May 16, 2013

Corinthians - Boca Juniors

Copa Libertadores 2013, Round of 16

After losing two weeks ago on the same match, I will try once again with Corinthians. Even though they lost 0-1 in Argentina, and made a rather poor match, I would still consider them the favorites to qualify to the next round. They managed to put some pressure on their opponents after conceding the goal, and I assume that was a preview for what's to come tonight in the return game. I won't go into too many details, as I've said pretty much everything in the preview for the first leg. Corinthians are the reigning champions, one of the best teams in South America with some top class players (I'll mention again just Pato, Guerrero and Emerson), and they should be more than capable of overturning this result. Boca made a very good match two weeks ago, but I still rate them as just a shadow of their former selves (second from bottom in their local league, just 3 points above last placed Argentinos). They drew at home in the Super Clasico with River, than were trashed 0-3 by San Lorenzo, so no real sign of improvement. And if their local form is anything to go by, they have an appalling away record, without a single win in 7 games, scoring just 3 and conceding 14. And this is against mostly average Argentinian teams. They will be put under a lot of pressure in Brazil, and I'm expecting Corinthians to be constantly attacking them. So it's just a matter of 'when' they will concede the first goal. The line may look rather high, but this is the reality, and as I've said before, I still have Corinthians as favorites to qualify. GL!

Corinthians (-1 AH) @ 2.03, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

May 12, 2013

Deportivo Cuenca - Independiente

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

After going against Independiente last round, we'll repeat the bet against Deportivo Cuenca, for pretty much the same reasons. They had a couple of absences last round against LDU Quito, and things aren't getting any better today. They will be missing 4 first team regulars today, 3 of which could well be considered key players in the team. Defenders Balbuena (13/0), Caicedo (13/0) and Ayala (8/0), plus midfielder Henry Leon (12/1) will be out of this game. And this is a serious blow for Independiente, as they do have quite a solid team, but rather a weak squad, and I doubt they'll have decent replacements. They are also in a downtrend, as they have 3 games without a win... and if we take away the draw with Emelec and the loss against LDU Quito, we'll see a shameful 0-3 defeat against El Nacional. Cuenca was recovering some form up until last round, when Deportivo Quito trashed them by 5-1. They have a couple of doubtful players, but only one of them is a key player (defender Moreira - 11/0), and there are some chances that he will recover in time. Independiente is a solid home team, but they take quite a different approach when playing as visitors, so I will definitely go on the hosts here, especially since Independiente is also missing it's core defense. GL!

Cuenca (-0.25) @ 2.14, 3/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Bella Vista - Defensor Sporting

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

Big match for Defensor Sporting, as they are defending the lead in both the Clausura and the Anual table, with the end of the season rapidly aproaching. And even though on paper they have an easy schedule, things are not that easy. A match against Bella Vista always looks easy at first sight, since they are rock bottom in the Clausura, with a 20 point difference between themselves and Defensor Sporting. They also have a bad run of 5 consecutive defeats, and they are seriously being haunted by relegation, as they are 3 points down the relegation area. So if they want to have any chances of survival, they have to dig deep. And they have a bit of luck for this game, as Defensor will be missing a couple of key players. Giorgian De Arrascaeta (11/2) is one of their best players, and he will be unavailable after being injured with the U20 national team. He will join midfielder Nicolas Olivera (8/3) on the injury list, as well as midfielder Diego Laxalt (5/1) and Leonardo Pais (3/0), both of them starting the game on the bench. That means that Defensor will be missing two key players, and since they don't have a very deep squad, this could pose some problems. They are also less than impressive when playing away from home, so this line just seems a bit out of place. GL!
Bella Vista (+1 AH) @ 2.08, 3/10
Result: 0-0, WON