The weekend is dominated by Sunday’s superclásico between Olimpia and Cerro Porteño which will have its own separate preview – yes it’s that big! Here are your five other matches that take place over Saturday, Sunday and in the case of Libertad and Rubio Ñu – Monday!
Independiente vs Tacuary
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
The two worst club’s in the league this season begin this weekend’s action, locked on six points each with goal difference of -12 and -13 respectively it is a key opportunity for both sides to pick up much needed points. Tacuary won last week but so bad has their season been that they brought in a new manager, the vastly experienced Uruguayan Luis Cubilla takes the reins having previously managed Olimpia on five separate occassions since 1979. He has 10 Paraguayan league titles to his name and two Copa Libertadores. He should be able to get the best out of this Tacuary team. Independiente got a credible draw against Libertad and that boost in confidence should be enough for them to stand their ground here. A draw.
Cerro PF vs Guaraní
Estadio Eudes Pereira de Cerro de Franco
Cerro de Franco will play just their second game at their stadium in Presidente Franco (just outside Ciudad del Este) and while they will hope to avoid the same result as last time (a 2-0 reverse to Libertad) I can see this going the same way. After some early teething problems Guaraní have reacted well to Pablo Caballero and apart from consecutive defeats to Olimpia and Cerro Porteño they have looked good. Last week they came from behind to win, only the 2nd time in 26 games, showing some steel to go with the talent of the squad. They can count on an almost full squad, only Luis Cabral (suspended) misses out, the strength in midfield with Marcelo Palau and Dario Ocampo will be enough to earn a victory for the visitors.
Cerro Porteño vs Olimpia
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
As mentioned above this will have a separate preview on Sunday, but now you have all had a sneaky peek at my prediction!
Carapeguá vs Sol de América
Estadio Juan Canuto Pettengill
Extraordinary events off the field in Carapeguá have affected preparations for this game, the President of the club was forced to resign with legal problems and falling foul of the complicated APF rules. Apparently, unbeknown to most of us, the President of the club Sportivo Carapeguá had to also be the President of the Liga Carapegueña as the club are effectively a representative team of said league having been Interligas champions. Confused? You should be! What this all means is that the President has gone as has coach Mario Jacquet after just six games (W 3, D 2, L 1) and his staff, the players didn’t train towards the end of the week because they had nobody to lead the session! Sol on the other hand have been ruthless against ‘lesser’ opposition and with Enzo Prono in goalscoring form there should be too much ammunition for Carapeguá to deal with.
Sportivo Luqueño vs Nacional
Estadio Feliciano Caceres
A downbeat Nacional, having been knocked out of the Copa Libertadores, return from Ciudad del Este to face a Luque side under new management. The 1979 Copa Libertadores and Copa América winner Carlos Kiese took charge of the auriazul back in 2007 but only won a single game in a brief tenure. Luque fans will hope he does much better this time round with points at a premium to avoid the promedio. A new manager, home support and a travel-weary Nacional has tipped the scales in the favour of the Luqueños but it is still hard to see a home win. Javier Torrente has made Nacional hard to beat (in the domestic league at least) and they have a good record in this fixture, Luque having won just one win in 12 meetings. Even Stevens.
SELECTED ODDS: Luque win 2.94, Draw 2.96, Nacional 1.79; 1-1 scoreline 6.6; Nacional to be winning at HT 2.24
BEST BET: A tight one to call, I think both teams to score if available is a good market
Rubio Ñu vs Libertad
Estadio La Arboleda
This week’s round of games finishes with a three-fifteen kick off on a Monday afternoon (you don’t get many of them to the pound!) as Libertad pleaded for an extra day following their Copa Libertadores exploits in Lima. It is hard to guess what the Gumarelo are going to do at the moment they have the quality to beat everybody in the league but have slipped up recently drawing with Carapeguá and Independiente. It has led to a tense state of affairs between the club and their fans but an away game in front of a crowd expected to be in the hundreds (who is going to take time off work for this one?!) might take the pressure off. The good news for Libertad at the moment is the form of Pablo Velazquez who has three goals in his last four, Rubio Ñu are also happy to have Derlis Gonzalez back the teenage sensation scored the opener last week.
SELECTED ODDS: Rubio win 4, Libertad win 1.98, Draw 3.9; 2-2 scorline 16.5
BEST BET: Both teams to score is also the way to go with Libertad prone to conceding at the moment
By Ralph Hannah
Author’s Note: All odds correct at time of writing via Betfair