This weekend sees the monumental game between Libertad and Cerro Porteño on Sunday, the latter almost certainly needing a win with Olimpia facing basement boys Tacuary on Saturday. High-flying Sol could overtake Libertad into third if they pick up a win away from home against Guaraní. Relegation isn’t decided until December but right now Tacuary, Cerro de Franco, Carapeguá and Luque find themselves in trouble all have tough matches.
Tacuary vs. Olimpia
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
Tacuary have been awful recently but finally have Gregor Aguayo back, the left-back was suspended for 6 months for attacking the referee in the controversial fixture against Olimpia in the 2011 Clausura. This could sure up the defence and will surely add spice to the occassion. However, Olimpia seem to be focussed again and are closing in on a 40th league title, the negotiations with strikers Luis Caballero and Pablo Zeballos are galvanising the duo rather than distracting them. The only notable absentee is central defender Kike Meza who is being frozen out until he signs a new contract – it shouldn’t be a problem against such an impotent attacking force as Tacuary. Away win.
Tacuary win 7.2, Draw 3.9, Olimpia win 1.44
BEST BET: Would take Olimpia at this price, it is effectively a home game for them and it is league leaders vs basement boys
Independiente vs Sportivo Luqueño
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
Tough one to call, Independiente were flying high until their coach Alicio Solalinde left but they remain unbeaten in their last five. Luque have sufficent quality to take the points here but there is always a question as to what team will turn up, inconsistency has been their greatest vice this year. Probably an away win.
Independiente win 2.16, Draw 3.2, Luque win 3.00
BEST BET: Not convinced by Luque win so would look into something like unders
Nacional vs Sportivo Carapeguá
Estadio Arsenio Erico
Eduardo Echeverría is back for the away team, the midfielder is topscorer and comes in for the suspended Cantero. Nacional had been good at home until recently, but their form has dropped dramatically currently with no win in five. They should have the quality to beat Carapeguá here and it would be crazy to look at anything other than a home win.
Rubio Ñu vs Cerro de Franco
Estadio La Arboleda
Rubio Ñu keep sinking under Juan Arce, they lost against Carapeguá last week to fall into penultimate place in the Apertura standings and are set to lose Derlis Gonzalez to Benfica. Cerro de Franco remain an organised and well drilled unit, typical of a promoted side. They have had a satisfactory season and will be happy with a point away from home, a draw seems the right result for these evenly balanced sides.
Guaraní vs Sol de América
Estadio Rogelio Livieres
Guarani are missing Dario Ocampo still which is a big blow to their offensive efficiency and it is a contrast of form with the aurinegro no wins in four while Sol de América have four consecutive victories. In this case I think Guaraní’s overall quality will be enough to overcome the danzarin who have often struggled against the bigger clubs. The only thing that will threaten a home win is the pace of Sol’s attack with Enzo Prono and José Ortigoza able to cause problems amongst Guaraní’s slowish backline.
Guaraní 2.16, Draw 3.25, Sol win 3.00
BEST BET: Goals should be a good bet with two footballing sides and both sides offesenses are better than their rival’s defence
Libertad vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
The final fixture of the week is a real cracker between third and second, the best side in the league on paper against the form side (five wins in six for the azulgrana). Cerro Porteño have nicked the last two games by the only goal and the two mathces previous ended in 1-1 draws. Either result is strongly possible in what is set to be another epic battle between these two teams. Uruguayan coach Fossati should give Cerro enough inspiration to take this game, the only weakness is their recent conversion to 3-5-2 which could well be exposed by Libertad’s rapid wide men.
Libertad win 2.64, Draw 3.2, Cerro win 2.4
BEST BET: Under 2.5 goals would be safest option in this case as either team could nick it, the only threat to that is if Cerro’s wing backs get overrun
By Ralph Hannah