Two games on Saturday and four on Sunday with the Barrio Obrero derby between Nacional and Cerro Porteño probably the most attractive game. Libertad also know that if Olimpia fail to win they can join or overtake them in the race for the 2013 Copa Libertadores spot, an interesting weekend awaits.
Rubio Ñu vs Tacuary
Two teams not playing very well, Rubio Ñu have really suffered in front of goal managing just four goals in their nine games to date while Tacuary have conceded the most goals in the Clausura so far. Nery Cardozo’s recent return from injury means the home team boast a slightly stronger strikeforce. They are unbeaten at home in four games although three have been draws. Tacuary on the other hand have lost their last four on their travels scoring just once. Should be a home win.
BEST BET: Under 2.5 goals
Sol de América vs Olimpia (TV)
Defensores del Chaco
José Cardozo’s first game in charge of Olimpia (in his third spell as coach) following Gregorio Perez’s sacking last week. There have been no surprises in his first squad, a possible indication of the lack of depth of the current Olimpia group. Sol de América usually give Olimpia a good game but lose, they’ve been defeated in the last 6 and the last three meetings have ended 1-0. With Olimpia weak defensively this could finally be the danzarín’s time to chalk up a win.
BEST BET: Both Teams to Score (BTTS) seems the smart choice for two teams that concede over 1 per game on average
Carapeguá vs Guaraní (TV)
Estadio Municipal de Carapeguá
The league leaders travel to Paraguarí department for this game with strugglers Carapeguá as they look to maintain a six-point gap at the top of the table. Sergio Orteman has been a key figure alongside captain Marcelo Palau with the two Uruguayans controlling central midfielder and importantly Diego Centurión has shaken off an injury so should start up front. Carapeguá are three games without a win and while they’ve managed to find the net regularly (7 in the last 5 games) they have been conceding heavily with 8 goals in their last three matches. Guaraní should have too much firepower for them on Sunday.
BEST BET: Away win
Independiente vs Luque
Independiente are playing this one in Olimpia’s stadium to accommodate the away supporters who will be hoping to take all three points as Mario Grana preparaes a couple of changes. Sergio Alvarez could start up front while José Báez is suspended so the more attacking right back, Victor Dávalos is expected to replace him. That will suit Luque who have Juan Pablo Raponi on the left hand side and expect him to exploit the space there. Luque’s defence has been excellent this season and Independiente have struggled to score so a Luque cleansheet is to be expected, assuming they find the net this game will be three more points for the team unbeaten in five.
Independiente XI (probable): Roque Cardozo; Víctor Dávalos, Milciades Portillo, Miguel Almirón, Felipe Giménez; Aldo Vera, Luis Miño, Richard Lugo, Osvaldo Díaz; Emanuel Biancucchi, Sergio Álvarez
Luque XI (probable): Tobías Vargas; Claudio Vargas, Gonzalo Maulella, Rolando Bogado, Sergio Vergara; Diego Godoy, Édgar Robles, Juan Abente, Juan Raponi; Adriano Duarte, Guido Di Vanni.
BEST BET: Luque win to nil
Cerro Porteño vs Nacional (TV)
Defensores del Chaco
Cerro Porteño secured a famous win on Thursday night and while they would love to win on the eve of their centenary the league is not a priority so players may be rested. Nacional can call on a full-strength team with defender Marcos Miers and midfielder Marcos Melgarejo returning from suspension. The Academia have won four of their last six games but have slipped up against the bigger teams (their two defeats to Olimpia & Guaraní) so there is an air of caution. It should be remembered though that they often play well against Cerro Porteño in what is the Barrio Obrero clásico, Nacional have won four of the last six meetings. The only lost within that run was the previous game which needed two Nanni goals in two minutes to turn the game around. This one could well be a draw.
Nacional XI (possible): Óscar Agüero; Ramón Coronel, Raúl Piris, Marcos Miers, David Mendoza; Marcos Melgarejo, Marcos Riveros, Derlis Orué, Silvio Torales; César Cáceres Cañete; Rodrigo Teixeira.
BEST BET: Under 2.5 goals probably safer than home win
Libertad vs Cerro de Franco
Another home game for Libertad who are beginning to purr under Ruben Israel so expect another strong performance on Sunday evening. The Guma have conceded just one goal in their last seven home games winning five of those and drawing two. Cerro de Franco will be looking to Rogerio for goals but the likelihood is that this game goes the way of their previous encounter with Libertad in Tuyucuá, a 2-0 home victory.
BEST BET: Libertad win to nil
By Ralph Hannah