Cerro Porteño vs Nacional
La Olla, Asunción
28/04/2013; 18:00 (23:00 BST)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)
The Barrio Obrero derby is upon us once again, the neighbours meet in La Olla on what promises to be a balmy autumn evening with temperatures still above 30c as we head into May. Nacional are top of the league and in general have been winning games to nil building on the fantastic foundation from last season when they were so close to winning the Clausura. Cerro Porteño’s revival was somewhat stunted with the 0-0 draw midweek to bottom of the table Luque but they have shaken off the defensive frailities that plagued them in the early weeks.
Cerro Porteño will line up differently to the Luque game, there are forced changes owing to the expulsions of Balbuena and Paredes but Chiqui Arce also welcome the returns of Jonathan Fabbro and Santiago Salcedo from suspension and injury respectively. Credit must go to the manager who was such a devotee to 4-4-2 with Rubio Ñu and Paraguay but has realized that a 3-4-1-2 formation brings the best out of this azulgrana team even if it means moving from his comfort zone. Central midfield will be a key battle with Julio Dos Santos also absent so a lot of pressure on the two youngsters Nestor Ramirez and Iván Torres who will need to deal with Riveros and Torales.
The Academia are top and they’ve been relying heavily on Julian Benitez’s goals, the 25-year-old striker has opened the scoring in each of Nacional’s last four wins. They have a strong defence, keeping six cleansheets so far the best record in the league. Marco Riveros and Silvio Torales offer great presence in central midfield both defensively and going forward, the chief tormentor of Cerro in recent years has been Marco Melgarejo who surely deserves a move to a bigger club. In goal, Justo Villar has been putting in some great performances and he could be the difference today in a game that promises goals.
Best Bet: In the last five in La Olla the home team have won just once, Nacional are riding high and my temptation is Nacional DNB
Cerro Porteño XI (CONFIRMED): Roberto Fernández; Luis Cardozo, Cesar Benítez, Junior Alonso; Mathías Corujo, Fidencio Oviedo, Iván Torres, Nestor Ramirez; Jonathan Fabbro; Ángel Romero, Santiago Salcedo
Nacional XI (probable): Justo Villar; Ramon Coronel, Raul Piris, Jose Caceres, David Mendoza; Marcos Melgarejo, Marcos Riveros, Silvio Torales, Ricardo Ortiz; Ramon Cardozo, Julian Benítez
Cerro de Franco vs Guaraní
Estadio Cerro de Franco, Presidente Franco
28/04/2013; 15:15 (20:15 BST)
Carapegua vs Rubio Ñu
Estadio Muncipal, Carapeguá
28/04/2013; 15:30 (20:30 BST)
For a list of my ‘Best Bets’ for all Week 11′s games, visit Free Bets Sport for my preview
By Ralph Hannah