Jul 7, 2012

Alianza Lima - FBC Melgar

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Early bet here, as the odds will drop for sure, and I'll also be quite busy during the weekend. No line-ups are available yet, but probably both teams will use the best they have, and they should not be very different from their last matches. So that leaves us with form and overall quality: Alianza had a rough start to this season, with poor results and a state of financial insecurity. And even though some of their players have left the team, they still have a top-class squad, and they are more than capable of snapping out of their poor position in the table. And this can be visible from their recent form, as they are undefeated in their last 7 games, recording a morale boosting win against Cesar Vallejo, and snatching up points from tough travels at Jose Galvez, Leon, San Martin and Comercio. Also, they won 7 out of 10 matches at home, so it seems that their internal problems didn't affect them too much. Melgar might be on the 4th spot for the moment, but 90% of their merits are due to their home games, played at quite a high altitude (8-1-1 is their home form). When they travel, they are a totally different team, losing 6 games from 10, and making up points against poor teams like Cobresol or Sport Boys. They shouldn't pose too many problems to Alianza, and this should go as an easy home win. GL!

Alianza (-1 AH) @ 1.81, 4/10
Result: 0-0, LOST

Jul 4, 2012

Cerro Porteno - Sol de America

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Last two rounds of the Apertura of Paraguay, and title hopefuls Cerro Porteno still have something to dream of. They still have a remote chance to win the title, but for that they will need to win today, hope that Olimpia doesn't, and then everything will be decided in the last round, in the Super-Clasico against Olimpia. And while, everything seems to be far-fetched, there still are some chances, and since the leaders are not impressive at all lately, they might take a slump tonight. And that leaves everything to Cerro. They will repeat the same team that beat Guarani last week, when they made a solid match. Sol de America already showed their limits when they lost 0-1 to Olimpia, even though they previously recorded wins against Libertad and Nacional. But at home to Cerro, it should be a different story, as the azul-grana are one of the best home teams in the league (just behind Olimpia), and they are also the most in-form, winning 4 of their last 5 games. Of course this bet could go south if Olimpia manages to take an early lead, but I'm confident Cerro will fight it out to the end. GL!

Cerro (-0.75 AH) @ 1.92, 3/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Leon de Huanuco - Jose Galvez

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

The newly promoted teams in Peru have been full of surprises this season. Besides Real Garcilaso, who are having a great season and are fighting for the top spots, Jose Galvez also had very good results, sitting currently on 6th place. Really surprising for them, but all in all, I don't expect them to stay there for too long. They are in good form, winning 5 of their last 10 games, but that could be misleading, as the only big merit from those wins was against Juan Aurich, as they won 2-1 as visitors. Other than that, they've beaten Inti Gas and Huancayo (traditionally poor travelers), and Sport Boys and Cobresol, the poorest teams in the league. Besides that, they also have a very poor record when playing at high altitude, losing to Melgar, Cienciano and Garcilaso, with a goal difference of 2-8. Leon seems to be a lot weaker than in their previous seasons, but they still should have enough to win today. The high altitude from Huanuco will surely play in their favor, and with quite a solid home record (4-4-1), they should have too much for a team that struggles in hard playing conditions. GL!

Leon (-0.75 AH) @ 1.92, 4/10
Result: 0-0, LOST

Real Garcilaso - Sporting Cristal

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Very nice odds movements for this match, and even though when the markets opened I said I will stay away, the recent odds just push me to take a bet here. And I will, so let's hope I won't regret it. Both teams are tied at the top of the table, with 35 points, just 2 behind leaders Cesar Vallejo. The quality advantage is obviously on Cristal's side, as they have probably the best squad in the league. But apparently, that advantage is just as important as Garcilaso's: the high altitude, as the club is situated in Cusco. So it should come as no surprise that they have a perfect home record, winning all 9 games played so far, with a goal difference of 17-2. But they also have a solid and competitive team, even though they lack any big names or stars... and it would be unfair to put their performances only on the high altitude (for example, Cienciano are playing in the exact same conditions, but they are only 13th in the table, with a 4-2-4 home record). Cristal has a 1-1-1 record at high altitude this season, winning at Leon, drawing at Huancayo and losing at Inti Gas. Of course, they have enough quality to overcome the altitudes' effects, but since they have often struggled away from home, and Garcilaso looks very strong in Cusco, I really think this should be a home win. Odds are also very good, as we have now -0.25 at pretty much the same odds as the opening ones on -0.5. GL!

Garcilaso (-0.25 AH) @ 2.02, 3/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Jul 1, 2012

El Nacional - LDU Loja

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Despite their poor recent form, Loja are not giving up on the title dream yet. And it would be silly to do so, as they are just 2 points behind the leaders, and with 2 matches remaining, everything can still happen. But for that, of course, they need to win today, otherwise everything will be over for them. But it surely won't be very easy for them, as El Nacional comes into this match after 3 wins from their last 4 games, including one as visitors against second placed Barcelona. And for today, a nice match is expected, as El Nacional will use a system with just 3 defenders, so there should be a lot of spaces for Loja. The tactics will be 3-4-1-2, so we should also see plenty of offensive actions from El Nacional, and I'm confident we'll also see some results, as Loja comes with 2 important absences: defenders Aguirre (19/2) and Bermudez (17/0) are both suspended for this game, which means that the goal-scoring chances should be plenty. GL!

over 2.25 goals @ 1.82, 3/10
Result: 1-3, WON

Manta - Deportivo Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

A clash that will have no impact on the tables, but it could mean a good win for the home team. They are in great form, coming after 3 consecutive wins (including a 2-0 victory at Emelec), so another win will make Manta continue this trend. And they could very well take the 3 points against a troubled Deportivo Quito side. The visitors had an awful season, sitting only on 9th place, so all hopes of achieving something are long gone. They will also miss a lot of players today: GK Elizaga (7 appearances), midfielders Saritama (13/1), Bolanos (12/1) and Paredes (7/0), plus defender Checa (11/1) are all out of this game. Moreover, the remaining players will be alternated, so we'll see some of the less used players today, for example midfielder W. Folleco (2/0) and forward Congo (2/1). More good news for this bet is the fact that top-scorer Alustiza will most likely not appear in the starting line-up. Manta will also miss two players (Sanchez and Ayovi), but they are not key players, so they should be well replaced. Besides this, they will recover defender Romana, so for sure that should provide a boost for the team. Statistics are also on our side, as Manta have also won the first match, as visitors, back in February, and in the last 4 seasons that they were in Serie A, Deportivo only won once as visitors, with Manta winning 7 of their 9 home games against Deportivo. GL!

Manta (-0.25 AH) @ 1.99, 4/10
Result: 1-2, LOST

Sol de America - Olimpia

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Two of the most in-form teams of the league will face each other tonight, in what could prove to be a title-clincher. Sol de America must be the most surprising team this season, as they were in the leading pack for most of the season, and even though at the start they were only making points against the lower teams, recently this has changed, as they have won 5 of their last 6 games, including a 1-0 win at Libertad and a 3-2 win at home with Nacional. They showed they can play against the big teams, they are an offensive-minded team with an average defense, so usually we can expect goals when they are playing. They don't have any objectives for the remaining of the tournament, but I'm expecting high motivation, as a big prize-money is expected from Cerro Porteno is they manage to put a stumble in Olimpia's way. On the other hand, Olimpia could clinch the title if they win and Cerro doesn't, and Sol's style of play should suit them. They have been rather underish lately, but it's not a big surprise, since pretty much all their opponents refused to play, choosing rather to lock themselves in defense. It's a bit of a risk here, but I think the chances to see at least 3 goals are quite high. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.96, 4/10
Result: 0-1, LOST