with the leader Deportivo Quito. Not to get carried away, of course, as they are 8 points behind the leaders, and only a miracle would see them win the league title without having to play the final. However, they will take each match one at a time, trying to further improve their play. Today, an offensive trio is once again expected, with Iza, Franco and Vignieri responsible with the goals. Loja will play the remaining matches for fun, as they are safe from relegation, but also far away from any International qualifying place. So, without pressure, I expect them to make some entertaining matches. They are usually good on counter-attacks, and that should prove helpful against Emelec, a team that leaves plenty of spaces behind when attacking. In their 3 previous matches of the season, there were 12 goals scored, and average of 4 per match, so I'm going on goals here. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.84, 3/10
Result: 4-1, WON