May 25, 2013

Fenix - Danubio

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

Fenix is playing on two fronts here, with two different objectives in mind. First of all, they need to assure their position in the Primera Division, as they are just 8 points ahead of the relegation zone (and Progreso will double up the remaining points, so there are still chances for Fenix to relegate). Then, they will also want to take another step towards a ticket for Copa Sudamericana, where they are just 1 point behind El Tanque Sisley. Danubio plays for nothing, as they are safe from relegation, and they also have minimal chances of going to a continental competition. They do have some slight chances of winning the Clausura, but with 5 points behind the leaders, and with 2 other teams between them, they will have to be realistic and call it a day. So I'm expecting Danubio to play without real motivation, wherein Fenix will be giving it they're all to achieve their objectives. They are in good form, with 3 victories in their last 5 games (lost only to league leaders Defensor), and are a strong team to play against, especially on their home ground (lost only one game, against Racing). Odds went up quite a bit since the market opened (probably because most people are backing Danubio for their title race), but with some poor recent performances, I find it hard to trust them. The available lines are looking very good, and Fenix gets my vote here.

Fenix DNB @ 1.88, 4/10
Result: 1-1, VOID

River Plate - Central Espanol

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

With just 2 rounds remaining in the Uruguayan league, things are pretty much clear, and everyone knows what they have to do. One such game is River against Central Espanol, where both teams need to win, but for totally different reasons. River needs the 3 points to tie Defensor at the top of the Clausura table, and put some pressure on them (they play on Sunday), while Central Espanol needs a miracle, as they need the 3 points here and in the last round, while they're also hoping for a couple of slip-ups from Fenix and Progreso, in order to continue in the Primera Division. And this will be very hard for them, as they have been showing some very poor football so far, and they are playing against a team who fights for the title. River made an excellent campaign so far, and will repeat the team that drew last week with Defensor. No important absences for them, as they look set to continue their good form, as they won 7 out of 13 games in the Clausura (second-best behind Defensor), where they also have the best offense, with 21goals scored. They have a lot to play for, as I'm sure they won't be giving up the fight so easily, and I'm confident in an easy win here. GL!

River (-1 AH) @ 1.87, 4/10
Result: 5-0, WON

May 24, 2013

Barcelona - Deportivo Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

The opening odds were suggesting that Barcelona should have a rather easy match here, and only the margin of their victory is in doubt. But I disagree with that, and I think that these odds are just an overreaction after Barcelona's win against Emelec, and due to Deportivo Quito's internal problems and their threats of not traveling for the game. But this crisis is close to a solution, as Deportivo's players have received some of the postponed payments. And besides, these issues have been ever present for at least 3 months, and this never stopped them from taking on each game with professionalism (they have lost a single game this season). Full team is expected for Deportivo Quito, with the only absent being midfielder Luis Romero (14/1). Otherwise, all the big names are set to start, including striker Nieto (13 goals in 14 games) and winger Colon (14/8). Same story with Barcelona, as they will also have a full squad at their disposal, with the exception of midfielder Matias Oyola (14/1). They may have improved lately in the league, but I'm still not convinced that they will be able to fight at the top. And besides, Deportivo is traditionally a team that poses a lot of problems: in the last 15 direct games played in Guayaquil, Barcelona did manage to win the majority, but only 3 of them have been by more than a one-goal advantage. And if we look at the teams now, Deportivo looks better. I'd go for a draw here, but the handicap is the safer solution. GL!

Deportivo (+0.75 AH) @ 1.82, 3/10
Result: 1-0, HALF-LOST

May 23, 2013

Juan Aurich - Sport Huancayo

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Juan Aurich and Sport Huancayo will be getting up to date tonight, as they will clash in Chiclayo. This will take away Huancayo's altitude advantage, and put the ball in Aurich's field. Both teams are around the middle of the table, so for sure both will want a win, in order to leap-frog a couple of places. Aurich are as strong as ever at home, with a record of 5-1-1, despite a recent decline in form (they have won just 2 of their last 10 games, but 6 of them were played as visitors, and they also had a home clash with Alianza Lima... the good part is that from those 10 matches, they have only lost 2: the one with Alianza, and the visit to league runner-ups Garcilaso). Huancayo have been surprising so far if it comes to their away form: they are usually strong at home, suffering a total transformation when traveling, but this year they are looking quite good away from home, with a 2-2-3 record. But looking closely, from those 7 games, 3 have been played at altitude, and one against hapless San Martin. So their only real performance was the 3-2 win at Universitario. Aurich will definitely get back to their usual form, sooner rather than later, and they have traditionally dominated Huancayo, as they never lost to them at home, and have 5 consecutive wins against them, with a goal difference of 12-2. I'm expecting more of the same tonight. GL!

Aurich (-0.75 AH) @ 1.96, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST