The penultimate round of games and a win for Olimpia can see them lift the title, Cerro Porteño are the only side still in contention and will be kicking off at the same time against Sol de América. All games take place on Wednesday 4th July.
Luque vs Olimpia
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
Luque are banned from their home stadium which means the game will be played in the Defensores with thousands of Olimpia fans eager to celebrate the title. The players too will be desperate to wrap things up against a struggling Luque side rather than have the huge pressure of having to beat Cerro Porteño in the clásico at the weekend. Both quality and form suggests El Decano will be strong enough and the champagne will be on ice in Sajonia. There is also big motivation for coach Gerardo Pelusso who is set to be officially unveiled as the new Paraguay national team manager after the tournament ends, he would love to finish with back-to-back titles.
SELECTED ODDS: Luque win 3.1, Draw 3.5, Olimpia 1.84
BEST BET: Take Olimpia at those odds this isn’t an away match for them
Cerro Porteño vs Sol de América
Estadio Gral. Pablo Rojas a.k.a La Olla
Cerro know the title is out of their hands and while the fans will be listening to events down the road in the Defensores the players are fully focussed on winning to keep in the race. Fossati is expected to set up the same XI as at the weekend and the last few games is the best the azulgrana have played all year with key players showing their full potential. Sol de América are also playing well and the last two games with Cerro have been 2-2 draws, however I can’t see the home team slipping up today.
SELECTED ODDS: Cerro Porteño win 1.61, Draw 3.3, Sol de América win 4.6
BEST BET: Why don’t you take the double on offer Cerro/Olimpia with both sides at decent odds today
Cerro de Franco vs Tacuary
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Tacuary managed to score last week but it was a penalty, both they and Cerro de Franco need points for the relegation standings (relegation only comes into play in the Clausura but these points count towards it). I think both ‘home’ advantage (Cerro de Franco are playing down the road from home town of Presidente Franco) and general form is pointing towards a narrow home win.
Rubio Ñu vs Nacional
Estadio La Arboleda
Rubio Ñu are playing badly, Blas Cristaldo still doesn’t know who is best team is and they are struggling to score goals. Nacional on the other hand have been quite erratic losing 5-0 then winning 5-0 the following week. In terms of quality Nacional are the better side and have the attacking potency to win this game if they show up fully motivated.
BEST BET: Don’t bet. Often when neither team has nothing to play for deals can be struck behind closed doors.
Independiente vs Libertad
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
Libertad have had an exodus of players at the end of their contracts, Jonathan Santana, Cristian Nasuti, Cristian Menendez, Luciano Civelli, Víctor Cáceres, Carlos Bonet are all out. Jorge Burruchaga has left his post as manager, citing the unfulfilled promise of a meeting with the board to dicuss future plans, which if true is a huge oversight by Libertad’s top brass because they’ve lost an excellent coach. However despite losing big names the gumarelo are full of others eager to take their place, also expect a couple of debuts for young players in a team that will be determined to win to keep earning points in the 2013 Copa Libertadores race. Think Libertad will prevail today.
Sportivo Carapeguá vs Guaraní
Estadio Juan Canuto Pettengill
A hard one to call, Carapeguá need the points more than Guaraní who have lost key players and have sacked their manager Pablo Caballero. The aborigen have little attacking threat now that Dante Lopez, Fabio Escobar and Carlos Hidalgo aren’t playing (out of contract) so a goal from the away team will most likely have to come from a set piece but without defenders Julio Manzur and Elvis Marecos even that looks difficult. With that in mind I’m backing the home win.
By Ralph Hannah