Copa Libertadores 2013: Sporting Cristal vs Libertad preview

Sporting Cristal vs Libertad
Estadio Nacional, Lima
12/03/2013; 19:15 (22:15 GMT)
Group Stages
TV: Fox Sports 2 (Paraguay); ESPN (UK)

The Gumarelo are unbeaten in the group and are on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages, in fact a win would guarantee their passage into the last 16 with two games to spare. Libertad are unbeaten so far in the competition coming back from two goals down to salvage a draw against Sporting Cristal last week in Asunción. They have a mixed record in the Peruvian capital, having won, drawn and lost once on their previous three visits scoring three and conceding three.

Libertad prepare for the game - Photo: Club Libertad prensa

Libertad prepare for the game – Photo: Club Libertad prensa

Ruben Israel has almost a full squad to choose from although a key absentee is José Ariel Nuñez, the striker is injured and hasn’t traveled with the group. The idea seems to be to play Nelson Romero as a withdrawn striker behind Pablo Velázquez which will also give the Paraguayans a stronger defensive base, which is logical given that they are away from home. Almost none of these players were in action over the weekend against Carapeguá in the league match so they should be fully rested.

Libertad players chilling in Lima hotel - Photo: Twitter @diegofisiomed

Libertad players chilling in Lima hotel – Photo: Twitter @diegofisiomed

The draw in Asunción was a big boost to Cristal’s hopes of progressing to the knockout phase so they’ll surely be looking for a win tonight on home soil. The main man in the last fixture was Irven Avila who scored both goals and will hope to inflict more damage this evening.

A prediction is harder considering the draw last time round although I still fancy Libertad who beat Alianza Lima in 2012 and Universidad San Martín in 2011 in Peru.

Sporting Cristal XI (possible): Diego Penny; Nelinho Quina, Horacio Calcaterra, Nicolas Ayr, Jesús Alvarez; Eduardo Uribe, Jorge Cazulo, Carlos Lobatón, Irven Avila; Hernan Rengifo, Junior Ross

Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Jorge Moreira, Pedro Benitez, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia; William Mendieta, Sergio Aquino, Pablo Guiñazu, Miguel Samudio; Pablo Velazquez, Nelson Romero

Prediction: 0-1

Selected Odds: Sporting Cristal win 2.86, Draw 3.3, Libertad win 2.8, 0-1 win 8.8, Under 2.5 goals 1.74

Best Bet: The away win for me – if you aren’t convinced by Libertad then the second-best option would be Under 2.5 goals as their away games are rarely high scoring

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Stats

Libertad head-to-head vs Peruvian opposition (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 9 W 5 D 3 L 1 GF 18 GA 9

Libertad away vs Peruvian opposition (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 4 W 2 D 1 L 1 GF 4 GA 3

Libertad last 5 away (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 GF 6 GA 5

Libertad have reached the Quarter Finals in their previous four continental competitions

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By Ralph Hannah

Authors Note: All odds are selected from Betfair Sports and accurate at the time of writing, there is a live market on this game

For more football previews check out CaStRoF’s betting tips

One response to “Copa Libertadores 2013: Sporting Cristal vs Libertad preview

  1. Pingback: Copa Libertadores 2013: Sporting Cristal vs Libertad preview | The ... | Paraguay | Scoop.it

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