Aug 25, 2012

Macara - Tecnico Universitario

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

We've had some nice movements in odds here, which further convinced me to take this bet. Macara is looking better than in the Primera Etapa, winning 4 of their 7 matches so far, while Tecnico don't seem to have improved too much, with 1 win and 4 draws in their 7 games played. Today's hosts are trying to regain their strong home team status, and are on the right way to do that, with 3-0-1 on their stadium, the only loss coming against a clearly superior Emelec. Today, they will be able to count on two players that have been doubtful throughout the week: defender Luis Carlos and midfielder Baldeon, so this will certainly provide a boost to the team. So there will be no major line-up changes for them, as everybody is ready to go. Same goes for Tecnico, who are on a high following their 1-0 win away at Barcelona. But I consider it as being just a fluke, as that win was their first in their last 9 games. They should come back down to earth now, against a traditionally tough team for them, as they never won against Macara as visitors. Also, in the first stage of the championship, Macar won 2-0, so I think they are obviously the better team. Nice line and odds. GL!

Macara (-0.25 AH) @ 2.12, 3/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Cerro Porteno - Rubio Nu

Paraguay Primera Division, Clausura

Reigning champions of the Apertura, Cerro Porteno are in a lot of trouble in the current tournament, as after 4 games, they are without a win, only managing to sum up 2 points. And we can't blame it on a tough schedule, as the only hard match was against Olimpia, and they managed to snatch a draw as visitors. They lost both home games, 1-2 with Guarani and 2-3 with Sol de America, and there are already a lot of discontent voices. Therefore, a win today is a must. And it can well happen... Cerro are bound to bounce back sooner or later, and Rubio Nu looks like the perfect team for that. Rubio hasn't won a single match for 10 games now, and they really look hopeless, despite some spirited draws against Sol and Nacional. They already lost twice to Cerro this season, with a total goal difference of 5-8, so the champions probably won't have a better time to get back into form. Full squad is expected for Cerro, with only one change: Santiago Salcedo will play instead of Roberto Nanni, and this should be a positive change. GL!
Cerro (-1 AH) @ 1.92, 3/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Aug 23, 2012

Alajuelense - UANL Tigres

CONCACAF Champions League, Group Stage

Costa Rica is a tough place to go and win, even for the big teams of the continent. I wouldn't exactly call Tigres one of the big teams, and I consider that even under normal circumstances, they would have a tough time getting the 3 points from Alajuelense. I'm saying 'under normal circumstances', because apparently, the coach is favoring the local league, and since they already have 3 points in this group stage of the Champions League, they can take it easy now. Therefore, they will be fielding a reserve team tonight, with just one regular player on the pitch: midfielder Viniegra (24/1). Other than him, Tigre will be using just reserve players, including goalkeeper de Leon and defender Zamora, who have yet to make an appearance this season, plus striker Guarch who played just one match as a substitute. So I'd say it's a pretty weak line-up, and most likely they will be going there for the draw. But it will be tough for sure, as Alajuelense are no push-overs. They are the current leaders of their local league, and are a very strong home team (last year they won all home matches in the group stage, including matches against LA Galaxy, Morelia), so I expect them to take something from this match. GL!

Alajuelense DNB @ 1.91, 4/10
Result: 2-2, VOID

U de Chile - Santos

Recopa Sudamericana 2012

When you see this two team playing against each other, you can only think of one thing: goals! Even though U de Chile has slightly changed compared to the last season, they are still adepts of the same style of play, which means attacking play. They always try to press and to get the ball forward, and their counter attacks are also deadly. That's why it comes as no surprise that in the local league they have the best offense, with 44 goals scored in 17 matches, 13 goals more than the team with the second best offense. And while we can not compare Chilean teams with Santos, the Brazilian defense is not brilliant either, so they might allow some goals tonight. Santos is playing usually a bit more defensively, but with their defense, that's not making a lot of difference. That why we can see they recorded overs in their last 6 matches, and in 5 of them both teams scored. The thing with them is that they have excellent individual players, who can scored from basically nothing: Neymar, Ganso, Miralles, etc. So I expect both teams to continue with their recent trends, and normally, this match should be overish, with both teams getting on the score sheet. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.92, 5/10
Result: 0-0, LOST

Aug 22, 2012

Real Salt Lake - Tauro

CONCACAF Champions League, Group Stage

While an official (or even a probable) line-up is almost impossible to find at this time for Real, we can draw a conclusion from their first group match, and from their last game on Saturday. Since they have lost 0-1 in Costa Rica three weeks ago, Real is now in a must-win situation if they want to qualify to the next stage from this group, and since the coach stated that the Champions League is a priority for them, I'm expecting him to field a strong squad tonight. Also, last weekend he rested 3 key players: midfielder Kyle Beckerman (23/4), forward Alvaro Saborio (21/14) and midfielder Will Johnson (19/2), as they all played 90 minutes with their national teams last Wednesday. Real went on to lose 1-2 against Dallas, but at least they have those three players fit for tonight's match, and this should really make their intentions clear. Tauro is a team used to play in this competition, but they don't have any performances to show off, never managing to qualify out of the group stage. There isn't too much info on them, but Real looks too strong, and with their star players on the pitch from the start, they should put the win beyond doubt. Small stakes though, as I never trust American teams too much when it comes to covering handicaps. GL!

Real (-1.5 AH) @ 1.78, 4/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Santos Laguna - Aguila

CONCACAF Champions League, Group Stage

The Mexican champions, Santos Laguna, are debuting in this year's Champions League group stage, against a team that is already in deep trouble. Aguila played a match already, and they failed miserably, being trashed 1-5 at Toronto. That should say a lot about their quality, and don't be surprised if we see a similar scoreline today. Santos wants to make a solid debut in this competition, and everybody knows that you need to take all the points on your home ground in order to qualify without many complications. That is why they will be fielding quite a strong line-up, at 90% I would say. Just two of the players from today's expected line-up can't be considered as regulars, but except for them, Santos is going strong. Another weak point for them would be the absence of their 2 top strikers: Darwin Quintero (25/11) and Oribe Peralta (22/15), who will be replaced by Candido Ramirez (2/0) and offensive midfielder Christian Suarez (26/5). This makes me lower the stakes a bit (I would have gone full stake with the two strikers on-field), but even with this line-up, they should still be a few classes better than the Salvadoreans, and I expect a win by a minimum of 2 goals. GL!

Santos Laguna (-2.25AH) @ 1.80, 4/10
Result: 5-0, WON

Aug 19, 2012

Deportivo Quito - LDU Loja

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

For this match, we will have two teams struggling to find their form, as both of them have been disappointing so far, for different reasons: Deportivo are always expected to challenge for the first places, but now they are sitting rock bottom with just 3 points from 6 games, without winning a single match so far. Meanwhile, Loja fought for a place in the final up until the last round of the First Stage, and everyone was expecting them to be near the top places once again. But they lost 4 of the 6 games they played, so they are in a very similar situation to Deportivo. The difference between them is in the style of play: while Deportivo keeps it tight, conceding 4 goals in their 6 win-less games (only scored once, though), Loja opens up a lot, scoring 7 goals while conceding 12. But I'll go for the home win. And the reasons are simple: Deportivo has a much more solid squad, they welcome back two important players (defender Checa and midfielder Bolanos) and they also look more solid with their style of play. All they need to do now is to start scoring goals, so former top scorer Bevacqua should start making the difference again. Only small-medium stakes. GL!

Deportivo (-0.25 AH) @ 1.79, 3/10
Result: 0-0, HALF LOST