Apertura 2013 Week 8: Olimpia vs Cerro de Franco and Guaraní vs Nacional previews

Olimpia vs Cerro de Franco
Para Uno, Asunción
07/04/2013; 16:30 (21:30 BST)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

For the first time this year Olimpia play a game in their home stadium, Para Uno has re-opened following some refurbishments and pitch improvements so expect a full crowd to ‘welcome back’ the team. Today’s is a tough test, Cerro de Franco are on a four-game unbeaten streak despite off-the-field problems (their manager Nelson Zelaaya resigned to spend more time with his family after being involved in a fatal traffic accident).

Tomas Guzman starts today - Photo: D10.com.py

Tomas Guzman starts today – Photo: D10.com.py

Olimpia have picked up three wins from their last four including the superclásico and two away wins in the Libertadores. Almeida doesn’t want to change tactics but he’s force to change personnel with the fixtures piling up, step forward Tomás Guzman and Juan Carlos Ferreyra who start in place of Salgueiro and Bareiro. Another star performer in recent fixtures, Richard Ortiz, steps down to allow Alejandro Silva a place in the first eleven.

Samudio is the main man for Cerro de Franco - Photo: deportescdepy.com

Samudio is the main man for Cerro de Franco – Photo: deportescdepy.com

Cerro de Franco have only failed to score once so far this season and they only have one cleansheet so it is fair to say that in contrast to last year they are relying more on their attack than defence to stay up. 25-year-old striker Sergio Samudio has scored three in his last four and is worth keeping an eye on, the creative force is Cristian Andersen who will play just behind Samudio.

Prediction: 1-1

Best Bet: Hard to back Olimpia considering the changes to the side and the fact these sides drew all four games last year, I like BTTS today

Olimpia XI (probable): Martin Silva; Salustiano Candia, Carlos Humberto Paredes, Herminio Miranda; Jorge Báez, Wilson Pittoni, Eduardo Aranda, Alejandro Silva, Blas Cáceres; Tomás Guzman; Juan Carlos Ferreyra

Cerro de Franco XI (probable): Fabiano Heves; Gustavo Noguera, Marcos Pérez, Christian Ramirez, Gustavo Velázquez, Miguel Godoy, Salvador Portillo, Reinaldo López, Claudio Delgado, Cristian Andersen, Sergio Samudio

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair


Guaraní vs Nacional
Dos Bocas, Asunción
07/04/2013; 18:30 (23:30 BST)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

A mouth-watering match up in Dos Bocas to round off Week 8 with Guaraní welcoming league leaders Nacional in what promises to be a competitive game. Nacional have won their previous five games, in fact the only fixture they didn’t take three points from was a fateful trip to Ciudad del Este where they were tonked 5-2 by Cerro de Franco. Guaraní have generally been better away from home although they got their first win at this stadium last week against Sol de América.

Photo: Prensa Club Guarani

Photo: Prensa Club Guarani

The form man for Guaraní is Dante López, a well-taken double was enough to sink Sol in the previous match and he is forming a great partnership with Rodrigo Teixeira. Behind those two there is so much creativity with Ivan Gonzalez Ferreira and Dario Ocampo starting on the flanks last week, but there is also Sergio Orteman, Luis de la Cruz and Jorge Mendoza who can pick apart defenses. The anchor in midfield is captain Marcelo Palau, an excellent player.

Nacional celebrate win against Luque last week - Photo: Prensa Club Nacional

Nacional celebrate win against Luque last week – Photo: Prensa Club Nacional

Nacional have been clinical so far, three 1-0 wins in the run of five consecutive victories and have won both home and away. However they are missing topscorer Julian Benítez today who is ineligible to play against his parent club and that could be key, he has scored four of their last seven goals. Raúl Piris is the rock in defence, his experience has been crucial to date as have the performances of Justo Villar in goal – his penalty save against General Díaz earned them two points.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals – although Nacional have built themselves on a strong defence I think this match will be more open with Guarani able to take the game to their opponents and cause problems with the Lopez/Teixeira combination

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair


Non-Televised games…

Rubio Ñu vs Sol de América
La Arboleda,  Asunción
07/04/2013; 15:30 (20:30 BST)

Prediction: 1-0

Capiatá vs Libertad
Estadio Deportivo Capiatá, Capiatá
07/04/2013; 15:45 (20:45 BST)

Prediction: 0-2

Sportivo Luqueño vs Carapeguá
Estadio Feliciano Cáceres, Luque
07/04/2013; 18:00 (23:00 BST)

Prediction: 1-1

These games round of Week 8, yesterday’s result between Cerro Porteño and General Díaz was 3-2 to the azulgrana with a double from Angel Romero.

By Ralph Hannah


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