Nov 10, 2011

Vasco da Gama - Universitario

Copa Sudamericana, Quarter-finals

Lost a bit of value for this bet, but I decided it's better to wait until the mast minute for the latest news. And apparently that was a good thing, as today I just found out that Vasco's coach has decided to use his best players, unlike a few days ago, when there were speculations that he'll use a reserve team again. But no, he wants both the Brasileiro and the Sudamericana, and it's expected that we'll see the same team that played against Santos in the weekend. Juninho, Diego Souza and other top players are therefore expected to start, and I'm counting on Vasco to start pressing early on, as they have a 2-goal deficit to overturn, and the extra-time surely doesn't feature in their plans, due to their packed schedule. Universitario will also use their best squad, after resting a few key players during the weekend, and although they'll probably sit back and try to defend, they can create some real havoc on the counters. Fano and Ruidiaz are very fast strikers, and they had a bit of fun with the Brazilian defense in the first leg. Surely it won't be that easy tonight, but they have good chances to score (in the previous round, Vasco won 8-3 with Aurora, with the Bolivians scoring 2 goals while being a man down), and we should be seeing at least 3 goals here. GL!

over 2.75 goals @ 1.90, 4/10
Result: 5-2, WON

Nov 7, 2011

Libertad - Guarani

Paraguay Primera Division, Clausura

A small bet on the underdog here. This is a big opportunity for Guarani to get back into race for the top positions, despite currently sitting 10 points behind the leaders. Libertad is in the middle of their quarter-final duties in Copa Sudamericana, and their minimum 0-1 loss in Quito leaves them with some solid chances to turn that result around. But, after a great effort and great determination from the players in the high altitude from Ecuador, plus the road there and back, they may have emptied their gas tanks, that is why the coach will field an alternative team. It is not yet certain how many regulars will be rested, but don't expect much from those that will play, as fatigue will surely leave a mark on them. For Guarani this should be a wake-up call, as they have been performing below expectations recently, so a match against Libertad should give them the determination to gain some credibility. The handicap line is nice, also covers us in case of a draw, so it should be worth a few units. GL!

Guarani (+0.25 AH) @ 2.02, 3/10
Result: 3-2, LOST

Juan Aurich - Cienciano

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Juan Aurich has a great chance to secure their place in the league's final, as a win here would at least keep the difference (if Huancayo and Leon also win their matches) to 7 points, and it would be practically impossible to lose that advantage in the last 3 rounds. And their home form has been superb this season, being still undefeated, winning 10 of their 13 matches played in Chiclayo. Cienciano are hopeful of a Copa Sudamericana qualification, but their recent form (only won 2 of their last 10 games, one of them being against the youth team of Universitario), and their away form (2-3-8 as visitors) don't give them much hope for this clash. Even more, they will have two important missing, that are likely to provide a huge blow. First of all, veteran striker and symbol of the team, Ibarra, is injured, while coach Jurado also won't be present on the bench, due to some spinal problems. Head to head also favors Aurich, winning 4 games at home, from 6 played, so I don't see them missing this opportunity. GL!

Juan Aurich (-1.25 AH) @ 2.04, 3/10
Result: 5-0, WON

Nov 6, 2011

Sport Huancayo - Sport Boys

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Last 4 rounds in the Peruvian championship, and things are far from being settled, as we have 3 teams fighting to reach the finals, 4 teams for the last Libertadores spot, and another 4 teams hoping for a Sudamericana place. First up, we have Sport Huancayo, who could theoretically still take the 2nd place. But on a more realistic note, their objective right now is to reach the 3rd place, that will take them straight to the Copa Libertadores, from which they are 1 point behind. So winning their next match is a must, if they want to keep fighting all the way to the wire. No injuries or suspensions for them, so their best line-up is expected, including their in-form offensive players: Avila and Sotil. Sport Boys can pretty much relax for the remaining rounds. They are 6 points ahead of the relegation zone, and it is highly unlikely that Alianza Atletico will win all their 3 matches in order to put pressure on them. So, being 99% safe, and with slim chances to reach Copa Sudamericana, despite being just 4 points behind the last qualifier spot, they are playing for nothing here. With a not so great away record, and with a high altitude in Huancayo, Boys shouldn't pose many problems here. GL!

Huancayo (-1 AH) @ 1.75, 4/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Cerro Porteno - Nacional

Paraguay Primera Division

Nacional will have some squad problems for this derby. 18 players have traveled to Iran on Monday, and around 11-12 of them are from the first squad. They had a contract signed for a mini-tour in Iran, and the Federation refused to postpone this match, so they'll have to take on Cerro Porteno with what they have. Of course, some of their most used players have been left in Paraguay, but at least 5 changes are expected, compared to their usual line-up. And things could get even worse in case of an injury, or in the second half, because almost all the players from the bench are youngsters. And even their form is shaky, having lost their last 2 matches, against General Caballero and Sol de America (two of the lower teams of the league), thus giving Cerro Porteno a chance to tie them for the top league position. El Ciclon comes in good form, 2 consecutive victories, and undefeated for almost a month. Also, they are playing very nice football, scoring 14 goals in the last 5 games. For tonight, a solid line-up is expected, with their offensive weapons ready to go: dos Santos, Bareiro and Nanni (who comes from a suspension), and I expect them to be too much for a decimated Nacional. GL!

Cerro Porteno (-0.25 AH) @ 1.97, 5/10
Result: 1-3, LOST