Feb 27, 2013

Tolima - Garcilaso

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

This Real Garcilaso team is a real strange factor this season. They have lost most of their regulars, don't show much on the pitch and are also not impressive play-wise, but yet, they do not lose their matches. And their best feat was seen last week, as they won 1-0 away at Cerro Porteno (which must definitely count as the best result in the club's short history). Now the question is, how long can they keep it up? In Paraguay, they were being crushed by Cerro Porteno, barely leaving their own half as the Paraguayans kept pressing and attacking. But some terrible finishing from the hosts, and a great counter attack gave the Peruvians a famous 1-0 win. It is true that Cerro was in turmoil at that points, but that still doesn't take away Garcilaso's merits. And now I have confidence that Tolima is a strong enough team to put an end to their dream-run. They don't have a star-filled team, but they have a solid squad, and so far everything went pretty good for them: 4 points in Libertadores, and only one defeat in the local league (last weekend, 0-3 against Boyaca Chico - they used mostly reserves in that match). Won't be an easy match, but I don't think Tolima can fail to win this match, so I'm going for the -1 handicap. GL!

Tolima (-1 AH) @ 1.77, 5/10
Result: 0-1, LOST

Feb 25, 2013

Nacional - Defensor Sporting

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

If there's one thing we should be expecting in this match, than it must be goals. Nacional are set as big favorites, but I don't see it as being that easy for them, as they just had to play an exhausting match in Copa Libertadores at high altitude. However, after two of Defensor's best players have left the team, I can't trust them too much either, so I'll stay away from any handicaps. But a bet on goals looks good for several reasons: first of all, the aforementioned possible tiredness for Nacional's players, which could lead to some midfield/defensive mistakes. Then, we have their attacking style of play, which leaves a lot of space at the back. They have good and fast forwards, but they have also been prone to a lot of defensive mistakes recently (they played 2 official games this season, scoring 5 and conceding 5 - strikers Alonso and Sanchez both have 2 goals scored). And for this match, both teams are looking rather offensive on paper, with a tactical formation of 4-3-3. That may not mean much on the field, but they also have a nice history of scoring goals, as 6 of their last 10 games have ended with at least 3 goals (3 of their last 4 actually ended with 2-2 scores). The line is a bit higher than I would have liked, but if both teams stay true to their game plans, we should have an easy winner here. GL!

over 2.75 goals @ 2.05, 3/10
Result: 0-1, LOST

Cajamarca - Inti Gas

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Very good start of the season for Inti Gas, with 4 points in the first 2 rounds (an away draw and a solid 2-0 win against Leon). They showed nice football, and are creating chances with ease. So I think they should be at least on par with Cajamarca. Main advantage for the home team should normally be the high altitude (Cajamarca is situated at around 2700 meters above sea level), but so far, not even that helped them, as they lost their only home game by 1-2, against Alianza Lima. And today, there definitely won't be any advantages for them, as Inti Gas comes from Ayacucho, which has the same altitude. Cajamarca's main flaw is their offense, as they struggle to create chances and pressure, but now they can count on Reimond Manco (came from Qatar). However, I don't expect him to make an immediate impact, as even though he has the quality, he played just a few matches in the last couple of years, without too many accomplishments. So I expect Cajamarca to keep struggling, and Inti Gas should be able to bully them and take at least a point here. GL!

Inti Gas (+0.25 AH) @ 2.06, 3/10
Result: 3-1, LOST