Jun 27, 2012

Olimpia Asuncion - Guarani

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

This is a match that could have major implications in the title race. Olimpia will take a big step forward if they manage to win tonight, keeping at minimum the 4 points advantage that they have over the second placed team. But if they fail, the gate will be wide open for Cerro Porteno to cut the gap and push the fight all the way to the wire. And Guarani is a team that is not usually afraid to take on the big guns, as they always try to play on level terms. And they are favoring an offensive approach whenever possible. Olimpia is suffering from the game-play point of view, ever since Orteman and Marin left, but they are still getting the results. Most of the times, they are suffering against the small teams, that lock themselves in defense, but against a team like Guarani, that should come out and play, they should be able to find spaces for their fast attackers. Also, we shouldn't forget 2 of their matches from last year, both of them ending in 4-3 for Olimpia. Plenty of reasons to expect goals, so let's hope they won't let us down. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.77, 3/10
Result: 2-0, LOST

Jun 24, 2012

Deportivo Cuenca - Macara

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

The First Round of the Ecuadorian Serie A is entering it's final days, and while there are several teams that are fighting to get the ticket to the final, I'm setting my eyes on a different match, between two teams that are far from the title fight. Cuenca still has some chances, as with a win today they will be at least 3 points behind the leaders, with 2 rounds remaining. But with 6 teams fighting for the top position, it will be very hard for them to achieve it, as they would need a perfect run, and also a lot of luck. But a position for Copa Sudamericana (must finish in top 3 for this) is more than achievable. For today they will miss top scorer Laurito (11/7), so this will make things harder for them, but Chala (4/2) should get up to the challenge. Meanwhile, Manta don't have any immediate objectives, although all points should count, as they are one of the main favorites to relegate. Their away for has been awful, managing only 3 draws in 9 matches, and they also have 5 consecutive games without a win. Today they will also miss their regular goalkeeper Mora (15), their defender Gonzalez (15/1) and midfielder Lastra (16/1), so we should see an even weaker team than usual. Cuenca is solid at home, so they should win this by at least a minimum difference. GL!

Cuenca (-0.75 AH) @ 1.95, 3/10
Result: 0-2, LOST

Sporting Cristal - Sport Boys

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

This seems to be by far the best bet of the round. Cristal comes after 2 consecutive defeats, away at Aurich and at Cobresol. This left them on the 3rd place, 7 points behind leaders Cesar Vallejo, so they need to get themselves together and start summing up some points. And they have the right team to do this, as I still consider them one of the main candidates to win the title, despite what seems to be a huge advantage for Vallejo. And it can't be contested that they are class better than a Sport Boys team who is in a deep institutional crisis, and also traditionally poor travelers, with an away record of 2-1-5 (compared to Cristal's home form of 5-3-0). When Cristal wins at home, they usually win it big, as in their last 3 home wins (from the last 4 matches), they scored 11 goals, and the match they failed to win was a 1-1 draw with Alianza Lima. Boys have only one win in their last 10 games, and it seems very unlikely that they can pull off a surprise here. Cristal also won the first match in Callao 5-0, so if they keep focus, they could very well repeat that performance. High stakes for this. GL!

Cristal (-1.25 AH) @ 1.89, 4/10
Result: 3-1, WON