Copa Libertadores 2013: Olimpia vs Tigre preview

Olimpia vs Tigre
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
16/05/2013; 19:00 (00:00 BST)
Last 16, 2nd Leg; 1-2 agg
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK)

Expect an electric atmosphere despite the cold temperatures forecasted in Asunción tonight – Olimpia have been building up to this fixture for over a week with seats selling like hot chipa, in fact it is set to break the record for the highest ever gate receipts for a sporting event in Paraguay. Tigre lead 2-1 from the first leg but they are without star man Ruben Botta, injured in that game, and are not usually as strong on their travels. Ever Almeida’s team have plenty to be optimistic about.

Photo: Club Olimpia Oficial

Photo: Club Olimpia Oficial

Olimpia need to score to qualify, something that shouldn’t be a problem for the side that average over two goals per game in this year’s tournament, in fact their average over the last two years of Copa Libertadores football is 1.9 goals per game. If they do score it will be their 350th continental goal scored in Asunción, an important landmark. The man most likely to get that goal is Fredy Bareiro although we should watch out for Herminio Miranda – he followed up his freekick against Tigre in the first leg with another one last weekend. With El Decano likely to score the onus is really on the backline to comply with their end of the deal, a cleansheet maybe beyond them with injury to Kike Meza meaning Manzur is included in the central defensive trio, he is a bit slower than the rest and could be vulnerable to the counter.

Poor defending of crosses cost Olimpia in the first game

Poor defending of crosses cost Olimpia in the first game

Tigre are without Ruben Botta as mentioned above but it is worth repeating as it is a huge blow to the Argentine side managed by former Copa Libertadores winner Nestor Gorosito. Knowing that a cleansheet will get them through there is a temptation for them to defend and sit back, in fact that is their usual tactic but Olimpia must be aware of their danger on the counter-attack. The speed and incisiveness of Tigre’s play on the break has already put pay to Cerro Porteño and Libertad in last year and this year respectively. The burning question is if they can be as effective without Botta.

One thing worth pointing out is that Tigre were beneficiaries of the referee in the previous game something that often happens with home teams – Olimpia are home tonight, their supporters will do their best to ensure the 50/50 decisions go the Paraguayans way.

Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Herminio Miranda, Julio Manzur; Aquilino Gimenez, Alejandro Silva, Eduardo Aranda, Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Fredy Bareiro

Tigre XI (probable): Javier García; Alejandro Donatti, Mariano Echeverría, Norberto Paparatto, Lucas Orban; Martin Galmarini, Gabriel Peñalba, Ramiro Leone, Diego Ferreira, Matías Perez García; Leandro Leguizamon

Prediction: 3-1

Selected Odds: Olimpia win 1.96, Draw 3.75, Tigre win 4.3, 3-1 home win 17.5, Over 2.5 goals 1.89

Best Bet: Home win for me, Tigre are without Botta, they don’t travel well while Olimpia’s fans will create a special atmosphere tonight to spur on the team

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Stats and Trivia

Olimpia vs Argentine opposition (All Continental Competitions)

Pld 61 W 22 D 17 L 23 GF 77 GA 86

Olimpia in Asunción (All Continental Competitions)

Pld 216 W 110 D 59 L 47 GF 349 GA 219

Olimpia’s only other Copa Libertadores games on 16th May were also in Asunción, a 3-0 victory over Palestino of Chile in 1979 and 1-0 vs Boca in 2002, two years in which they won the tournament. Good omen or what?

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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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