Mar 30, 2012

Zamora - Fluminense

Copa Libertadores 2012, Group Stage

There is no doubt who is the better team here. Fluminense has the better players (much better, some of them), and are by far a more solid team than the Venezuelans, therefore they are rightly set as favorites (odds are too low anyway, but still, they are indeed big favorites). But Zamora showed many times that they're not such an easy nut to crack. Besides the 0-3 defeat at Arsenal, they showed good defending skills (if defending with 10 men can be called 'skill'), holding Boca to a 0-0 draw, and losing by just 0-1 in Brazil. They know they have no chances to qualify from this group, but for them, any point against their much ilustrious oponents is golden, so I'm expecting them to use the same tactics as before, with 10 men in front of their own goal (attacking would be suicidal, everybody knows that). And Fluminense are by no chance a team that likes to trash their opponents. They will most likely take their time trying to break an over-crowded defense, and a win by the limit will work just perfect for them. Can't see something more than a 2-0 win for the Brazilians, so the under is definitely worth a shot. GL!

under 2.5 goals @ 1.81, 4/10
Result: 0-1, WON

Mar 29, 2012

Olimpia - Flamengo

Copa Libertadores 2012, Group Stage

Very low line, in my opinion, especially after seeing last week's match. After that match (Flamengo had a 3-0 lead, but let it slip in the last 15 minutes, ending in a 3-3 draw), I can say for sure that Flamengo will come to Paraguay for revenge. And with Olimpia being a team that won't give up that easily, especially at home, I expecting several goals once again. Both teams are in with good chances to qualify, but a loss today could complicate things, and I'm sure nobody wants that. That's why I'm expecting an offensive game from both teams, trying to take advantage of the defensive weaknesses that both teams presented. And this thing will surely be helped by the fact that both Olimpia and Flamengo have the players with which to do damage. For example, Olimpia has Orteman, Marin, Caballero and Zeballos, players that could strike deadly at any time, especially on counters and from set pieces. On the other side, the Brazilians have Ronaldinho, Wagner Love, Deivid and Bottinelli, players who for sure don't need any presentation. So, with this being said, and with the line set as low as 2.25, there is definitely a bit of value in this bet. GL!

over 2.25 goals @ 1.88, 5/10
Result: 3-2, WON

LDU Quito - Independiente

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

The odds are definitely not to my satisfaction here, especially since they went down quite a bit, but this bet should be won without a sweat, and even the -1 is worth taking. That's because LDU has a great team this season, and after 3 matches without a single win, they are bound to bounce back and take the points. Coach Bauza worked a lot with the team, trying to get them back into focus, as the draw with Tecnico and the back to back defeats with Cuenca and Loja have left a lot of people angry, including the fans and the management. I still see LDU as the main favorites to the title this season, and those last 3 matches should be enough for a wake-up call. Defenders Araujo and Calderon are suspended, but should be well replaced by de la Cruz and Bone. Independiente is making quite a nice campaign so far, but they have started to show their limitations in the last few matches, drawing at last placed Olmedo before losing at home to Manta. Also, they will be missing 3 regulars today, and that should make the team even weaker, especially in midfield, where they will miss Leon and Ona. Would be a huge surprise if LDU fails again, but I'm sure they will recover, and the score could get ugly for Independiente.

LDU (-0.75 AH) @ 1.69, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

Mar 28, 2012

U de Chile - Penarol

Copa Libertadores, Group Stage

Again, this will be a match that no one will be happy to lose. U de Chile needs the 3 points in order to move to second place of the group, while Penarol needs the win in order to give some balance to the group, and keep their qualification hopes alive. The Chileans, who last year have won the Copa Sudamericana without a single loss, aren't the same team as in 2011, but they are still a tough opponent for everybody, and lately they have showed some great form, especially at home, and here I'm talking about the 5-1 trashing of Godoy Cruz, a much better team defensive-wise than Penarol. Also, in their last 6 matches they have scored 18 goals, with Ruidiaz and Rodriguez in great form, so I think it's fair to expect another great match from them. Penarol just can't sit and wait in defense, because a point will not help them with anything, so they too have to go in attack and look for goals, leaving some spaces behind. I'm expecting a great match to watch, and if everything goes as planned, we could be in for a real goal-fest. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.79, 5/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Nacional - Alianza Lima

Copa Libertadores, Group Stage

In the first leg, the over didn't deliver as I expected, but this time, Nacional should take control of the match, and I'm confident they will make a great match. They could've snatched a point even last week, despite playing the closing moments of the match with 2 men less, so today they should be more focused and determined to get the result. Especially since both them and Alianza are in a rather poor place, and a defeat today will pretty much see them out of the competition. Alianza failed to cope with Nacional's speed in their previous match, so coach Gallardo will make his bets on speed again, with some quick wingers and forwards, in order to destabilize a slow defense. Viudez, Sanchez and Bueno will be responsible for creating danger in the third part of the field. Alianza will most likely come to defend, and will hope to hit on the couters with Fernandez as their only goal-mouth. And if previously I've mentioned Nacional's defensive issues, they shouldn't get any better today. They haven't shown much improvement defensive-wise in their last matches, and the suspensions of Damonte (def midfielder) and Placente (defender) will definitely not help them. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.86, 5/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Mar 26, 2012

Tacuary - Cerro Porteno

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Tacuary seems to be in their worst form ever. Only 2 points in the first 7 rounds are making this Apertura a disaster for them. And even though I know they'll wake up eventually, as this dreadful run won't last forever, I will be very surprised to see them recovering against Cerro. Especially since there are no signs of that, losing their last 3 matches with a goal difference of 3-12 (including here a 0-4 defeat at Guarani, and a 2-6 home loss with Sol de America). Cerro Porteno should be an even tougher nut to crack, so I don't really see Tacuary finding the strength to steal at least one point. Especially since Cerro will be pretty much in full squad and motivated, as a win today will put them on second place, 2 points behind leaders Olimpia. Pedro Benitez is the only one that will miss this match, otherwise Cerro has no squad problems, and in the starting line-up we see dos Santos, Edgar Benitez, Salcedo and Nanni. They come in good form, winning 5 of their last 6 matches, and they shouldn't slow down at an awful Tacuary. GL!

Cerro (-1 AH) @ 2.05, 3/10
Result: 2-4, WON

Libertad - Sportivo Carapegua

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Libertad are losing space in the Primera Division, for which they need to start summing up points again. Two consecutive defeats against rivals from Cerro Porteno and Olimpia put a serious dent in their title aspirations, as they are now currently 9 points behind leaders Olimpia. That difference could be 6 points, but for that, Libertad needs to go out and take the win tonight. Carapegua is on fire lately, and comes after 3 consecutive wins, but only the one against Nacional can be considered a great achievement (matches against Rubio Nu and Independiente are usually up for grabs for everyone). However, I don't expect this good form to last forever, and Libertad should have plenty of quality and motivation to end it. Especially since in their away matches, Carapegua only won the aforementioned match at Rubio, otherwise losing at Cerro de Franco and Olimpia, and drawing at Luqueno. Libertad has no Libertadores duties next week, so they can field their best team. Motivation should also be at a maximum level, as another wrong turn will definitely knock them out of the title fight. GL!

Libertad (-1 AH) @ 2.03, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST