Mar 9, 2013

LDU Loja - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

LDU Quito is coming into this match after ending their 3-match without a win run, with a 2-0 victory over Manta. They've made a good start of the season, winning the first 2 games, but something happened after their home loss against Emelec, as two scoreless draws followed, at Quevedo and Cuenca. So it was vital for them to have recovered their form and their confidence, because if we talk about quality, LDU has plenty, and I see them as main contenders for the title (although a long-walk behind Emelec - who so far seem to be from a totally different league). Loja is currently sitting around mid-table, after several less than convincing performances. They only managed to beat Macara and league champions Barcelona (who are currently on the last place, so it shouldn't mean too much), while also recording some low-level results, most notable is a home-defeat against newcomers U Catolica. Coach Velez will be forced to watch from the stands, while they also have to cope with the absence of defender Armando Gomez (5/1) and forward Armando Wila (5/1). Quito also miss defender Eduardo Morante and midifelder Carlos Feraud, but they should have good cover for them, with Edison Mendez and Francisco Rojas. GL!

LDU Quito DNB @ 2.09, 3/10
Result: 0-0, VOID

Mar 6, 2013

Emelec - Deportes Iquique

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

Emelec were enjoying a perfect start of the season: victories on the line in the local league, and a 1-0 win against Velez for their Libertadores debut. Now, even though things are still going like clockwork in the league, they are facing some tough times in the continental cup, as they come from 2 straight defeats. And if against Penarol there isn't too much to say (despite them not making a bad game), the 0-2 loss at Iquique came as a shocker. That's why I think the revenge factor should be primordial in this game. Emelec is pretty much a different team when they are playing at home, and as proof we have the aforementioned win against Argentinian giants, Velez Sarsfield. They've also won as visitors against LDU Quito, while resting several regulars, and even though it was a match in the league, I would rate LDU as better team than Iquique at any time. They've also had a week's rest, postponing their game against Barcelona, and the same can not be said about the Chileans. They played during a weekend, losing against Huachipato, taking their domestic tally to 3 straight defeats. They are mostly and average team, for Chilean standards, and the 0-3 loss at Velez says a lot, as they were never a contest. I would expect a similar scenario now in Ecuador, and I also expect the line to drop even more. GL!

Emelec (-1.25 AH) @ 1.97, 5/10
Result: 2-1, HALF-LOST

Newell's - U de Chile

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

We may have been used to seeing U de Chile shinning on the field, but those times are unfortunately long gone. What we have today is a totally different team than what we had last year, as a lot of their key players have left (almost half of the team), and the magic-maker coach Sampaoli has also left the team. So, right now we have just a shadow of that team, without any clear objective. And we can see the effects that those changes have made: they are just 7th in the league after 6 rounds (not a big deal, as they are just 3 points behind the leaders), and have recorded some rather average results in Libertadores. They won against Lara in the opening match, 2-0, which was a normal result, nothing extraordinary, but in their second game their other face was shown, as they were just pushed aside by a very troubled Olimpia. The result aside, U de Chile really put in a tragic performance, showing lack of ideas, inability to score and some defensive gaps. Keep in mind Olimpia was/is in quite a deep crisis, losing at home to newly-promoted General Diaz, and snatching a draw after being outplayed by Rubio Nu. Newells, like 75% of the Argentinian teams, are a solid side, especially when it comes to playing at home. They've soundly beaten Olimpia by 3-1, and what's really bothering me is their loss at Lara, 1-2, which was most likely an accident. However, that fares well for this bet, as they should be pumped-up for this match, looking to get their campaign back on track. U de Chile might have posed some problems last year, but now, I barely give them any chances to come away with something from Rosario. The line is very good, and it's definitely bound to drop. GL!

Newell's (-0.5 AH) @ 1.77, 5/10
Result: 1-2, LOST

Mar 4, 2013

Deportivo Capiata - Nacional

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Strange team this Nacional in the first few rounds... they managed to pull off some very good results, like the 4-3 win against Carapegua, and 1-0 with Libertad, but the first time they had to travel, Cerro de Franco pounded them heavily, winning 5-2. From what I've seen and heard, whenever they are expected to take control of the match and push forward, they leave a lot of spaces behind, in an already shaky defense (this was avoided against Libertad with a more defensive formation). They are favorites for today's game, so they can't just sit back and wait, and normally they should concede, but from what I've seen so far, Capiata are among the poorest team in the league. They lost against fellow newcomers General Diaz in the opening round, and than they were simply trashed at home by Guarani, 0-5. They did manage to win last round against Rubio Nu, but only after a red card for Rubio (and they actually took the lead, one man down). So I don't really think they have chances to take something against Nacional. GL!
Nacional (-0.75 AH) @ 2.00, 4/10
Result: 0-1, HALF-WON

Luqueno - Guarani

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

The always troubled Luqueno will have to face Guarani, who are also gunning for some points to get their campaign back on track. The visitors had an ok start, drawing with Libertad and pulverizing Capiata with 5-0, but everything came to an abrupt stop last week, when they lost at home against Olimpia. Meanwhile, Luqueno has been struggling so far, despite a first-round draw with Olimpia (followed by a draw with Sol de America and a defeat at General Diaz). Guarani will aparently also miss several of their players today, but they should also have a good cover for them, and most likely this is the reason for these nice odds/line. And besides the poor form of Luqueno, history and statistics are also against them: they were only able to win once in their last 15 matches against Guarani, while the visitors have a huge lead with 11 wins. So, regardless of Guarani's absences, they still have the quality and the experience to take the points here, and I expect Luqueno's misery to continue. GL!

Guarani DNB @ 1.77, 3/10
Result: 0-1, WON

Mar 3, 2013

U Catolica - Independiente JT

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Two of the nice surprises of the season will be facing off today, as Independiente are visiting Universidad Catolica. Both teams enjoyed a poor start of the season (even though for Catolica is understandable, having played against LDU Quito and Emelec in the first two rounds), but both of them have recovered nicely, and now sit on the 3rd and 4th place in the table. And what I'm expecting from this match is nice game, where the goals should come. Both Independiente and Catolica have solid attacks, among the best in the league so far, and with some shaky defenses, I'm sure they'll be able to find enough spaces to create some chances. Both employ attacking football, and we can see this in their previous results: Catolica has 4 overs in 5 matches, while Independiente are at the same number. Also, their last 2 matches ended in high-scoring games (back in 2010). The men to follow are forwards Patta and Laurito (3 goals each) for Catolica, while Independiente has as a starting point the performances of midfielder Guerrero (3 goals) and of forward Martinez (2 goals). Line is set quite right, but it should be easily surpassed. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 2.02, 3/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Olimpia - Rubio Nu

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Both teams are passing through some tough times, and the highlights are of course around Olimpia. They've had a rather poor start, with just 4 points from the first 3 games, and what really sparked the fire was their last match a few days ago, when they lost at home 0-1, against newly promoted General Diaz. And their problems are on all levels: the players haven't received their wages for December, there was a mass resignation in the board, and the coach employed several rotations from match to match, trying to keep his players fit for Copa Libertadores. However, things are starting to settle down, as some new directors took over the club, and for today, the best team is expected to take the field (just one regular will miss the game). Rubio Nu didn't enjoy a good start either, as their opening win was marred by two consecutive losses (they also lost last round against a newly promoted team). Of course, no one has too high hopes for them, and if Olimpia will be at full force they should win this game fairly easily, as they have for the past 5 occasions. I'm confident they can put an end to their problems, especially since we have seen them at full potential, and they played like a real force (2-1 win at Guarani and a 3-0 win against U de Chile in Libertadores - both of them being much better teams than Rubio Nu). GL!

Olimpia (-1 AH) @ 1.93, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST