Mar 15, 2013

Arsenal Sarandi - Sao Paulo

Copa Libertadores 2013, Group Stage

This match can pretty much sway the qualification in favor of the Brazilians. If Sao Paulo wins, Arsenal will remain with 1 point in the table, 6 behind the Brazilians, so it will be game over for them (and Sao Paulo will qualify, because I don't see The Strongest making up 4 points in the last 2 games). So the only chance that the Argentinians have right now is to win today, equal them on points, and hope that Sao Paulo fails in Bolivia (they've already played there). So I don't really see them waiting for an opponent's mistake, and they should be going out looking for the goal. Sao Paulo isn't a team to sit back in defense, so I'm sure they'll go out trying to control the game as well. They have loads of quality in their squad (Rogerio Ceni, Denilson, Ganso, Jadson or Luis Fabiano), and those players are able to create danger out of nothing. And since Arsenal's defense isn't anything special, they should have their fair chances. Their last match ended with just 1-1, but more goals could have come easily. Let's hope that they'll improve on their finishing and provide a nice match. Line is good at 2.25, as we have a small insurance in case of another 1-1. GL!

over 2.25 goals @ 1.94, 4/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Mar 14, 2013

Emelec - Manta

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Emelec is definitely the best team in Ecuador at the moment, and they seem to have come from another planet. They employ an offensive style of play, taking a lot of balls forward, and that usually pays of, as they have managed to score 15 goals in 6 games (best attack in the league, even though they have a match postponed). Even in their last match, despite appearing to have struggled, winning 1-0 in the last seconds of the game, they dominated throughout the match, and missed several chances before the late goal. And even though they never needed a confidence boost, they got one. Manta have been surprising so far, but they should thank the home advantage for that (before this match, they have the best home record). But they seem like a totally different team when it comes to traveling, and they are still to win a match away from home, having lost at LDU Quito and U Catolica, after drawing at Barcelona. They've had some tough matches, that's true, but it won't get any easier with Emelec, and I expect a comfortable win for the hosts. GL!

Emelec (-1 AH) @ 1.74, 4/10
Result: 1-0, VOID

The Strongest - Atletico MG

Copa Libertadores, Group Stage

The Strongest must be really unhappy with the draw, as they landed in the same group with two Brazilian teams and one Argentinian. Big difference in quality, but the lucky part for the Bolivians is that neither of those teams are used to play at altitude. So they should make the most of their home matches, and they did have a good start with a win against Arsenal. They didn't have too much luck in the following two games, both played in Brazil, but they were still able to put on some nice performances, losing both games by just 1-2. Now this should be a different story, as they are more offensive at home, and can take advantage of the probable physical problems that the Brazilians should have in the high altitude of La Paz. Atletico are so far one of the best teams in the competition, with 9 points from 9 possible, and with an awesome goal-scoring record of 9 goals in 3 games (with 4 against, conceding in every game). They also like to play on the offense, and have tons of skills in their squad (Ronaldinho, Jo, Diego Tardelli, etc). They can be deadly on counter-attacks, and even more from set pieces, and they should have plenty of spaces, as The Strongest's only chance to get something from this group is to go out in attack. Both teams had only overs so far in this group, and usually, games played in the altitude of La Paz end with plenty of goals. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.93, 5/10
Result: 1-2, WON

LDU Quito - Independiente

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Nice odds for LDU, probably influenced by Independiente's good recent form. They are indeed sitting on 3rd place at the moment, but they've also had a rather easy schedule. The only tough teams they had to face were Deportivo Quito (whom they've drew against, 0-0 at home) and Barcelona (won 5-2 away from home... but Barcelona is just a shadow of last year's team and had 5 consecutive games without a win, so I'm not sure how much that matters). And despite this good form, Independiente looks like the typical home team, as when it comes to traveling, things stand a bit different. From the 3 away games they played so far, they only managed to win the aforementioned one against Barcelona... other than that, they were defeated by both Manta and U Catolica. Even their last home match against Cuenca was a handful, as they equalized in the 84th minute, and the winner came in the 94th, after Cuenca had a man sent off. LDU is one points behind Independiente, and this is probably because they played more matches away than at home. They may have some problems scoring (6 goals in 7 matches), but at least they have a very solid defensive line, unlike Independiente. LDU has conceded only 3 goals, and 2 of them came against Emelec, in their only defeat of the season. Even though I'm not assuming it's going to be an easy match, these odds are worth trying, as we rarely see anything above 1.50 for LDU against a team like Independiente. GL!

LDU (-0.5 AH) @ 1.90, 3/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Mar 11, 2013

Real Garcilaso - Leon de Huanuco

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Surprisingly enough, Garcilaso has so far not failed as they were expected. They are doing a good domestic campaign, and an incredible campaign in Libertadores, where they are topping the group with 7 points on their debut. I went against them several times before, and got burned almost every time, but the current odds are certainly an overreaction from the bookies. The only match where they shined was in the opening round against Huancayo, when they won 4-0. Other than that, I think it's fair to say that they were extremely lucky, especially in Libertadores, winning both matches with goals on counters in the closing minutes. Leon is used to playing at high altitude, and so far they've been looking solid (not very good, but solid enough). They are closing well the spaces, and since Garcilaso isn't too efficient in offense, this should be a closed-affair. It's just crazy to give a +1 handicap in such a match, especially since there won't be an altitude advantage. GL!

Leon (+1 AH) @ 2.14, 3/10
Result: 0-0, WON