A preview of the final round of games before the one-month break to allow the national team acclimatisation time in La Paz ahead of the World Cup Qualifier against Bolivia. Also for those desperate to know the second half of Rubio Ñu vs Tacuary (suspended for rain) will be played on either the 17th or 18th of May and should be confirmed Monday next week.
Cerro PF vs Sportivo Luqueño
Estadio Juan Eudes Pereira
Cerro de Franco managed their first away win last weekend while Luque dominated Tacuary but needed a last minute goal to equalise. The Kuré’s problem has certainly been goals scoring just once in the last four games and they will find it hard against a well-drilled Cerro team. The home side suffered a similar problem to Luque early on in the season but have found the net regularly in recent games thanks in part to the good form of striker Rogerio Leichtweiss. Home advantage and form suggest a win for the team from Alto Paraná.
Libertad vs Sol de América
Estadio Nicolás Leóz
An excellent win for Libertad in midweek against Cruz Azul has kept their good run of form intact, they are now eleven games unbeaten and really seem to have clicked. That spells danger for Sol de América who will struggle despite having a good record at this ground winning 3 of the last five meetings. Libertad just have too much quality all over the pitch to lose this, regardless of whether they field a first team or a reserve team.
Tacuary vs Guaraní
Estadio Roberto Bettega
Tacuary are the worst side in the league by a country mile so far and the only thing saving them from another defeat would be more profligacy in front of goal from Guaraní. The aborigen did miss Dario Ocampo’s creativity recently and will hope the diminuitive Argentine is back from injury soon. They have been boosted by the successful appeal against Marcelo Palau’s red card, the combative Uruguayan will start on Saturday and is expected to be a key player.
Independiente vs Sportivo Carapeguá
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
Independiente are the form side in the league having won four of their last five including back-to-back wins against Olimpia and Cerro Porteño. They play attractive football and have Emanuel Biancucchi in goalscoring form while welcoming back Francisco Garcia who missed the Cerro game due to a clause in his contract. Carapeguá are on a poor run of form and have had more instability with Jacquet resigning for the second time this season only to return once again. It should be a comfortable home victory.
Nacional vs Olimpia
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
The teams travel to Ciudad del Este for this game which sees an inconsistent Nacional take on an Olimpia rocked by the triple termination of Sergio Orteman, Adrián Romero and Vladimir Marin’s contracts over indisicpline. The good news for the away team is that Miguel Amado is back to full fitness and can slot in at central midfield. Against Rubio Ñu they showed a lot of determination and grabbed a win in stoppage time, I think they will be good for the win again with Nacional not great travellers.
Rubio Ñu vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
A fixture against a struggling Rubio Ñu side perfect chance for Cerro to recover from last week’s surprsie defeat. If they score early it could be an easy victory with the attacking talent on show coupled with the albiverde’s poor defending so far this year. The wide spaces at the Defensores del Chaco will favour expansive players like Edgar Benitez and Jorge Rojas and with no Roberto Acuña (suspended) there might be a lack of orgnaization with the nominal home side. The last game between these two finished 5-3 to the azulgrana having led 3-0 at one stage and I sense there will be goals to cap off week 16.
By Ralph Hannah
All odds via Betfair and correct at the time of writing