Apertura 2012: Week 4 preview

The league gets off to an early start in Friday’s game in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay’s second city is host to half the games this week including both Cerro Porteño and Olimpia on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Remember that all games have predictions and the odds mentioned on selected games are via Betfair.

Cerro PF vs Sportivo Carapeguá
24/02/2012, 19.30
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Prediction: 1-1

Cerro PF are a well drilled unit Photo: D10.com.py

The two promoted teams open the weekend both with one point from their first three games, Cerro PF look better defensively while Carapeguá have been better going forward so the two could well cancel each other out. The game is on neutral ground but it is a much shorter journey for Cerro PF who play in the neighbouring suburb, I think the long journey will affect Carapeguá who despite being a slightly better side won’t have enough to win. A draw.

SELECTED ODDS: Cerro PF win 2.42, Draw 2.76, Carapeguá win 2.28

BEST BET: Under 2.5 goals could be a good one for these well organised sides

Nacional vs Sol de América
25/02/2012, 17.30
Estadio Arsenio Erico
Prediction:  2-1

League leaders Sol de América visit 2011 Apertura champions Nacional with a 100% record, however with doubts over the fitness of striker José Ortigoza they probably won’t be as strong as previous weeks. Nacional are coming into good form, they won their last two games after starting with a defeat in the league and Copa Libertadores, manager Javier Torrente seems to have the team playing how he wants. The home team are my tip to win this one.

Libertad vs Guaraní
25/02/2012, 18.00
Estadio Nicolas Leoz
Prediction: 2-0

Libertad needed a late equaliser on Monday night to keep their unbeaten run intact but in the confines of their home ground they should have no problem overpowering a Guaraní side still trying to gel and reeling from the loss of striker Santander. Libertad have no cup committments so can field a full strength side who have been well rested, the only absentee is Rodolfo Gamarra but his replacement Nestor Camacho is also international quality.

SELECTED ODDS: Libertad win 1.63, Draw 3.5, Guaraní win 4.3; 2-0 scoreline 6.6

BEST BET: Libertad win is the safest option here even if not huge value

Independiente vs Cerro Porteño
25/02/2012, 20.15
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Prediction: 0-2

Independiente training for big game Photo: Independiente Campo Grande (facebook)

Another game on neutral ground but this time both teams make the 350 km journey from Asunción to Ciudad del Este, Cerro Porteño are more used to playing there and should be cheered on by plenty of fans making it feel like an away game for Independiente even though they are technically the home side. Independiente managed to take a point from Olimpia but Cerro Porteño have had a habit of grinding out results so far, with Fabbro likely to return and young Jorge Rojas maturing with every game it should be another win.

SELECTED ODDS: Independiente win 4.1, Draw 3.3, Cerro win 1.61; 0-2 scoreline 8.00

BEST BET: Cerro have had a habit of leaving it late so a Draw/Cerro bet could be interesting

Tacuary vs Sportivo Luqueño
26/02/2012, 18.00
Estadio Roberto Bettega
Prediction: 0-1

Tacuary are yet to win this season while Luque are still hard to figure out, it is likely to be a low scoring affair and I still can’t see Tacuary with the forward power to be able to win this game. Luque will be organised and if their experienced players are intelligent enough to stop Tacuary on the counter attack they could well snatch a win.

Rubio Ñu vs Olimpia
26/02/2012, 18.30
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Prediction: 1-2

Expect plenty of Olimpia fans to make the trip east Photo: D10.com.py

The third game in three days at 3 de Febrero’s stadium could mean the quality of the pitch is a factor, earlier this month Olimpia struggled on a terrible pitch in Ecuador. They go into the game with two consecutive league draws and had a gruelling game with Lanús in the Copa Libertadores on Thursday. With that in mind there is a slight possibility that Rubio Ñu can take a point from this game although looking at the two sides on paper and the fact it is a neutral venue the game should be a win for the league’s defending champions.

SELECTED ODDS: Rubio Ñu win 3.55, Draw 3.3, Olimpia win 1.8; 1-2 scoreline 8.00

BEST BET: Olimpia draw no bet is safe option otherwise go for goals this fixture has had Over 2.5 in five of last six meetings

By Ralph Hannah

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