Aug 17, 2013

Deportivo Cuenca - Deportivo Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Deportivo Cuenca will have a lot of squad problems for this match, paying the price for their indiscipline last round. They will have to face Deportivo Quito, one of the high-flying and most in-form teams in the league (currently on 2nd place), without 3 players and also without their head coach, all of them being sent off in their last match, the 1-2 defeat at Independiente. So, they will be without defenders Jerry Leon (8/1) and Moreira (20/0), and without forward Estupinan (23/9). Not many, and just 2 key players, but the coach will be forced to make some deep changes, especially in defense. And even without these absences, in their last matches, Cuenca was only able to snatch points against the mid-table or lower teams. Meanwhile, Deportivo Quito have been in great for at this stage, as they have 5 victories in 7 games, including victories against Emelec and U Catolica (currently sitting at 1st and 3rd place, respectively), and also an away win at Independiente (5th place). They will be pretty much with their best squad, and even though they are not a very spectacular team, they can gloat with a very stable and solid defense, conceding just 5 goals in this competition, and going with clean sheets for the last 5 matches. GL!

Quito (-0.25 AH) @ 2.04, 3/10
Result: 6-1, LOST

Guarani - General Diaz

Paraguay Primera Division, Clausura

Guarani found it hard recently in the league, mainly due to their matches in Copa Sudamericana, which forced them to apply some squad rotations in the league. That's why they are still without a win in this tournament, after 3 rounds, and are sharing the last place in the standings with Nacional and Rubio Nu. It's quite an unacceptable situation for them, and the coach thinks the same. That is why it is expected that they will be fielding their best available squad tonight, without resting anyone in expectancy of their Libertadores match from next week, against Atletico Nacional. And if that happens, I give them the first option to take a win tonight, and it should be a rather easy win. General Diaz are nothing special, and despite being undefeated in Clausura, they have only recorded draws so far. If you look at the names, it may appear as quite a performance, but Libertad are reconstructing their team, Capiata is a very poor team, while Nacional was resting almost their entire squad. It should be a different affair now, if Guarani won't hold anything back, and even though Diaz won the first match played this year, I just don't see them making a repeat of that performance. GL!

Guarani (-0.5 AH) @ 2.00, 3/10
Result: 0-3, LOST

Aug 16, 2013

U Catolica - Emelec

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Huge drop of odds and change of lines here, and to be honest, I can't find a good enough reason to justify these changes. It is true that Emelec will be missing about 3 key players (striker Marlon de Jesus - 24/14 - is injured, while midfielders Gaibor - 18/3 - and Valencia - 15/2 - are unavailable, due to suspension or fatigue after the international day) but that shouldn't be enough to make the lines change so much. Emelec missed a few players in the last round as well, but they still managed to win the game, even though their opponent was weaker than today's one. The most important absence will be the one of strikers' Marlon de Jesus, but from what I've seen, he should be well covered by the new forward, Denis Stracqualursi, who scored 3 goals in his first 2 games for the club. Universidad Catolica has a good team, as they are flying high and are sitting on 3rd place, but we've seen their limitations in the last couple of rounds, as they were beaten by Independiente at home, and away at Deportivo Quito. And I expect Emelec to have the first chance here as well, despite their absences, as they seem to be at a totally different level when they play their game. Keep in mind, the lines/odds changed from -0.25 at 1.94 (opening odds) to +0.25 at much better odds, so from my point of view, we have a big value on this bet. GL!

Emelec (+0.25 AH) @ 2.10, 4/10
Result: 2-1, LOST

Aug 14, 2013

South Korea - Peru

International Friendly Match

Early bet here, because the odds already dropped quite a lot, and will probably keep doing so. This is only a friendly game, but from the looks of it, the Peruvian team, headed by coach Markarian, will take it quite seriously. We can tell this from the list of 'foreign' players that have been called-up, as we can see some big names, like Paolo Guerrero, Jefferson Farfan, Claudio Pizarro, Paolo Hurtado, Edson Flores and Yordy Reina. It's far too soon to speculate about the starting line-up, but I doubt that the coach has called so many stars to South Korea only to leave them on the bench. Meanwhile, the hosts have only called-up Asian-based players (acting in the South Korean or Japan leagues), and except goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong (53 caps) and midfielder Lee Keun-Ho (51 caps), the squad is very inexperienced, and are averaging on the age level at 24 years old. They will be without any of their European stars, and the coach is under a lot of criticism, mainly due to their poor performance in their previous local tournament. The quality should be on the Peruvian side, so it's definitely worth taking this bet, despite this being just a meaningless friendly match. GL!

Peru (+0.5 AH) @ 1.89, 4/10
Result: 0-0, WON

Aug 11, 2013

General Diaz - Nacional

Paraguay Primera Division, Clausura

Nacional of Asuncion achieved a great feat this week, as they qualified for the second round of Copa Sudamericana, and they've done so in great fashion, by snatching a point in the altitude of Bolivia, a place where only a few low-land teams come out alive from. Now they will have to return to their local league, and obviously, some players may not be at their best when it comes to fitness. So, a few players won't even be taken into account for this match, and the biggest loss will be forward Julian Benitez, who scored 13 goals in 17 matches. In the game's squad, there are still several regulars, but I doubt we will see much action from them, and mostly an alternative squad is expected, and I'm also not expecting the best from the players that also played a very tiring match in Bolivia. And if we are to estimate the value of Nacional's alternative squad, we can note their defeat last week, at home, against Sol de America. General Diaz are not a good team, far from that, but they can pull off some nice results from time to time, like 2 consecutive home draws with Libertad last month. They are well motivated, so it will be just a case of what team Nacional will field, and how the players will cope. But in such a case, I think it would be worthwhile trying a bet on the hosts. GL!

Diaz (+0.5 AH) @ 1.91, 3/10
Result: 0-0, WON

Deportivo Quito - Universidad Catolica

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Two of the top performers in the Ecuadorian league will face each other today, as league leaders Universidad Catolica will be looking to secure their top spot even further. They are in red hot form in this stage, as they've had 5 consecutive wins which ended abruptly last week, with a 2-3 home defeat against Independiente. They have the best offense so far, with 14 goals scored, and this proves how effective their offensive play is. Deportivo Quito are right behind them, 2 points adrift, and they are also in very good form, winning 4 of their 6 matches played, and being undefeated in their last 5 games. Their number of goals scored is not so impressive, with just 6 goals, but they also like to play offensive football. Also, within the ranks of Deportivo Quito and U Catolica we have the top 2 best scorers of the league, with Nieto having 22 goals scored so far, and with Laurito having 17 for Catolica. One more thing worth mentioning is that both of their mutual matches from this season have ended with 2-2 draws, so this is very encouraging for this bet. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.97, 3/10
Result: 2-0, LOST