Aug 3, 2012

Monagas - LDU Loja

Copa Sudamericana 2012

LDU Loja will make their international debut tonight, against Venezuelan team Monagas, and I'm quite sure they would have liked an easier draw. It's not like Monagas is a great team, but they had some solid performances this year, especially at home where they were very tough to beat. And with Loja not being anything special either, I think the home factor and Loja's lack of experience will prove decisive tonight. Monagas have already played in an international competition, last year in Sudamericana. They also had plenty of time to prepare for this game, as their season ended in May... they might be lacking in match fitness, but they should be more than prepared for the Ecuadorians. They also tried to strengthen their team as well as possible, with the clear objective of advancing to the next stage. Meanwhile, Loja has been quite disappointing lately in the league, far from their performances from the First Round. And besides their lack of experience, they will also be missing a key player: defender Jimmy Bermudez (18/0 in 2012). All in all, I can't really see Loja taking something from this game, but in the remote case that they do, this bet should cover the draw. GL!

Monagas DNB @ 1.75, 5/10
Result: 0-2, LOST

Aug 2, 2012

UANL Tigres - Real Esteli

CONCACAF Champions League 2012, Group Stage

Had some doubts when it came to Tigres's squad, thinking that maybe they'll try a completely secondary team again, but from the looks of it, the squad isn't looking bad at all. It will be a mix of regulars and reserves, and they should have to much for a Nicaraguan team, even though they are the reigning champions of their league. So tonight, for Tigres we'll have 5 regulars (the goalkeeper, 2 defender and 2 midfielders), three players that have started 6 matches this year and they played as substitues in several others (so they all took part in more than 11 matches), and a three others that played rarely, but should still be quality players compared to the Nicaraguans. Meanwhile, the visitors are a good team at a local level, but should not be able to compete with the better teams of the continent, and we had a proof of that in 2011, in the preliminary round, when they lost both matches with Toronto (not a great them themselves) with 1-2. So nobody probably gets their hopes up, and they would be lucky if they leave Mexico with just 2-3 goals conceded. Normally, the tally of goals should be much bigger, so I'll try the handicap here... it's big, but it still doesn't look like a realistic one.

Tigres (-2 AH) @ 1.70, 5/10
Result: 4-0, WON

Jul 30, 2012

Juan Aurich - Alianza Lima

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Things are quite simple here, so I'll try to be short. Alianza played last night a friendly match with Atletico Madrid, which they lost by 3-0. And since the federation did not agree to postpone their league game with Juan Aurich, they will have to play today as well. Of course, they won't use the same players as yesterday, and this leaves a weakend team, with lots of youngsters, and just a few of the regular/more experienced players. Alianza has been struggling away from home even with all their players, having a 1-4-8 record, so I'm not expecting any miracles from them today. Aurich might not be very special, compared to last years, but at home they are still a solid team, winning 8 of their 13 matches, and have already beaten Alianza this year by 3-0. They should field a much more solid and experienced team, so they should take the win quite easily. GL!

Aurich (-1 AH) @ 1.92, 4/10
Result: 1-0, VOID

Barcelona - Deportivo Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Barcelona comes after quite a hard match in Venezuela, and with the players' fitness in mind, they will take a very careful approach to this game. This means that we will see a lot of rotations tonight, with many regulars being rested. And if what we saw in the training sessions can be trusted, only defender Erazo will play a part in today's game. Besides him, we will see 3 more players that are usually regulars: defender Perlaza (14/1), midfielders Caicedo (16/4) and Diaz (21/1). Other than them, Barcelona will use fringe players, that rarely get to see some action, and none of those players started more than 10 matches this year. This obviously greatly increases Deportivo's chances to take something out of this game, despite their overall poor season so far. However, they should be getting some confidence back, as they did manage a 0-0 draw against LDU Quito, on Wednesday. They have also not lost this season against Barcelona, snatching a point in another 0-0 draw, back in April, when Barcelona was at full strength, so I don't see why they couldn't do it today as well. GL!

Deportivo (+0.75 AH) @ 1.65, 4/10
Result: 1-0, HALF-LOST