Olimpia vs Deportivo Lara
Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
05/03/2013; 19:15 (22:15 GMT)
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK)
Days after the death of Olimpia’s legendary manager Luis Cubilla the Paraguayans have arguably the easiest fixture of the group in which to continue the Cubilla tradition of winning in the Copa Libertadores. Tournament debutants Deportivo Lara visit from Venezuela where they sit 5th in their local league. While a win is almost certainly on the cards, Olimpia need only to look at their cross-city rivals Cerro Porteño for a reminder that complacency can cost.
Olimpia are most comfortable with a back three and the first choice defence is all available tonight with Salustiano Candia the most experienced centreback. In midfield Ortiz and Aranda will hold to give Juan Manuel Salgueiro license to roam in the final third although don’t be surprised to see him drop back without the ball and assume a defensive role, that extra discipline has been notable this season. Alejandro Silva at right wing-back has been impressive so far in the Copa games and it is obvious now why he was considered for the Uruguayan Olympic side last year (he was in the preliminary squad).
Deportivo Lara lost their first away match to Universidad de Chile but they were able to record an historic victory against Newell’s in Barquisimeto two weeks ago. They are also expected to play with three central defenders and a playmaker, Jesus Gomez, who was previously with Caracas and has made international appearances at senior level. Their problem seems to be defensive, they have just one cleansheet in nine matches so far this year, something El Decano will look to exploit.
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Herminio Miranda, Enrique Meza; Alejandro Silva, Eduardo Aranda, Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Fredy Bareiro, Juan Carlos Ferreyra.
Deportivo Lara XI (probable): Allan Liebeskind; Jesus Alvarez, Marcelo Maidana, José Rey; Yuber Mosquera, Marlon Fernandez, Miguel Mea Vitali, Vicente Suanno; Jesus Gomez; Rafael Castellin, Zamir Valoyes
Selected Odds: Olimpia win 1.48, Draw 4.4, Deportivo Lara win 9.2, 2-0 win 7.4, Under 2.5 goals 1.87
Best Bet: With the win heavily odds on I like Olimpia/Olimpia (Olimpia to be winning at halftime and full time) at 2.26, bearing in mind they’ve scored plenty of early goals so far this year.
Olimpia head-to-head vs Venezuelan opposition (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 4 W 2 D 1 L 0 GF 13 GA 4 (all games took place in 1995 group stages)
Olimpia last 5 Copa Libertadores Home
Pld 5 W 4 D 0 L 1 GF 12 GA 6
Olimpia last 5 Continental Comps. (All venues)
Pld 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 GF 6 GA 3
By Ralph Hannah
For more football previews check out CaStRoF’s betting tips