Guaraní vs Olimpia
24/11/2012; 19:00 (22:00 GMT)
The oldest rivalry in Paraguayan football takes on added significance this evening with the home team holding just a one-point lead with Libertad, Nacional and even Cerro Porteño waiting in the wings. This will be the 280th clásico añejo with Guaraní winning 88 games, Olimpia victorious in 108 and 83 draws. Interestingly under this referee, Antonio Arias, Olimpia have suffered winning just 2 out of 9 meetings, Guaraní have won twice as many and there were 3 draws.
Guarani make just one alteration from the win over Cerro de Franco, Eduardo Filippini has recovered from an injury so replaces Bartomeús, other than that it is the usual 4-4-2 formation. Diego Centurión and Dante López lead the line and their partnership has been so important in their upturn in fortunes providing 8 of their 14 goals in Dos Bocas. Olimpia remain unchanged from the side that drew with Tacuary, like their rivals hoping their strike partnership (Fredy Bareiro and Arnaldo Castorino) continues to deliver.
This is a tough game to call, my leaning is towards Guarani who have a slightly stronger defence and a home record not to be sniffed at (7 wins out of 9). But it is worth noting their two defeats came against Libertad and Nacional so they have struggled against the bigger sides and of course there is the pressure which has definitely got to the players in recent weeks. They were five games without a win until Wednesday and Olimpia will hope to capitalise on those nerves in the early stages of the game.
Guaraní XI (probable): Pablo Aurrecochea; Eduardo Filippini, Luís Cabral, Elvis Marecos, Édgar Aranda; Juan Aguilar, Sergio Órteman, Marcelo Palau, Darío Ocampo; Diego Centurión, Dante López
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Julio Cáceres, Enrique Meza; Alejandro Silva, Sebastián Ariosa; Eduardo Aranda, Fabio Caballero, Juan Salgueiro; Fredy Bareiro, Arnaldo Castorino
Best Bet: BTTS is tempting although Olimpia keep a lot of cleansheets so the 0-1 is a possibility, maybe small stake on the home win is a better option
By Ralph Hannah