Apertura 2013 Week 9: Libertad vs Olimpia preview

Libertad vs Olimpia
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
14/04/2013; 18:00 (23:00 BST)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

A beautiful autumn Sunday in Asunción, perfect conditions for football although both groups of players may be showing signs of fatigue following Copa Libertadores matches on Thursday night. Arguably it is Olimpia who come into the game in better shape, they were at home while Libertad were in São Paulo, they won 4-1 while Libertad fought hard only to lose by the minimum margin. There will also be that nagging doubt in Ruben Israel’s mind (that may transpire to his team) that they have a crunch game next week against Tigre, needing a result to ensure qualification to the Libertadores last 16.

Libertad will be supporting their team in the Defensores - Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Libertad will be supporting their team in the Defensores – Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Olimpia are on a great run following a blip in early March where they went four games without a win, at present they have won the last four in all competitions and while the Libertadores is number one priority they need to earn as many points as possible in the Apertura  if they want to qualify for the continental competition next year. Juan Manuel Salgueiro was the key man in the previous game and in general his individual performances have a direct correlation with the result, the Uruguayan playmaker has great vision and is capable of getting into the box to score. A much-improved player, who I previously criticised, is Jorge Baez at right wing-back who admitted that “in my first few games my performances weren’t up to the expectations of a club as big as Olimpia” but has since excelled in his new role and was unlucky not to score against Newell’s with a rasping long-ranger.

Probable Olimpia team to face Libertad - Photo: @OlimpiaUpdates

Probable Olimpia team to face Libertad – Photo: @OlimpiaUpdates

Libertad started the season so well but since the 2-2 draw with Sporting Cristal at the beginning of last month they have only one once in seven and there seems to be a confidence issue with the team. They scored first only to draw in two occassions and even in the solitary win during this run, against Sol de América, they went 2-1 down having opened the scoring before managing to turn the game around in their favour. In general the Gumarelo have a mix rather than a B team, but a hugely important player Pablo Guiñazú is being rested which could allow Salgueiro sufficient space to work his magic.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: BTTS safer than predicting the winner – Olimpia are the stronger side in my opinion but a cleansheet is probably beyond them with tiredness and the quality Libertad have up front even without Nuñez starting

Last 5 meetings: Olimpia 2 wins, 2 draws, Libertad 1 win

Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Aldo Olmedo, Gustavo Gómez, Pedro Benítez, Miguel Samudio; Claudio Vargas, Sebastian Eguren, Sergio Aquino, Jorge Gonzalez; Rodolfo Gamarra, Pablo Velazquez

Olimpia XI (probable): Martin Silva; Salustiano Candia, Julio Manzur, Herminio Miranda; Jorge Báez, Wilson Pittoni, Eduardo Aranda, Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Fredy Bareiro

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

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Non-Televised games…

Sol de América vs Deportivo Capiatá
Estadio Luis Alfonso Giagni, Villa Elisa
14/04/2013; 15:30 (20:30 BST)

Capiatiá did well in the last game against Libertad showing plenty of desire, they look better under new manager Mario Jacquet while Sol are still finding their feet since Ricardo Dabrowski was sacked. Score draw in this one.

Prediction: 1-1

Cerro de Franco vs Sportivo Luqueño
Estadio Felipe Gimenez, Presidente Franco
14/04/2013; 15:30 (20:30 BST)

Not been impressed by Luque so far this season who have won just one game, Cerro de Franco are good at home and should have the firepower to win this.

Prediction: 1-0

Sportivo Carapeguá vs General Díaz
Estadio Municipal, Carapeguá
14/04/2013; 15:30 (20:30 BST)

An interesting game this one, General Díaz have just started to lose their way after that perfect start (5 wins from 5) but this game offers  a chance to get back to winning ways against Carapeguá who have just one victory. It will be close but I think the Aguilas can edge it.

Prediction: 1-2

For a list of my ‘Best Bets’ for all games, visit Free Bets Sport for my preview

By Ralph Hannah

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