Clausura 2012: Relegation battle previews including Cerro Porteño vs Tacuary

Saturday sees four games and while I won’t preview the ‘dead rubber’ of Sol vs Cerro de Franco in Villa Elisa, the other three games are tantalising. Independiente, Tacuary and Carapeguá must take maximum points to have a chance of surviving and they face Nacional, Cerro Porteño and Olimpia respectively – a huge ask.

Two of these three will go down - Photo:

Two of these three will go down – Photo:

Independiente vs Nacional
Estadio Ricardo Gregor
15/12/2012; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)

The president of Independiente, Mario Paredes, has offered the team a bonus of 250 million guaranies (US$ 55,000) if they manage to stay up. It is a tough ask though against a Nacional side who still have a mathematical chance of winning the league, in fact they will be joint top should they prevail in the Ricardo Gregor. This fixture has traditionally favoured Nacional who have put five goals past their opponents in the previous three encounters! Of course Independiente have also enjoyed a 5-1 win against Nacional just last year but in that instance they were aided by a hattrick from Lorenzo Melgarejo now of Benfica.

I expect Nacional to be good enough to win, they were very offensive against Cerro Porteño last week in a game they lost and will still be stinging from, expect them to go all out against Independiente.

Prediction: 1-3


Independiente win – they will stay up if Carapeguá draw or lose

Independiente draw – they will stay up if both Carapeguá and Tacuary lose

Independiente lose – relegated


Cerro Porteño vs Tacuary
La Olla
15/12/2012; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)

The azulgrana p***ed on Nacional’s parade last weekend and they will hope to spoil Tacuary’s party today with a final win to end a fairly successful centenary year. As Fossati proved in the Barrio Obrero derby he wants to win whether the championship is at stake or not and I think they will take pleasure in relegating a side who have proved a stern opponent in recent years. Tacuary of course are doing their upmost to remain in Primera with the board offering their players a massive survival bonus fo 200,000 dollars. With that kind of incentive there could well be some surprises in La Olla this evening.

Prediction: 2-1

How do…?

Tacuary stay up…if Carapeguá and Independiente draw or lose, if Carapeguá lose and Independiente win but Tacuary also win

Tacuary go down…a Carapeguá win sends them down regardless, an Independiente win would see them relegated if they can’t beat Cerro


Carapeguá vs Olimpia
Estadio Municipal de Carapeguá
15/12/2012; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)

Carapeguá’s 44th game in the top division could well be their last, such a shame for a side that played very well at times particularly in the Apertura and are now owners of a wonderful stadium and incredible supporters. With football so orientated around the capital Asunción and her surrounding cities it has been great to see a team from the countryside play a part in this year’s tournament. They play the weakest Olimpia team in a long while, lacking direction, players at odds with their outspoken president and a Pepe Cardozo struggling in his third spell as coach. Could that be enough for El Potro to win and secure their spot in the 2013 Primera? Like the other relegation candidates there is a bonus on offer, just 200 million guaranies though which is five times less than what Tacuary are being offered…could that be crucial?

Prediction: 1-1


Carapeguá win – they stay up regardless of other results

Carapeguá draw or lose – they go down regardless of other results


By Ralph Hannah


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