Nacional vs Deportivo Táchira
Estadio Polideportivo de Pueblo Nuevo a.k.a El Templo Sagrado
27/03/2012, 21.30 (01.30 BST)
Nacional travel to San Cristóbal, knowing that they must win to have a chance of replacing Cruz Azul (who go there next week) in the qualification zone. They beat the Venezuelans in a thrilling encounter last week in Asunción and will hope for a repeat performance tonight.
Javier Torrente is expected to field the same XI that lined up against Táchira in the previous game but can now count on the services of Ariel Bogado who will either replace Germán Cano or Rodrigo Teixeira up front. The three strikers are of vital importance to Nacional, with the trio contributing to eight of the team’s last 10 goals as they thrive on the competition for places. The Academia are hoping to end a terrible record away from home, they have lost their last seven games as visitors in the Copa Libertadores.
Deportivo Táchira are on a bad run themselves, just winning one of their last nine games in all competitions and will be without Jackson Clavijo and Pedro Fernandez both sent off in the defeat to Nacional. With what is expected to be a big crowd at the Pueblo Nuevo the Venezuelans could feel the pressure if they are unable to score early on or worse still concede. However it should be noted they were just a last-minute equaliser from beating Corinthians in their only home game so far this year. That match ended 1-1 which is my prediction for tonight, an away win is probably out of reach for the Paraguayans.
Nacional XI (probable): I.Don; R.Mazacotte, H.Miranda, D.Caniza, D.Mendoza; C.Ruiz Peralta, M.Riveros, J.Villarreal, R.Caceres; R.Texeira, A.Bogado
SELECTED ODDS: Táchira win 2.62, Draw 3.35, Nacional win 3.0; 1-1 scoreline 7.2, Under 2.5 goals 1.8
BEST BET: Considering both sides defences and the result in their last meeting, Both Teams to Score at 1.82 seems pretty decent value if you ask me
STATS & TRIVIA
Nacional last 5 away in Copa Libertadores
Pld 5 W 0 D 0 L 5 GF 2 GA 10
Táchira last 5 home in Copa Libertadores
Pld 5 W 1 D 2 L 2 GF 4 GA 7
Nacional’s win against Táchira was their first Copa Libertadores game against a Venezuelan side
The last Paraguayan team to visit Táchira was Cerro Porteño last year, they won 2-0
Táchira have also played Paraguayan sides Guaraní and Libertad in the 2009 and 2010 winning both home games
FULL SQUAD LIST:
GK: Ignacio Don, German Caffa
DEF: Denis Caniza, Raul Piris, David Mendoza, Ricardo Mazacotte, Herminio Miranda, Marcos Miers
MID: Gustavo Noguera, Gustavo Cristaldo, Ramón Cáceres, Silvio Torales, Carlos Ruiz Peralta, Marcos Riveros, Javier Villareal
ATT: Rodrigo Teixeira, Germán Cano, Ángel Orué, Ariel Bogado
By Ralph Hannah
Author’s Note: All odds up to date at the time of writing, vía Betfair