Oct 16, 2013

Uruguay - Argentina

World Cup 2014, CONMEBOL Qualifiers

The last day of the World Cup qualifiers is upon us, and if we look at it realistically, Uruguay needs a real miracle to achieve a direct qualification. Let's look at the facts: we all know the fixing theory that circulates, involving Chile and Ecuador in a draw that would seal direct qualification for both of them, and if that's the case, Uruguay has no chance. And a draw in Chile is, of course, very much on the cards. And even if one of them wins, they need to do it big, same as Uruguay needs a big win against Argentina. But, there's more to this match: Argentina will be using a mostly-reserves team, as they won't be counting on Messi, Aguero, Higuain, Gago or Mascherano. So they will have to cope without a handful of world class players, while at the same time Uruguay will be at full force (Cavani and Suarez will lead the attack). Even if they won't achieve a direct qualification, for Uruguay this is a derby, and it would indeed be shameful to lose on their own ground against a B squad of Argentina. A win here will bring the players a morale boost, and will leave them in good mood for the play-offs. I believe Uruguay will take the match seriously, and will fight until the very end. And this means that besides going for the victory, they should be also going for the goal difference. Despite the odds having dropped quite a bit, I still think both the home win and the over are solid bets, and I'm going to go against my rule and take two bets on the same match. GL!

Uruguay (-0.5) @ 2.08, 4/10
Result: 3-2, WON

over 2.5 goals @ 1.87, 4/10
Result: 3-2, WON

Oct 14, 2013

Venezuela - Paraguay

World Cup 2014, CONMEBOL Qualifiers

Paraguay's torment in these qualification session is almost over, as they only have 2 matches remaining. First up is a trip to Venezuela, where Paraguay have nothing but pride to play for. And this fixture is going bad before even starting, as the players lost a lot of time during (and before) the flight, as there were some technical problems both with the plane and with the airport from the destination. So the resting time will be far from optimal, and since I already doubt their motivation, they will be far from their best. They will be using a lot of experienced players, but the squad is very thin... if anything happens to one of their regulars, they are in even deeper problems (in defense, 3 of 7 players are debutants, and 2 others have below 5 selections; only 3 out of 8 midfielders have more than 10 caps). So I'm expecting rather a shaky team from midfield down. Venezuela have pretty much a full squad, and motivation should be at the top. Their chances of qualification are very slim, and I really doubt they'll pull off a miracle (Uruguay need to lose both of their matches), but I fancy Venezuela's chances today. GL!

Venezuela (-0.5 AH) @ 1.98, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST