The political crisis in Paraguay meant Week 19’s games were moved from the weekend to Tuesday and Wednesday presuambly to avoid any crowd trouble. The major game’s are of course those at the top of the table, Cerro Porteño take on whipping boys Tacuary while Olimpia and Guaraní meet in the clásico añejo the oldest rivalry in Paraguayan football.
Cerro de Franco vs Nacional
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Cerro de Franco picked up a nice win against Rubio Ñu and have been playing well but Nacional too were excellent in the 2nd half last weekend. With the extra rest days allowing them to recover from the journey to Ciudad del Este an away win is on the cards because they have the quality.
Independiente vs Rubio Ñu
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
Two teams playing badly and affected by managerial changes, Independiente have been poor since their coach left while Rubio Ñu named former Cerro Porteño manager Blas Cristaldo as their new boss this week, caution suggests a draw. The only chance of an away win is if Cristaldo’s appointment has instilled confidence in the albiverde.
Sportivo Carapeguá vs Libertad
Estadio Juan Canuto Pettengill
Libertad have way too much quality for a Carapeguá side struggling to get goals or points at the moment, should be an away win even if the Guma’s star player Topo Cáceres is involved in yet another transfer saga.
Sportivo Luqueño vs Sol de América
Estadio Feliciano Cáceres
Luque and Sol are fairly evenly matched, while Sol are stronger offensively they have a weak defence and Luque have proved themselves very hard to beat recently, unbeaten in five with four draws during that run. The home advantage also makes me lean away from the Sol win despite the excellent partnership between Enzo Prono and José Ortigoza.
Olimpia vs Guaraní
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
Olimpia shouldn’t suffer against Guaraní as they did versus Tacuary last week, the aborigen are more expansive and will leave more space in behind for Pablo Zeballos and company to exploit. Guaraní did well to turn the game around against Sol de América, Iván Gonzalez Ferreira was excellent as the attacking outlet and Marcelo Palau is very important as the holding midfielder. However in this derby game it is likely that Olimpia will have a little bit too much for their rivals in attack and will edge this one.
Olimpia win 1.6, Draw 3.3, Guaraní win 2.86
BEST BET: Hard one, the gut feeling is that there will be over 2.5 but recent stats suggest Olimpia will draw or win to nil which could be a safer option
Cerro Porteño vs Tacuary
Estadio Gral. Pablo Rojas a.k.a La Olla
Only a miracle saved Tacuary last week, actually two miracle saves by their goalkeeper. On the other hand Cerro played brilliantly and were unlucky to lose against a very good Libertad team, if they play anything close to that level they will win easily against Tacuary. The only big miss is Diego Barreto, the goalkeeper is still suffering dizziness after colliding with the upright against Nacional, Pablo Gavilán will continue and was a bit uncertain at times.
Cerro win 1.2, Draw 4.0, Tacuary 7.0
BEST BET: Cerro on the handicap, if they play like they did against Libertad they should win comfortably.
By Ralph Hannah