Apertura 2013 Week 3: Cerro Porteño vs Cerro de Franco and Nacional vs Libertad preview

We have four games on Sunday to finish off Week 3 with Nacional vs Libertad the first match on TV followed by the “clásico cerrista” between Cerro Porteño and Cerro de Franco to finish off the weekend. Also Rubio Ñu play host to Capiatá and Carapeguá travel to Villa Elisa to play Sol de América.

Nacional vs Libertad
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
24/02/2013; 17:30 (20:30 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

Following their excellent win in Argentina, Libertad are back in action this Sunday in the Defensores del Chaco hoping to extend their 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Nacional on the other hand are wounded following their 5-2 thrashing in Ciudad del Este last weekend at the hands of Cerro de Franco.

Libertad are on a great run under Israel - Photo: ABC Color

Libertad are on a great run under Israel – Photo: ABC Color

Disappointed by his team’s poor showing in Alto Paraná, Gustavo Moringio has prepared several changes to today’s starting line-up most notably the return of Justo Villar to Paraguayan football, 8 years and 8 months since his previous match on guarani soil. David Mendoza and Marcos Melgarejo are expected to figure in a renovated left-hand side while Ricardo Tom Ortiz could start up front. Both Angel Orue and Gustavo Cristaldo are ineligible to play against their parent club.  It will be a 4-4-2.

Ruben Israel understands certain players will need a rest but doesn’t want to lose momentum so expect changes to the Copa Libertadores side from Thursday. Paraguay U20s captain Gustavo Gómez could partner Ismael Benegas in defence while Aldo Olmedo also comes in for Moreira at right back. Whatever the personnel changes the formation and strategy will remain the same as the Gumarelo will play in a 4-4-2 and try and stifle the Nacional midfield duo of Riveros and Torales.

Libertad have won the last four meetings between these two and that could well be extended to five this afternoon.

Prediction: 1-2

Best Bet: Libertad have conceded in both league meetings somewhat surprisingly and Nacional’s two games have included 14 goals – I think Over 2.5 goals makes sense today

Nacional XI (probable): Justo Villar; Ramón Coronel, Leonardo Cáceres, Raúl Piris, David Mendoza; Marcos Riveros, Silvio Torales; Julian Benítez, Marco Melgarejo; Ramón Cardozo, Ricardo Tom Ortiz

Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Aldo Olmeda, Gustavo Gomez, Ismael Benegas, Miguel Samudio; Claudio Vargas, Pablo Guiñazú, Sebastian Egueren, Nestor Camacho; Pablo Velázquez, Mauro Guevgeozián

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

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Cerro Porteño vs Cerro de Franco
La Olla, Asunción
24/02/2013; 19:40 (22:40 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

The post-Fossati era begins for Cerro Porteño with youth team coach Roberto Torres taking the reins for tonight’s match. He has already shaken things up leaving out five players from the squad that had been involved in the previous matches including new signings Paul Ambrosi and Williams Martinez. Cerro de Franco visit the capital following an excellent win last weekend and will be desperate for revenge, the previous game between these sides ended 5-0 to the Asunción-based team.

Cerro fans have had to watch on as their opponents celebrate

Cerro fans have had to watch on as their opponents celebrate

El Ciclón are going to play a 4-3-1-2 formation in an attempt to shore up the defence that has conceded 2 goals per game in 2013 while also giving Fabbro the space he needs to make a difference. Youngsters Teodoro Paredes, Angel Romero and the future-Benfica player Jorge Rojas are all in the starting eleven. The old hands of Carlos Bonet, Julio Dos Santos, Jonathan Fabbro and Santiago Salcedo all keep their place.

Cerro de Franco don’t want to rock the boat after such an emphatic victory last week so the only change is in defence as Gustavo Velazquez returns to replace Marcos Perez. Cristian Andersen is the man in midfield who will try and drive the side forward but we can expect them to play defensively and hit Cerro Porteño on the break, especially with the Barrio Obrero outfit exploited on the counter so easily by both Sol de América and Real Garcilaso .

Cerro de Franco lost 3 of the 4 games against their ‘big brother’ last year and I can’t see them winning today although this is probably their best chance against a team in turmoil.

Prediction: 1-0

Best Bet: Don’t touch the result in this game with Cerro Porteño all over the place, I think it could be a low scorer with both teams a bit edgy, Under 2.5 goals for me

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Carlos Bonet, Teodoro Paredes, Luis Cardozo, Sergio Vergara; Jorge Rojas, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio dos Santos; Jonathan Fabbro; Angel Romero, Santiago Salcedo

Cerro de Franco  XI (probable): Fabiano Heves; Gustavo Noguera, Gustavo Velazquez, Cristian Ramirez, José Aguero; Miguel Godoy, Reinaldo López, Cristian Andersen, Leonardo Delvalle; Sergio Samudio, Francisco López

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

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Non-televised matches

Rubio Ñu vs Capiatá
Estadio La Arboleda, Asunción
24/02/2013; 17:30 (20:30 GMT)
Prediction: 2-0

Rubio Ñu won their opener at home and although they were unable to get close to Libertad they look a much better side that last year. Capiatá will be reeling from a huge defeat to Guaraní last weekend and I think the balance of the albiverde is strong enough to keep a cleansheet and find the goals needed for victory.

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Sol de América vs Carapeguá
Estadio Luis Giagni, Villa Elisa
24/02/2013; 17:30 (20:30 GMT)
Prediction: 2-1

Another home win for me in the other early kick-off, Ricardo Dabrowski’s team look good and are unbeaten in their two opening games. Carapeguá haven’t been able to find a win and have never been good travelers (they’ve lost their last 6 away games stretching back to last year). Could be goals in this one with both teams fairly expansive.

By Ralph Hannah

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