Lanús vs Olimpia
Estadio La Fortaleza
03/04/2012, 19.45 (23.45 BST)
Olimpia have descended on Buenos Aires hoping to paint it black and white as the Copa Libertadores reaches the business end of the group stages. El Decano are locked on points with tonight’s opponents Lanús and both sides know that a win will guarantee passage into the knockout stages of South America’s version of the Champions League. Conversely defeat will complicate matters greatly, especially if Flamengo win their game in Ecuador tomorrow evening versus Emelec.
A very relaxed Gerardo Pelusso spoke to Fox Sports yesterday but he isn’t letting his guard down over his starting line up which will be named just before kickoff. The Uruguayan is without the services of Maxi Biancucchi (who scored the winner in this fixture in Asunción) and Renzo Revoredo, both carrying knocks. Last night’s training session suggests he will go with the same side that beat Flamengo with Luis Caballero, Sergio Orteman, Vladimir Marín among the players that were rested in the 1-0 win over Sol de América. The man of the match in that victory was young Fabio Caballero in defensive midfield who will need another disciplined and energetic performance to stop Diego Valeri, Lanús’ playmaker.
Lanús haven’t been doing particularly well in the Argentinian Clausura, a 1-0 home defeat at the weekend consigned them to 18th (of 20 sides) and they have lost five of their last six in the competition. The main positive has been the form of striker Mariano Pavone who has five goals this year and will be a physical test for Adrián Romero and Enrique Meza. Paraguayan Abroad Eduardo Ledesma is likely to be on the substitutes bench tonight, the 26-year-old midfielder started his career with Olimpia.
Olimpia XI (probable): M.Silva; F.Najera, A.Romero, E.Meza, S.Ariosa; E.Aranda, S.Orteman, F.Caballero, V.Marín; P.Zeballos, L.Caballero
SELECTED ODDS: Lanús win 1.89, Draw 3.55, Olimpia win 4.9; 1-1 scoreline 7.4, 0-3 scoreline 110.0, Over 2.5 goals 2.32,
BEST BET: Olimpia and crucially Pelusso are too shrewd to lose this game, knowing that a draw is no disaster with their final fixture at home to the weakest side in the group, Emelec. Lay Lanús seems a good idea or if you believe in the power of Orteman that Olimpia win looks a bit long.
STATS & TRIVIA
Olimpia last 5 away games in Copa Libertadores
Pld 5 W 0 D 2 L 3 GF 7 GA 10
Lanús last 5 home games in Copa Libertadores
Pld 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 GF 3 GA 3 – the last game they lost at home was to Paraguayan outfit Libertad in 2010
Olimpia have won one, drawn one, lost one in their last 3 games in Buenos Aires in the Copa Libertadores in 1989, 1993 and 2002. The most recent meeting against Boca Juniors saw an 18-year-old Carlos Tevez scored for the opponents.
Olimpia go into the game having only lost once in the last 21 outings in all competitions.
By Ralph Hannah
Author’s Note: All odds up to date at the time of writing, vía Betfair