Paraguay Clausura 2012 title decider – Libertad vs Luque and Rubio Ñu vs Guaraní

Libertad vs Luque
Tuyucuá
16/12/2012; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)

Libertad can win their sixth title since 2006 by beating a Luque team with nothing to play for having secured survival last week. Ruben Israel’s side have scored the most goals and conceded the least so far in the Clausura so they seem worthy candidates of the title. The key two up front have been José Ariel Nuñez and Pablo Velázquez, the former quick and hard-running the latter more physical with a great ability to hold up the ball.

Just one more win needed - Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Just one more win needed – Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Luque have relied heavily on captain Claudio David Vargas for his goals but it has been their strong defence that has brought results and a fifth-placed finish that helped keep them up. Pablo Caballero will feel revindicated having had a great 2011 with Independiente before struggling at Guaraní during the Apertura.

Libertad know the championship is within their grasp and I would be surprised if they were to let this slip.

Prediction: 3-0

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Rubio Ñu vs Guaraní
La Arboleda
16/12/2012; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)

A ‘no-pressure’ game in theory for Guaraní, they just need to win and hope that by some miracle Libertad fail to overcome Luque. Guaraní’s season has hinged on the goalscoring form of Diego Centurión and the much-improved creativity thanks to the signing of Sergio Orteman, the pick up in form of Dante López. Of course, Diego Alonso should be credited for the improved organisation and better team selection such as giving Iván Gonzalez Ferreira a starting place.

Guarani and Rubio Ñu meet again - Photo: D10.com.py

Guarani and Rubio Ñu meet again – Photo: D10.com.py

Rubio Ñu just want this year to be over, they’ve leaked goals and since Derlis Gonzalez and Claudio Correa headed off to Benfica the albiverde have also had trouble finding the net. They picked up a surprise win against Tacuary but you have to go back to April to find a victory against a non-relegated side.

My feeling is that Guaraní won’t have a problem getting the win, but will it be enough?

Prediction: 1-2

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Championship permutations

Libertad win league if:

  • They win
  • They draw and Guarani lose or draw
  • They lose and Guarani draw causing a three-way tie at the top, Libertad have the best goal difference

Guarani win league if:

  • They win and Libertad draw or lose

There will be a playoff if:

  • Both Libertad and Guarani lose (playoff between Nacional and Libertad)

 

 

By Ralph Hannah

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