Clausura 2012: Cerro de Franco vs Libertad preview and more

Cerro de Franco vs Libertad
Estadio Presidente Franco
07/12/2012; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)

Joint league leaders Libertad are first to play in the penultimate weekend of the season, they travel 330 km to the east of the country to face Cerro de Franco who started life under new manager Juan Manuel Battaglia with an impressive draw against Olimpia. While in theory Cerro de Franco have nothing left to play for there is likely to be a big incentive (read win bonus) for the home side coming from Nacional and Guarani.

Cerro de Franco's stadium  - Photo: D10.com.py

Cerro de Franco’s stadium – Photo: D10.com.py

Cerro de Franco will put out a strong side with players desperate to get a result to improve their points total for next year’s promedio  and get a big win bonus. Top scorer Rogerio Leichtweis is unavailable (he is owned by Libertad) so Samudio and López start up front. Fulvio Duarte is back from suspension and will slot into midfield. The side are on a poor run at the moment, one goal in the previous five games (3 defeats, 2 draws).

Libertad by contrast have won their last four matches scoring 15 goals in the process! The duo of Pablo Velazquez and José Ariel Nuñez has been too hot for most defences to handle with one of the pair scoring in 9 of the previous 11 games, showing their importance to the side. If those two click it could be carnage in Alto Parana!

Prediction: 0-2

Best Bet: Away win, it might be difficult though with the home team playing for money and the heat expected to be around 35c but Libertad have won all three games without conceding against this rival so far in 2012

Cerro de Franco XI (probable): Miguel López; Gustavo Velázquez, Cristhian Rojas, Marcos Pérez, Cristian Ramírez; Fulvio Duarte, Óscar Benítez, Leonardo Delvalle, Miguel Godoy; Francisco López, Sergio Samudio

Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz, Aldo Olmedo, Joe Bizera, Ismael Benegas, Miguel Samudio; Nelson Romero, Sergio Aquino, Sebastian Eguren, William Mendieta, Pablo Velazquez, José Ariel Nuñez

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Tacuary vs Rubio Ñu
Estadio Roberto Bettega
07/12/2012; 19:00 (22:00 GMT)

Tacuary are involved in a three-way tie at the bottom of the league, the fact they are even in with a slim chance of survival is down to two things: the side finally playing somewhere close to their potential and the amazing scoring form of Nicolas Martinez (who I talked about in more depth here). Being at home and playing a rival that is in horrendous shape  – Rubio Ñu haven’t scored for two games, the last game they did score in they lost 7-2 – this should well be another win for the Tacuary ‘Lazarus’.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: Home win

Tacuary XI (probable): Carlos Servín; Gustavo Gimenez, Gregor Aguayo, Diego Viera, Marcos Acostas Rojas; Reinaldo Ocampo, Pablo Espinoza, Juan Nuñez, Brian Montenegro, Nicolas Martínez, Ramón Cardozo

Rubio Ñu XI (probable): Blas Valenzeula; Arnaldo Rodriguez, Oscar Ayala, Oscar Velazquez, Nelson Ruiz; Angel Lucena, Gustavo Viera, Robert Piris, Diego Chamorro; Lauro Cazal, Francisco Vera

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Luque vs Independiente
Estadio Feliciano Cáceres
07/12/2012; 19:15 (22:15 GMT)

Martinez is the key for Tacuary - Photo: d10.com.py

Martinez is the key for Tacuary – Photo: d10.com.py

Another relegation battle with two sides in danger still of dropping into the Intermedia. Independiente have been in freefall and even the unprecedented managerial-loan of Humberto Garcia from Gral. Diaz for two games (move over Alan Shearer!) probably won’t save them. Luque have a better side on paper, the players will be paid a bonus of 100 million guaranies if they win this game (and much more if they stay up) so I think that will prove sufficient motivation.

Prediction: 1-0

Best Bet: Home win

Luque XI (probable): Tobias Vargas; Luciano Vera, Gonzalo Maulella, Sergio Vergara, Claudio Vargas; Juan Pablo Raponi, William Schuster, Juan Abente, Edgar Robles; José Burgos, Guido di Vanni

Independiente XI (probable): Roque Cardozo; Victor Davalos, Michel Godoy, Sergio Almirón, Mario Cáceres; Michel Romero, Luis Miño, José Baez, Francisco Garcia; Gabriel Avalos, Gabriel Vieira

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By Ralph Hannah

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