It is the Paraguay superclásico this weekend between Cerro Porteño and Olimpia – that game of sufficient importance to have its own preview. The other five games are right here including three on Friday night!
Cerro de Franco vs Carapeguá
Estadio Juan Eudes Pereira
Both promoted sides got important away wins last week and will be full of confidence ahead of Friday afternoon’s clash. Home advantage and the fact that Cerro de Franco usually get the better of El Potro are the reasons I’m backing a home win here. Add to that the form of Rogerio Leichtweis, his last minute winner against Luque puts him as one of the topscorers over the calendar year a great feat in a side that isn’t famed for scoring many goals.
Cerro de Franco XI (probable): Francisco Olmedo; Christian Rojas, Nelson Figueredo, Fabian Balbuena, Fulvio Duarte, Miguel Godoy, Reinaldo López, Cristian Andersen, Rogerio Leichtweis, Francisco López
Carapeguá XI (probable): Fabiano Heves; Raul Cáceres, Derlis Correa, Marcos Arce, Christian Martinez, Diego Benitez, Michel Valenzuela, Diosnel Almiron, Rodrigo Soria, Ricardo Ortiz, Arnulfo Colmán
BEST BET: Home win
Independiente vs Guaraní (TV)
Defensores del Chaco
Guaraní’s win last Friday night against Cerro was a huge stride as they look for their first title since the 2010 Apertura, that year they needed 49 points and they are currently on 31 with ten fixtures left. Diego Centurión has been the star with ten goals so far this season but it is worth mentioning his strike partner, Dante López, the former Genoa man has been excellent with his approach play and clever runs into the channels to make space for Centurión. Independiente hit rock bottom last week, losing to Tacuary which spelled the end of Mario Grana’s brief tenure at the Ricardo Gregor – the new coach Pedro Fleitas has a tough start on his hands. Guarani have never lost to Independiente in their history.
Independiente XI (probable): Roque Cardozo; Rody Martínez, Silvio Borjas, Miguel Almirón, Mario Cáceres; Victor Dávalos, Luis Miño, Michel Romero, Aldo Vera; Emanuel Biancucchi, Luciano Ursino
Guaraní XI (confirmed): Pablo Aurrecochea; Eduardo Filippini, Robert Aldama, Luis Cabral, Edgar Aranda; Luis de la Cruz, Sergio Órteman, Marcelo Palau, Dario Ocampo; Dante López, Diego Centurión
BEST BET: Over 2.5 goals
Libertad vs Tacuary (TV)
Libertad got off to a lighting start to down Nacional away last weekend and at home they are on top form, winning their last three games in Tuyucuá 3-0. In fact Nacional’s consolation goal was the only they’ve conceded in their previous four matches. Tacuary scored three themselves against Independiente in what was their second victory of the campaign, however against an organised and pacey Libertad side it looks unlikely they’ll come away with anything here.
Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Aldo Olmedo, Joe Bizera, Gustavo Mencia, Miguel Samudio; Nelson Romero, Sebastián Eguren, Sergio Aquino, Néstor Camacho; José Ariel Núñez, Pablo Velázquez.
Tacuary XI (probable): Carlos Servín; Gustavo Gimenez, Gregor Aguayo, Diego Viera, Marcos Acosta Rojas; Jorge Ortega, Pablo Espinoza, Edgar Villalba, Juan Nuñez, Brian Montenegro, Nicolas Martinez
BEST BET: Libertad win to nil
Cerro Porteño vs Olimpia (TV)
Defensores del Chaco
Prediction: SEE PREVIEW
As mentioned above, this one gets its own preview!
Rubio Ñu vs Sol de América
These two have the bad luck of playing at the same time as the clásico – expect a crowd below three figures. Having picked up a credible draw against Olimpia and away win against Cerro de Franco, Sol slipped up at home last weekend to Carapeguá. That result may well have knocked confidence and a draw could be the best call here even if they are stronger on paper. Rubio Ñu will have been pleased by their attacking performance against Olimpia and especially the form of Diego Chamorro, however he can’t play against his parent club.
BEST BET: Both teams to score
Luque vs Nacional (TV)
A really important game for Luque who still aren’t out of the danger zone, especially after last week’s results that saw them lose at home while the two sides below them picked up three points. There will be plenty of pressure from the fanatical home supporters who have seen two consecutive losses in the Feliciano Cáceres and will be furious at a third. Nacional’s good run was halted by a rampant Libertad last week and although they are a better side than Luque, the last two games here have gone the way of the locals. Necessity is why they should snatch this game on Sunday which rounds off Week 13.
BEST BET: Under 2.5 goals with both sides not big scorers and Luque good defensively
By Ralph Hannah