Feb 14, 2013

Real Garcilaso - Santa Fe

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

Another batch of newcomers will make their debut tonight in Copa Libertadores, the surprising Real Garcilaso. And I call them surprising because it's an incredible feat to be a newly promoted team and to fight for the championship all the way to the final. However, things should be different this season, as they have lost almost all of their main players from their last campaign. Everyone expects them to fail to live to their expectations now, but they once again made a surprise by clearly winning their first league match by 4-0 (a game that just a few people expected them to win). But with their team still trying to find their style and with the new players trying to blend in, they should suffer when they meet a real team. And Santa Fe looks like a team that can put them under a lot of pressure. First of all, they have the weapons needed to counter Garcilaso: the high altitude from Cusco won't affect them, as they play in similar conditions in Bogota. They have a solid team, with pretty good players, so they won't be pushed over so easily, and form is also on their side. They have played 4 official games this year, and they are yet to be defeated. And in that 4-match run, they recorded some nice results by winning the Super Cup against traditional team Millonarios (won both legs), and they also drew with Atletico Nacional (although they were the better team, and a win would have been a fair result). So despite Garcilaso's impressive start, I'd still consider the Colombians as the favorites here, and they should have enough to win it. GL!

Santa Fe DNB @ 2.08, 5/10
Result: 1-1, VOID

Deportes Iquique - Penarol

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

Iquique produced a huge surprise in the preliminary round, as they eliminated Club de Leon of Mexico, a team that started the round as favorites against the Chileans. And early away goal in Mexico, a couple of 1-1 draws and nerves of steel in the following penalty shootout saw Iquique advance, although they didn't seem to be better than Leon. And I definitely don't see them as being Libertadores material, especially since they are having quite a poor run of form. They did manage to beat Colo Colo last weekend, but that was their first win on the year in 8 matches (3 of them were friendlies). Penarol are yet to start their season, and they can't be too proud of their pre-season results either. But they have a very strong team, and 9 of the regulars that won the Apertura last year are still present. So they have kept the core of the team, and have added a couple of new players that will definitely provide a boost. Iquique also lack experience at this level, so I doubt they will be able to pose any problems tonight. They do play organized, so if Penarol will lack focus this may very well end up in a draw, but normally, quality is on Penarol's side. GL!

Penarol (+0.25 AH) @ 1.79, 4/10
Result: 1-2, WON

Feb 13, 2013

Emelec - Velez

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

Main reason for this bet is the very low line, which I believe it could well be reached by half-time. Emelec were amazing so far in their league, as they won all 3 matches, with an awesome 10-1 goal difference. This says a lot about their potential and about their offensive style of play. Of course, they are probably going to take a more careful approach tonight, as going all-in against Velez might well be suicidal, but the core is set, and they should try an go for a win. And they have a good record in this competition, and we can remember some of their matches from last year, especially the thrilling 3-2 win against Flamengo in Guayaquil, where Emelec came from behind twice. Velez is also a team that usually prefers to attack, and I'm confident they'll play the same today as well. But their defense should be the problem here, since they have barely started their national championship, while in the preparation matches they got a lot of head-aches from the defense, as they received 1 goal from Liverpool Montevideo and Penarol, and 4 goals from Cerro Porteno. They can be deadly while attacking, but at the same time they can suffer a lot at the back. And Emelec, playing close to their full potential, might just as well take advantage of that. GL!

over 2 goals @ 1.84, 4/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Nacional - Barcelona

Copa Libertadores 2013

The main stage of the Copa Libertadores begins tonight, and we have a full menu, as this week presents to us a whooping 13 matches. And Nacional Montevideo will open the ceremony, against Barcelona of Ecuador. High hopes are in store for the Uruguayan side, as they have greatly strengthened their team with some very experienced players. The new signings include forward Ivan Also (played in Spain for Alaves, Murcia and Espanyol), midfielder Juan Albin (also played with Getafe and Espanyol), veteran forward Sebastian 'Loco' Abreu (long-career, including spells with Real Sociedad, and several teams in Mexico and Argentina), Colombian defender Efrain Cortes and midfielder Diego Arismendi (played for a few teams in the English Championship League). So we can see good players, with plenty of experience, that would definitely provide a boost to the team. And all of them come in addition to the core of the team, that remains pretty much the same as last year. Meanwhile, Barcelona have also kept most of their main players, but their performances this year have been poor. 2 draws in the beginning of the season, in which they didn't show much, plus a defeat last weekend (not very important, since they were missing quite a few regulars). I don't really see them as being able to snatch even a point here, in front of a fully packed Parque Central Stadium. GL!

Nacional (-0.75 AH) @ 1.98, 4/10
Result: 2-2, LOST

Feb 10, 2013

El Nacional - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

For the first time ever, I am going to take two different bets on the same game. Originally, I intended to take only the over, but the recent odds movements make the other bet a must take. Both teams started the season in quite a good fashion: LDU won their opening match against U Catolica with 2-1, and they showed some good skills and nice football. They are aiming for the title, but I have my doubts about their consistency, as they have changed a lot of players, and want to reconstruct the team. Three important players are definitely out through injury: defenders Araujo (team-captain) and Reasco, and midfielder Rojas. Furthermore, goalkeeper Dominguez, defender Morante and midfielder Saritama are doubtful, as they played against Portugal on Wednesday, and due to some airline problems, they only returned to the club yesterday. So even if they will play, they surely won't be at 100%. El Nacional also won their opening game, 3-1 against Cuenca, but they have also lost 1-2 at Macara, despite being the better team throughout much of the match. They have been showing some nice attacking plays, and I'm sure they'll do the same today, as they have no important absences. LDU should suffer a bit with those absences, and since most of them are defensive players, goals should come (on a side note, from their last 10 mutual games, 9 had at least 2 goals, while 7 of them ended in over 2.5). And also, under these circumstances, they should by no means be favorites. GL!

over 2.25 goals @ 2.06, 3/10
Result: 0-1, LOST

El Nacional DNB @ 2.37, 2/10
Result: 0-1, LOST