May 9, 2013

Atletico MG - Sao Paulo

Copa Libertadores 2013, Round of 16

This bet looks so obvious that I'm actually afraid it may fail. However, this is a must-take in my opinion, as the line was set quite wrong (I was expecting to see a 2.75 with mid-1.80s, and with a line of 3 being the fair one). The first match that was played last week had two different stories. Sao Paulo took an early lead, was controlling the game, and had a few other chances to increase their advantage. But soon enough, a red card was shown to their defender Lucio, and the entire game was turned around. Atletico took control, equalized and then overturned the result, winning by 2 goals to 1. So right now, there is a simple strategy for Sao Paulo: attack, and score at least 2 goals. They welcome back striker Luis Fabiano, which will definitely provide a boost to their offense, and if we count him along the other stars of the team (Rogerio Ceni, Jadson, Ganso, Denilson), they have some good chances of scoring more than one. And I seriously doubt that Atletico will just sit back and defend the narrow lead. This is not their style, as they always prefer attacking football to defensive one. Within their ranks, they have Ronaldinho, Jo or Diego Tardelli, players that can put a lot of offensive pressure, and can create something out of nothing. This will be a game between two overish and offensive teams, and 3 goals are the minimum that I'm expecting. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.80, 5/10
Result: 4-1, WON

Independiente - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

These teams are currently occupying the 4th and 5th place in the league standings, some way behind leaders Emelec. However, the spirits are quite different, as Independiente's place is quite a feat, as they are usually a mid-table team fighting for survival, while LDU is gunning for the title. So obviously, the fans are not thrilled with this 4th place, and there are a lot of voices calling for some changes, after a recent bad run. Actually, both teams are coming from defeats here: Independiente lost 0-3 at lowly El Nacional, while LDU has 2 consecutive defeats, 0-3 at Barcelona and 1-3 against Deportivo Quito. So this is pretty much a do or die game for them. However, if we look at their results this season, all of their 4 defeats came against the big guns (Emelec, Barcelona and Deportivo Quito twice). Meanwhile, despite the fact that Independiente are undefeated at home, they have lost against some of the lower ranked teams (the aforementioned trashing against El Nacional, plus defeats at U Catolica and Manta). This is going to be tight, but Independiente has a few very important absences tonight: from a not so stable defense, they will miss Edgar Balbuena (13/0), in addition to midfielder Henry Leon (12/1) and forward Daniel Angulo (11/3). LDU also has a couple of absences, like midfielders Fernando Hidalgo (10/1) and Enrique Vera (11/0), but since they have a bigger squad, and a better squad - quality wise - they should also have better cover than Independiente has for their missing players. GL!

LDU Quito DNB @ 2.03, 4/10
Result: 1-2, WON

Deportivo Quito - Deportivo Cuenca

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Awesome campaign from Deportivo Quito this year, in spite of all their administrative and financial problems. We all know the story: the players have been unpaid for quite some time now, and they have refused to train in more than one occasion. But they have also proven to be very professional, as when the time came, they showed up for the games and gave their best. That's why we can see them on second place, 5 points behind leaders Emelec, and with a chance to reduce the deficit to just 2 points if they win tonight (even though Emelec will have 2 games in hand). The only ones that were able to defeat them were Emelec, by a narrow 0-1, and at home Deportivo are still undefeated (6 wins and 1 draw against 3rd place Catolica). And spirits should be high now, as they come from a 3-1 whooping of city rivals LDU Quito, and the financial problems should end soon, as starting Friday, Deportivo are suspended if they don't sort their things out (meaning they will lose all points that will be disputed). Cuenca are enjoying a good run themselves, with 2 consecutive wins, but I'm not letting that fool me. They've beaten Macara (worst team in the league), and a troubled Barcelona, but overall, they are still poor. 5 defeats as visitors, from 7 games played, and the second worst defense of the league make Deportivo rightful favorites for this match. GL!

Deportivo Quito (-1 AH) @ 1.87, 3/10
Result: 5-1, WON

May 6, 2013

Olimpia - Sportivo Luqueno

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Olimpia had an awful start of the season, but in early March, everything appeared to be getting back on track, with wins against Cerro Porteno and Cerro de Franco, and also a draw away at Libertad. But everything went to waste after two consecutive defeats against Capiata and Sol de America. Of course, their Libertadores campaign is also taking it's toll, but to be on 10th place halfway through the competition is unacceptable for a club like Olimpia. But this should also motivate them for this match, as this is their best chance to climb positions. They have a free schedule next week, so all the regulars will play tonight, focusing solely on this match. Salgueiro and Bareiro will be in charge of Olimpia's defense, and at least from Bareiro, I am expecting a lot. And as I was saying, against Luqueno they have their best bet to get back to winning ways, as Luqueno are simply the worst team in the league. In 11 games they barely managed 6 points (with one win), and they were only able to score 3 goals, while conceding 12. Olimpia pounds them every time they play at home, and I have no doubts that they'll record another win today. GL!

Olimpia (-1 AH) @ 2.06, 3/10
Result: 4-3, VOID