Olimpia vs Universidad de Chile
Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
19/02/2013; 21:30 (00:30 GMT)
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK)
The 2011 Copa Sudamericana champions, Universidad de Chile, visit Asunción as Olimpia hope to pick up their first points in this year’s Copa Libertadores. The home team have been given a hand by the APF who allowed them to postpone their league match meaning this is their first game since Thursday’s defeat against Newell’s Old Boys. The Chileans on the other hand played an away match on Saturday, with their first team, but could only draw with Everton. The teams have met on 8 previous occasions in this tournament, Olimpia winning 4, drawing 1 and losing 3 with the most recent meeting in 1977, a 1-0 victory for the Paraguayans with Miguel María Michelagnoli getting the winner.
We’ve seen so far with Ever Almeida that Olimpia are stronger defensively than in 2012, although they conceded three against Newell’s all of the goals came in a frantic final 20 minutes, before that it was a very tight battle with two tactically disciplined sides. Yesterday the general feeling was that the side would line up differently to the team we saw in Rosario, no wing backs with Julio Manzur coming into a back four and Fredy Bareiro joining Tanque Ferreyra up front. However at the time of writing, just hours before kick off, the reports suggest it will be the more familiar 3-4-1-2 system with Arnaldo Castorino starting up front and Juan Manuel Salgueiro the ‘enganche’ between midfield and attack.
La U arrive in Asunción with fond memories from their previous visit in May 2012, they drew with Libertad before defeating them on penalties to reach the semi-finals. While several members of that side have moved on, most notably Angelo Henriquez to Manchester United and manager Jorge Sampaoli to the Chilean national side, they remain a threat under Dario Franco. The Argentine Gustavo Lorenzetti is a class act and youngster Sebastian Ubilla scored both goals in their opening win against Deportivo Lara before netting again in the weekend’s league match.
Tonight will be a big test for Almeida who knows his side must score but appreciates the danger of overloading against the Chileans who are so strong on the counter, he must get the balance right.
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Herminio Miranda, Enrique Meza; Ale Silva, Eduardo Aranda, Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Arnaldo Castorino, Juan Carlos Ferreyra.
Universidad de Chile XI (probable): Johnny Herrera; Paulo Magalhaes, Albert Acevedo, José Rojas; Charles Aránguiz, Sebastián Martínez, Roberto Cereceda, Guillermo Marino; Cesar Cortés, Sebastian Ubilla, Gustavo Lorenzetti
Selected Odds: Olimpia win 2.5, Draw 3.35, Uni. de Chile win 3.15, 1-1 draw 6.8, Under 2.5 goals 1.76
Best Bet: I don’t think Olimpia will be defeated in front of a passionate home crowd, my leaning is towards BTTS (Both Teams to Score) taking into account La U’s strong offensive side
Olimpia last 5 vs Chilean opposition (All Continental Comps.)
Pld 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 GF 7 GA 9
Olimpia last 5 Copa Libertadores Home
Pld 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 GF 10 GA 7
Olimpia last 5 Continental Comps. (All venues)
Pld 5 W 1 D 2 L 2 GF 3 GA 4
Full squad list
By Ralph Hannah
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