Three more games this weekend to round off the start of the Apertura campaign, the main match is of course Olimpia’s trip to Luque with the promoted clubs also in action.
Sportivo Luqueño vs Olimpia
Feliciano Cáceres, Luque
10/02/2013; 19:00 (22:00 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)
Olimpia’s league season begins with a visit to a re-vamped Luque side featuring just a handful of players from their previous encounter. The auriazul are on a run of three consecutive wins against their old rival in this stadium, Olimpia’s last triumph at the Feliciano Cáceres was a 4-1 victory in the 2011 Apertura although only four players survive from that victory.
Luque have continued with manager Pablo Caballero who will hand debuts to the experienced Denis Caniza and Javier Gonzalez – once again the threat of relegation casts a dark shadow over the Feliciano Cáceres, they need to make sure they outperform newly promoted neighbours General Díaz and Deportivo Capiatá to remain in the Primera come December.
Olimpia have resisted the temptation to rest players with Thursday’s trip to Rosario in mind, much of today’s starting XI are likely to line up against Newell’s Old Boys. Juan Carlos Ferreyra has scored twice against the Kuré previously and Fredy Bareiro was on target in the previous match, they will be relying on the service from Salguerio.
Expect this to be a close and hard fought game, Ever Almeida showed us against Defensor Sporting that he wants his side to be mean at the back and the defensive three of Candia, Miranda and Meza look like they could form a strong coalition. As for Luque they have three midfielders who have tormented Olimpia in the past in Francisco Garcia, Juan Pablo Raponi and Luis Miño – if they can work well and evade Aranda and Ortiz then there could be some joy for the men in blue and gold.
Best Bet: Hard game to bet on as the last four meetings in this stadium have gone over 2.5 but my instinct says Ever Almeida will want to keep things tight so I think the away win is the bet to make.
Luque XI (probable): Joel Silva; Victor Dávalos, Gonzalo Maluella, Denis Caniza, Ariel Coronel; William Schuster, Luis Miño, Juan Pablo Raponi, Francisco Garcia; Javier Gonzalez, José Carlos Burgos
Olimpia XI (probable): Martin Silva; Salustiano Candia, Herminio Miranda, Enrique Meza; Jorge Báez, Eduardo Aranda, Ricardo Ortiz, Alejandro Silva; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Juan Carlos Ferreyra, Fredy Bareiro
Rubio Ñu vs Cerro de Franco
Estadio La Arboleda
10/02/2013; 17:30 (20:30 GMT)
Rubio Ñu were very poor last year but they have the advantage that Chiqui Arce has stayed on, bought in a few experienced faces (mainly from relegated Tacuary), while Cerro de Franco dismissed Eduardo Rivera and lost a couple of their best performers last year. Crucially they don’t have Rogerio Leichtweiss who was so important up front last year – the albiverde however have Jorge Ortega and Hugo Lusardi who have the capability of finding the net.
Gral. Diaz vs Deportivo Capiatá
10/02/2013; 18:30 (21:30 GMT)
Although the game is on neutral venue I think General Diaz’s quality on paper will be too much for their rivals, Antonio Bareiro was a class act in the Intermedia last year and he could well be the difference today. In the last meeting Capiatá won 1-0 but prior to that it was a 4-0 rout for the side from Luque.
By Ralph Hannah
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