The ‘vuelta’ begins with the second round of games starting on Friday night, Cerro Porteño looking for revenge for their first day defeat against Guaraní. Another intriguing clash follows as Libertad travel across town to Barrio Obrero to play Nacional on Saturday while Olimpia play on Sunday at home to Rubio Ñu.
Guaraní vs Cerro Porteño
Defensores del Chaco
Both teams are putting out strong sides, Cerro Porteño have their Copa Sudamericana game on Tuesday night but Fossati has stated he would like to use this as a warm up for that crunch 2nd leg and is expected to put out the same XI in both matches. With the game on neutral ground, Cerro will fancy their chances if they can get the ball in space however the aurinegro know that with Diego Centurión on form they will be a danger if they can get the ball into the penalty box by any means. This game could well be decided by the first goal, not that I expect a 1-0 but that both teams have great conversion rates this year having scored first (Guaraní win 82% of games having scored first, Cerro 79% of games).
Guaraní XI (confirmed): Pablo Aurrecochea; Eduardo Filippini, Robert Aldama, Luis Cabral, Edgar Aranda; Iván González Ferreira, Sergio Órteman, Marcelo Palau, Dario Ocampo; Dante López, Diego Centurión
Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, Cesar Benítez; Carlos Bonet, Julio Dos Santos, Fidencio Oviedo, Domingo Salcedo; Jonathan Fabbro; Roberto Nanni, Santiago Salcedo
BEST BET: Both teams to score a good bet here as the final result could go either way.
Nacional vs Libertad (TV)
Nacional have been strong at home but they face a revitalised Libertad side who have 2013 Copa Libertadores firmly in their sights. It promises to be a good game with both sides making up the chasing pack behind league leaders Guaraní. The Gumarelo have come out on top in the last three meetings by a single goal and I see a repeat on Saturday with the strength of Pablo Velazquez and the pace of José Ariel Nuñez unsettling Nacional’s backline. The one difference to the Nacional XI below could be the inclusion of Marcos Riveros in central midfield who is fighting to recover from a muscle strain.
Nacional XI (probable): Ignacio Don; Ramón Coronel, Raul Piris, Leonardo Caceres, David Mendoza; Carlos Ruiz Peralta, Derlis Orué, Silvio Torales, Marcos Melgarejo; César Cáceres Cañete, Javier Gonzalez
Libertad XI (possible): Rodrigo Muñoz; Aldo Olmedo, Joe Bizera, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia; Nelson Romero, Sebastián Eguren, Sergio Aquino, Néstor Camacho; José Ariel Núñez, Pablo Velázquez.
BEST BET: Away win
Sol de América vs Carapeguá
Estadio Luis Gigani
Sol welcome Carapeguá to Villa Elisa where they are unbeaten in seven matches with the visitors winless in three games on the road conceding 8 goals. The danzarín have mixed news in midfield, starting with the positive and the return of topscorer Sergio Escalante from injury but countered by the loss of David Mendieta (suspended) who will be replaced by Carlos Recalde. Hard to see the away side getting anything from this match.
Sol de América XI (probable): oberto Acosta; Roberto Bonet, Ricardo Martínez, Bruno Valdez, Diego Ciz; Sergio Escalante, Ángel Enciso, Marcos Duré, Carlos Recalde; Esteban Rivas, Enzo Prono
BEST BET: Sol to score at least 2 goals (they average 1.63 per game, Carapeguá concede 1.42 on average)
Tacuary vs Independiente
Finally a chance for Tacuary to win a game as they face the equally uninspiring Independiente. This really is a basement battle with both sides on just five points after 11 games and with goal differences of -12 and -14 respectively. Tacuary at home could have enough to defeat Independiente especially with their strength from set pieces. Also they’ve welcomed back some of the ‘pariah players’ such as Gregor Aguayo who was relegated to the youth teams for poor performance but has since been welcomed back. Independiente have made wholesale changes following their 5-1 thrashing by Nacional, expect around six changes with three coming in defence!
Tacuary XI (possible): Carlos Servín; Gustavo Giménez, Gregor Aguayo, Diego Viera, Marcos Acosta Rojas; Reinaldo Ocampo, Pablo Espinoza, Edward Villalba, Juan Núnez; Jorge Ortega, Nicolás Martínez
Independiente XI (probable): Roque Cardozo; Rody Martínez, Milciades Portillo, Miguel Almirón, Marcos Giménez; Aldo Vera, Luis Miño, José Báez, Richard Lugo; Emanuel Biancucchi, Luciano Ursino
BEST BET: Under 2.5 goals
Luque vs Cerro de Franco
Luque should be too strong at home in this clash with Cerro de Franco who are still fighiting to stay up. They’ve made a few changes with Edgar ‘Pikachu’ Robles back in midfield also Diego Godoy returns on the left-hand side bringing more pace and creativity. Up front Adrian Duarte makes way for Christian Ovelar. Cerro de Franco also make a triple change with Ramirez (suspended), Miguel López (injured) and Reinaldo López preferred to Oscar Benítez. I expect a home win, Luque have only slipped up in the Feliciano Cáceres to Cerro Porteño and Libertad.
Luque XI (probable): Tobías Vargas; Rolando Bogado, Gonzalo Maulella, Sergio Vergara; Claudio Vargas, Juan Abente, Juan Raponi, Égdar Robles, Diego Godoy; Cristhian Ovelar, Guido Di Vanni
BEST BET: Home win
Olimpia vs Rubio Ñu (TV)
Chiqui Arce was a constant thorn in Olimpia’s side in his previous spell as manager losing once in his previous eight meetings against El Decano including a couple of memorable wins (3-1 in the 2011 Apertura and 4-1 in the 2010 Clausura). Unfortunately for the albiverde Neri Cardozo is still injured, the striker has a great scoring record against Olimpia. It is likely that Roberto Gamarra will start up front with Jorge ‘Mono’ Benítez also hoping for a return to the side. Olimpia have a few concerns in defence, both Kike Meza and Julio Cesar Cáceres are injured so veteran midfield Carlos Humberto Paredes will fill in as a centre-back. The Biancucchi/Bareiro double act continues up front with ‘Zorro‘ looking in good form and would be my tip to get the winner in what will probably be a close contest.
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Alejandro Silva, Carlos H. Paredes, Salustiano Candia, Eugenio Montiel; Eduardo Aranda, Fabio Caballero, Richard Ortiz, Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Maxi Biancucchi, Fredy Bareiro
BEST BET: Statisitcally an Olimpia cleansheet looks a good bet, they’ve kept 17 in 43 games this year and Rubio Ñu average under a goal a game (0.94)
By Ralph Hannah