Copa Libertadores 2013: Libertad vs Tigre preview

Libertad vs Tigre
Nicolas Leóz, Asunción
18/04/2013; 18:45 (23:45 BST)
Group Stages
TV: Fox Sports (Paraguay); ESPN (UK)

Make or break, all or nothing, I didn’t expect to be attaching those kind of cliches to Libertad’s final group game following their wonderful start; however the consecutive draws with Sporting Cristal and loss against Palmeiras means that they must avoid defeat tonight to qualify. Tigre of course will be going all out for the win, three points will see the Copa Sudamericana finalists qualify and depending on going ons in Lima they could even finish top. While one might expect a big crowd tonight the presidential elections and the two largest parties’ rallies just before kick off time mean turnout will be very low, in fact it will be almost impossible to reach the stadium. Nice one politicians.

Libertad train thinking ahead to Tigre game - Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Libertad train thinking ahead to Tigre game – Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Ruben Israel’s team have been struggling recently although it is hard to put a finger on why they’ve suffered so much. Goals have been the issue most recently, they haven’t scored in the last 300 minutes of football and crucially in two of the last three games the Velazquez/Nuñez partnership has been disrupted. Expect those two to start tonight however and although neither found the net against Olimpia a vital member of the team returns tonight, Pablo Guiñazú. This is without doubt the strongest possible team, even if Nelson Romero or Sebastian Eguren were to make an appearance it will be on merit of recent individual performances – the Gumarelo have strength in depth.

Libertad and Olimpia drew 0-0 in the Guma's previous game - Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Libertad and Olimpia drew 0-0 in the Guma’s previous game – Photo: Prensa Club Libertad

Tigre are on a poor run of form themselves, 6 defeats in their last 7, the only high point was the victory last week over Sporting Cristal that has kept their qualification hopes alive. We saw last year in the Copa Sudamericana that Tigre lead a charmed life in continental competition regardless of how badly they are performing on the domestic scene. Undoubtedly the dangerman is Ruben Botta, a very talented player who came through the Boca Juniors ranks and was reportedly signed by Inter Milan this week.

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

Tigre XI (possible): Javier Garcia; Norberto Paparatto, Mariano Echeverría, Alejandro Donati, Martín Galmarini; Diego Ferreira, Diego Castaño, Ramiro Leone, Ruben Botta, Matias Perez Garcia, Ezequiel Maggiolo

Prediction: 3-1

Selected Odds: Libertad win 1.7, Draw 3.85, Tigre win 6.4, 3-1 home win 17, Over 2.5 goals 2.16

Best Bet: Expect Tigre to go for it, they have no other option, I think Libertad will profit from that and fancy them for the outright win. Over 2.5 goals is at your own risk, as discussed above they have had trouble scoring so maybe I’m optimistic thinking they’ll score so many.

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Stats

Libertad head-to-head vs Argentine opposition (Continental Competitions)

Pld 27 W 10 D 4 L 13 GF 25 GA 34

Libertad record in Nicolas Leoz Stadium (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 11 W 7 D 4 L 0 GF 27 GA 10

Libertad have failed to win their last four Copa Libertadores games against Argentine sides in Asunción, the last win was against Banfield in 2007, Cristian Riveros with the only goal

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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

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