Apr 21, 2012

Inti Gas - Alianza Lima

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Didn't like a single match from today's schedule, until some recent odds movement (unjustified, as far as I know) made this bet a value bet. Odds opened at around 2.00 for the home win, and now we have much better odds for the -0.25 handicap, so this bet is definitely worth a shot. Alianza is a mess at the moment, with lots of administrative and financial problems, so a lot of players have either already left the club, either are on the verge of leaving. At home they are still performing well, especially since last week they won the Super Clasico, 1-0 with Universitario, but there was a lot of motivation from the players in that match, and Universitario isn't in a much better state. Away from home, however, Alianza is a totally different team, losing all 3 matches played so far. Two of them were at high altitude (1-2 at Garcilaso and 0-3 at Melgar), and today as well the altitude should play a role. Inti Gas is traditionally a good home team, with a 2-1-1 record this year, including a win against Universitario. Also, Alianza managed to win on this stadium only last year, when they were in great form, and their record in Ayacucho is 1-1-3. Current odds worth a medium bet. GL!

Inti Gas (-0.25) @ 2.17, 3/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Apr 19, 2012

Boca Juniors - Zamora

Copa Libertadores 2012, Group Stage

Boca has already qualified from this group, therefore they are switching their immediate focus on the local league, where they are the Clausura leaders, although tied on points with Newell's, and with Velez and Arsenal close by. That's why coach Falcioni will make a massive rotation in the team, leaving only 2 regulars for this match: defender Insaurralde and play maker Riquelme (this may seem as bad news, as Riquelme can have some genius-moments, but from what I've seen, he usually slows down the play, which will suit our bet). Other than that, a lot of reserves, players that haven't seen much action, especially all together at once, so game relations should suffer. Also, one of the forwards (Blandi) didn't play a single full match this season for Boca, and obviously he doesn't have a single goal scored. Now, this match isn't exactly without meaning, as Boca could win the group with 3 points today (provided that Fluminense don't win their match), thus assuring an easier opponent in the next stage. However, I don't think they'll push too much for the trashing, especially with an alternative team, and even a narrow win will be good for them. Zamora will most likely defend with 10 men, as they usually do, so I can't count on them to score. They have never received more than 3 goals in a match this season (just 3 against Arsenal, plus 1 goal/match in the rest except the 0-0 draw with Boca), and with the Argentinians not expected to press too much, this bet looks very nice. GL!

under 3 goals @ 2.06, 4/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Apr 18, 2012

Deportivo Quito - Chivas

Copa Libertadores 2012, Group Stage

While all the teams in this group (Deportivo, Defensor and Chivas) still hold some theoretical chances to qualify to the next stage, only the Ecuadorians have a real option to do so, as they are the only ones to depend only on themselves. Chivas needs to win in Ecuador, and need to do it by a minimum of 4 goals, while also hoping that Defensor will not win in Argentina. So it's obviously a very hard task for the Mexicans, and I seriously doubt their motivation for this match. Even more, there are 6 regulars that haven't even made the trip to Ecuador, as they are still recovering from different injuries. Among those 6 players, we can find their goalkeeper, 3 strikers, one defender and one midfielder. Besides, they should also be more focused on their local league, as they are in a dreadful form (3 consecutive lost matches). Deportivo, as I said, with the best chances to qualify, so they just need to win this match to secure their qualification. High altitude in Quito will also help them a lot, as they have won both home matches at home so far, with a goal difference of 5-0 (trashed Velez by 3-0). meanwhile, Chivas struggled when traveling, losing both matches with a goal difference of 0-4, so I don't think they can do more today, when a lack of motivation is expected. GL!

Deportivo (-1 AH) @ 1.81, 4/10
Result: 5-0, WON

Apr 16, 2012

Cerro Porteno - Olimpia

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

It's time for another Super Clasico in Paraguay, as Cerro Porteno and Olimpia will face off in Ciudad del Este, a scene quite unfamiliar with these type of matches. And even though usually I try to stay away from this big derbies (or go for goals at most), today I have a good feeling about a home win. Cerro comes well into this match, undefeated in their last 4 games, recording some nice wins against Guarani and Libertad. They currently sit on second place, 4 points behind Olimpia, so they should be 100% motivated to take the points here, and to put some pressure on the leaders. Fitness shouldn't be a problem, as they had an entire week to prepare for this match. Not the same can be said about Olimpia, whom I expect to suffer both physically and psychically. On Thursday, they signed their exit from Copa Libertadores, losing at home with Emelec 2-3, despite having the match in hand for a long period of time. Also, in the last half of hour or so, they failed the fitness test, as most players were barely moving on the field, allowing Emelec to dominate and keep the ball. And I doubt their condition is much better now, as 3 days to prepare for a clasico is too little time. The Libertadores defeat should still ring in their heads, and Cerro should take full advantage of that. GL!

Cerro DNB @ 2.00, 3/10
Result: 0-1, LOST

Apr 15, 2012

Union Comercio - Sporting Cristal

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

A lot of money was invested in Sporting Cristal during the off-season, and they actually managed to make a good and solid team, finally capable of fighting for the title. But as it's always the case with money-infused teams, too many wrong steps aren't allowed. And Cristal already made 2 consecutive slumps, losing at the newly-reformed San Martin, and drawing 2-2 at home with league leaders Cesar Vallejo. And while none of this results can be condemned (both San Martin and Cesar Vallejo have good players and are solid teams), coach Mosquera can't afford another wrong turn, so he must win this match, without any excuses. And they are more than able to do that, as they proved many times they can take on tough matches (won 3-2 in Huanuco, 5-0 at Sport Boys, etc). Midfielder Cazulo and top scorer Rengifo are fit to play, so that will surely be a boost for the team. Union Comercio is nothing special so far this season... away from home they haven't won a single match, while as hosts they have 2/3 wins, against poor travelers Huancayo and Inti Gas, while losing to Cesar Vallejo. Quality is definitely on the away side here, and I see some value in this bet, as I was expecting at most a level ball on Cristal. GL!

Cristal (+0.25 AH) @ 1.92, 3/10
Result: 1-1, HALF-WON