Nov 14, 2013

Jordan - Uruguay

World Cup 2014, Play-off

Not enough time for a proper analysis, but the difference in quality is obviously too high in Uruguay's favor. It's not an easy task playing in Asian countries, but when you have the number of stars that Uruguay has (Godin, Caceres, Rodriguez, Alvaro Pereira, Forlan, Suarez and Cavani), things will be much easier. Nothing special about Jordan, and a 2-0 win for the South Americans is the minimum that I can see. GL!

Uruguay (-1.5 AH) @ 1.79, 4/10
Result: 0-5, WON

Nov 10, 2013

Macara - Independiente

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Independiente have it all to play for: With a win today, they could catch-up to Emelec at the top of the table, or at least they can keep putting pressure on them. After that, they also have to secure their participation in the two cups, Libertadores and Sudamericana, and they can clinch both of them by finishing the year on 2nd place in the aggregate table (in case a final won't be played - if Emelec wins the Segunda Etapa). They currently have 5 points over the 3rd place, with 5 games remaining, so there's no place for a wrong step. On the other side, we have a Macara side that are all but mathematically relegated. They are 14 points behind the safe zone, so we can say that it's impossible for them to get something. Even more, the coach left for Argentina, taking a couple of players with him, while a few other players have been removed from the team, trying to reconstruct it's squad. That's why today we'll only see around 3-4 of their main regular players. They will probably try to prove themselves, but morale is low, and they'll face a very solid team that is gunning for the title. Also, Independiente have 3/3 against Manta this season, with a goal difference of 11-1. The odds aren't great at all, but the away win should be a lock. GL!

Independiente (-0.75 AH) @ 1.80, 4/10
Result: 2-0, LOST

Deportivo Cuenca - Manta

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Deportivo Cuenca are in all kinds of problems, as they have a list of 6 players unavailable for this match (4 of them suspended and 2 not taken into account). But from those 6, we only need to mention 4, who are all key players. Their main absences are: defenders Andres Lopez (16/2) and Edder Fuertes (15/0), midfielder Gregory Gonzalez (15/0) and forward Estupinan (9/3). So they should be taking quite a hit for this match, and I'm sure they will struggle at least a bit, in front of an opponent that is never like a walk in the park. It is true, both teams have been in poor form recently (Cuenca has 7 games without a win, while Manta have 5 - but 4 of them have been defeats), and Manta are very poor away from home, but under these conditions, I do favor them to take at least one point. None of them have been showing anything solid, so it should be considered an equal game at least, therefore the current line has value (I would have set the lines to 0.25). Besides, Manta should also have a morale advantage here, as they haven't lost this year to Cuenca, and have won 2 out of 3 direct matches. GL!

Manta (+0.5 AH) @ 1.91, 4/10
Result: 1-1, WON

Cienciano - Juan Aurich

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla B

Another match where I don't really agree with the odds. Cienciano has the altitude advantage, but that's it. Quality and form are definitely on Aurich's side, who - before last round - had a run of 8 consecutive games without a loss. And it could have went on for a while longer, but they had to face leaders and finalists Universitario, so they can't be criticized too much. Meanwhile, Cienciano is dropping points all over the place, including at home, and away at teams as poor as Jose Galvez. So it's rather strange for me to set Cienciano up as favorites solely due to the altitude, because the first question that comes into mind is: since when haven't they beaten Aurich? And the answer is: from 2011. That means that in the last 6 mutual matches, Aurich won 5 and drew the other one. And one win and the draw were taken in Cusco, under similar conditions. And right now Aurich is gunning for Copa Sudamericana (4 points behind the last qualifying spot), so for sure they'll focus and play their best game. GL!

Juan Aurich (+0.25 AH) @ 2.16, 3/10
Result: 2-1, LOST

Sporting Cristal - Real Garcilaso

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla A

In Peru, there are just 4 rounds left, so this match has an extra-importance for everybody. Garcilaso are 2 points ahead of Cristal at the top of the table, so a home win here will see a change of leader, while it will also open the door for Alianza Lima to get in the title fight. Garcilaso had a very solid and consistent first half of the season, capitalizing on last year's success and form, but recently, ever since the Liguilla has started, their performances have dropped quite a lot, winning just 2 games, dropping points at home and conceding a couple of goals every match (something very unusual for them, judging by their play in the last 2 years). That's why the odds are rather rightfully set here, as Cristal has the better team and also is more in form. Cristal probably have one of the best squads in Peru, and I would name them favorites to win Liguilla A. Also, in these matches, the points usually remain at home, but we've seen in last year's final that, when it mattered the most, Cristal was able to win away as well. GL!

Cristal (-0.75 AH) @ 1.97, 3/10
Result: 5-2, WON