The title lies! Other than the main preview, Saturday’s other games are below too.
Nacional vs Olimpia
Estadio Arsenio Erico
17/11/2012; 17:00 (20:00 GMT)
Following Guaraní’s defeat to Tacuary on Friday night this match has taken on monumental significance, if Nacional can manage their fifth consecutive win they will go top, if Olimpia are victorious they will be within three points of the summit. The magnitude of the game is even bigger for some players with Olympique Marseille and Newcastle United scouts reported to be attending. For the first time since 1994 El Decano visit the Arsenio Erico following the home team’s players request for the game be played there. It definitely give thems more of an advantage than playing in the wide open spaces of the Defensores del Chaco.
Nacional have no need to change the side that has brought them 12 points from a possible 12, the only change that we might see is Cáceres Cañete coming in for Luis Ovelar as manager Gustavo Moriginio banks on experience. Brazilian striker Rodrigo Teixeira has been going through a purple patch recently with six goals in the previous six games, he offers a physical presence up front and will look to ruffle the feathers of El Decano’s defence. The other man to watch is Marcos Melagerjo on the left-hand side, hardly considered by Libertad during the Apertura he has returned to his home club and is a threat on the left-hand-side.
Olimpia aren’t quite as settled in their formation and had been blighted by injuries but they can recall their key strikers Arnaldo Castorino and Fredy Bareiro who have shaken off a muscle injury and the flu. The key battle is likely to be Juan Manuel Salgueiro against Nacional’s holding midfielder Marcos Riveros, if the Uruguayan can get the better of the Paraguay international then Olimpia have a much better chance of taking all three points. The stats aren’t looking great for the visitors however, they haven’t won away from Para Uno in five games, the last win coming against Tacuary.
Nacional XI (probable): Ignacio Don; Ramón Coronel, Raúl Piris, David Mendoza, Marcos Miers; Carlos Ruiz Peralta, Marcos Riveros, Silvio Torales, Marcos Melgarejo; César Cáceres Cañete//Luis Ovelar, Rodrigo Teixeira
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Julio César Cáceres, Eugenio Montiel; Eduardo Aranda, Miguel Amado, Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Arnaldo Castorino, Fredy Bareiro
Selected Odds: Nacional win 2.22, Draw 3.05, Olimpia win 2.66
Best Bet: Bit leftfield today but these sides are two of the few that score more first half goals than second half goals, so maybe 1.5 goals in 1st half, or just Over 2.5 goals on the basis you should be able to cash out if necessary
Independiente vs Rubio Ñu
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
17/11/12; 17:00 (22:00 GMT)
The home side have tumbled down the ‘promedio’ standings and relegation is a very real possibility giving meaning to this meeting with neighbours Rubio Ñu. Independiente have just one win in their last 19 games while Rubio Ñu have just 2 in 22 (with one of those coming over Independiente). So we can’t hope for much today, probably a dull game between two woeful teams although there are some exciting young individuals on show – Francisco Garcia on the home team and both Alberto Contrera and Diego Chamorro are all midfielders capable of beating their man and using their skill to create goalscoring opportunities.
Independiente XI (probable): Roque Cardozo; Víctor Dávalos, Michel Godoy, José Báez, Mario Cáceres; Michel Romero, Luis Miño, Aldo Vera, Francisco Garcia; Juvenal Cardozo, Luciano Ursino
Rubio Ñu XI (probable): Wilson Quiñonez; Arnaldo Rodriguez, Oscar Velazquez, Nelson Ruiz, Angel Lucena; Roberto Acuña, Robert Piris, Diego Chamorro, Alberto Contrera, Cristian Ledesma, Oscar Ruiz
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals
Sportivo Luqueño vs Sol de América
Estadio Feliciano Cáceres
17/11/12; 18:00 (21:00 GMT)
A win for the home team could see them get out of the drop zone at Independiente’s expense depending on the result of the earlier kick off. Both of these sides can be considered fairly inconsistent, Luque’s six-game unbeaten streak was quickly forgotten as they’ve now lost four of their subsequent six matches. Sol de América may have won less games than Tacuary in the Clausura but they’ve also lost less than Guaraní and Nacional, that means a lot of draws – 9 to be precise. So it comes as no surprise that their last three games have been stalemates two of them goalless. I think the Kuré will win at home, while their recent record at the Feliciano Cáceres looks awful on paper (Pld 5 D 1 L 4) they have played Cerro Porteño, Nacional, Guaraní and Libertad in that spate of games so this marks a chance to get points on the board, get the fans on side and take some of the heat off Pablo Caballero.
Luque XI (probable): Tobías Vargas; Luciano Vera, Rolando Bogado, Sergio Vergara; Claudio Vargas, Edgar Robles, Juan Abente, Carlos Martínez, Juan Raponi; Guido di Vanni, Gerzon Chacón
Sol de América XI (probable): Roberto Acosta; Robert Bonet, Ricardo Martinez, Bruno Valdez, Diego Ciz; Sergio Escalante, Edgar Orzusa, Alfredo Mazacotte, David Mendieta; Esteban Rivas, Diego Vázquez
Best Bet: Luque Double Chance or Unders are way to go here
Libertad vs Carapeguá
17/11/12, 19:00 (22:00 GMT)
The prediction seems wild but then Libertad have never beaten Carapeguá in their previous three meetings which might be a mental thing. There is also the fact that the Guma really missed José Ariel Nuñez in last week’s goalless draw against Sol de América and he serves the final game of his suspension today. Carapeguá have three wins in their last five (Libertad only have two) and seem to have unearthed another gem in David Pereira who scored just 13 minutes into his senior debut last weekend. This game should be on TV therefore available on a stream.
Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Aldo Olmedo, Joe Bizera, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia; Luis Cáceres, Sergio Aquino, Osmar Molinas, Miguel Samudio; Cristian Menendez, Pablo Velázquez
Carapeguá XI (probable): Faiano Heves; Raúl Cáceres, Derlis Correa, Celso Gonzalez Fleitas, Cristian Martinez, Michel Valenzuela, Diosnel Almirón, Isaias Ibarra, Arnulfo Colmán, David Pereira
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals
By Ralph Hannah