No Friday games this week, we’ve two on Saturday and four on Sunday and at the time of writing (Friday night) no referee’s assigned. Earlier in the week the head of the Referee’s Circle said their members had refused to officiate any of Olimpia’s games blaming MR’s comments on the standard of refereeing last week when two of his player’s were sent off. If that wasn’t enough Sol de América and Guaraní players were (rightly) furious about the decision to move their game to 16.30 – for those who don’t live here put your head in the oven for five minutes to empathise with those players. Their protests have got the game moved back a whopping 20 minutes. As always there are predictions and betting tips, which after this week’s Copa Libertadores disaster you might want to avoid like I’m avoiding the bats in my roof.
Cerro PF vs Rubio Ñu
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Rubio Ñu have been in freefall recently, losing four straight games and now have to travel over 300 km to Ciudad del Este to face Cerro PF who should hold an advantage. They have been strong at home so far drawing with Olimpia and beating Carapeguá and are yet to concede in their native city. The boost for Rubio Ñu is the return of both Eric Ramos (from suspension) and teenage sensation Derlis Gonzalez (from injury) which makes them a greater threat offensively. Ultimately though a win for the away side will be out of their reach.
Cerro Porteño vs Libertad
Estadio Gral. Pablo Rojas a.k.a La Olla
THIS GAME IS LIVE ON BETFAIR VIDEO!
A battle between these two heavyweights is always a tough call and both come into the game having suffered defeat in their previous domestic game which makes me lean towards a draw as avoiding another loss will be at the forefront of both side’s minds. Cerro welcome back Jonathan Fabbro but he will only make the bench, the major change is that Roberto Nanni is expected to start up front with Santiago Salcedo as they go for two ‘big men’ up front and Julio Dos Santos will play as a deep lying playmaker. Holding midfielder Fidencio Oviedo is expected to make way. Libertad are likely to field their ‘B’ team which still includes a host of international players and with Jorge Burruchaga a better tactician than Mario Grana the Libertad coach is more likely to make the right change to find a winner in a predictably tight contest.
SELECTED ODDS: Cerro win 2, Draw 3.55, Libertad win 3.8; 1-1 scoreline 6.6;
BEST BET: Laying Cerro or getting Libertad on the Asian Handicap seem the best markets here
Sol de América vs Guaraní
Estadio Luis Giagni
There was a lot of complaints about the kick off time being too early, and even the compromise means both sides will be playing in intense heat which can often lead to a lack of goals as the players tire quickly. Sol come into the game on the back of their 6-2 thrasing of Tacuary but they face a Guaraní side on excellent form having won comfortably themselves against Luque. One big loss for the away side is Marcelo Palau (suspended) but they still have the excellent Dario Ocampo and the aborigen defence has been much better in the last two games. I think Guaraní will still have enough to win this one even without Palau.
SELECTED ODDS: Sol win 2.64, Draw 2.88, Guaraní win 2.9; 0-1 scoreline 9.8,
BEST BET: With temperatures around 35c this could affect players and goals, maybe a 1-0 either side and look to trade out
Sportivo Carapeguá vs Nacional
Estadio Juan Canuto Pettengill
Technically this game is at a neutral venue but Carapeguá have been using it as a home stadium so must be more comfortable there, new coach Mario Jacquet has been inspiration winning both games so far with the club. Nacional are on a good run themselves, they beat Cerro Porteño last weekend and got their first Copa Libertadores win on Tuesday night. Ariel Bogado might still be ruled out (late fitness test) but the good scoring form of German Cano means it shouldn’t affect Nacional’s goal threat. They are the side more likely to take the victory although Carapeguá’s high morale and slight home advantage may be good enough for a draw but I’ll stick my nose out on an away win.
Olimpia vs Tacuary
Estadio Manuel Ferreira a.k.a Para Uno
LIVE ON BETFAIR VIDEO
Olimpia will be buoyed by their amazing comeback from three goals down against Flamengo on Thursday night, Tacuary are undoubtedly the worst side in the league. A defence in tatters (conceding 10 in two games), little creativity in midfield and only Jorge Ortega playing well in attack but the ball can rarely find him. Even if, as expected, Olimpia rest some of their Cup heroes there are plenty of good players to fill in such as Osvaldo Hobecker in midfield and Arnaldo Castorino up front. This can only be a home win.
SELECTED ODDS: Olimpia win 1.4, Draw 4.2, Tacuary 11.0; 3-0 scoreline 9.8; Over 2.5 goals 1.5
BEST BET: If you think the outright isn’t good value then the Olimpia/Olimpia win at 1.86 is tempting
Luque vs Independiente
Estadio Feliciano Caceres
Independiente, like Tacuary, are the only side yet to win this year and I can’t see that changing in this fixture. Luque looked good in the second half against Guaraní and even without key players at the back (Goalkeeper and Left Back suspended) they should be good enough to win this game. Up front Roberto Gamarra scored last week and before that Guido di Vanni scored two so there are plenty of goals in this side. A home win.
By Ralph Hannah
DISCLAIMER: All odds via Betfair and correct at the time of writing – all tips correct at the time of writing too!