Olimpia vs Nacional
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
26/05/2013; 17:20 (22:20 BST)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)
Once again Olimpia will field an alternative side as they concentrate on the Copa Libertadores, in theory it should be an easy win for Nacional although they could be suffering from complacency with the league title all but wrapped up. The Academia have only failed to score once this year and are averaging 2.2 goals per game as they sweep everybody aside, Olimpia have had their defensive lapses this season and concede almost 1.5 goals a game (1.43 to be precise).
It is a reserve team once again for Ever Almeida after the dogged result in Brazil has given them a golden chance to reach the last four on Wednesday. The safe pair of hands that is Martin Silva is replaced by the slightly more ‘flappy’ Victor Centurión and the defence that conceded three against Guaraní last week is likely to be employed. Up fron the good news is that Tanque Ferreyra starts again, his double last week was fully deserved for a typically physical performance from the Argentine battering ram.
Nacional have been unfazed by everything to date – they are swashbuckling against the smaller teams and in the big games they grind out results, just like the 1-0 win over Libertad two games ago. Justo Villar has been immense in goal while up front Julian Benítez has been scoring goals for fun, in fact that one game Nacional failed to score in was when Benítez was ineligible to play. Marcos Melgarejo is a player who deserves a chance outside of the country, the left-footer can play on either flank and often tests the goalkeeper having got behind his full-back with a clever run. The veteran Cesar Cáceres Cañete is simply a joy to watch, working in pockets of space with deft touches and incisve passing that makes up for his limited movement around the pitch.
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals is the way to go, both sides more than capable of scoring but Olimpia’s leaky defence a cause for concern for the home team
Olimpia XI (probable): Victor Centurión; Aquilino Giménez, Kike Meza, Carlos Paredes, Richard Salinas; Blas Cáceres, Eduardo Aranda, Hernan Perez, Alejandro Silva; Juan Carlos Ferreyra, Enzo Prono
Guarani XI (probable): Justo Villar; Ramon Coronel, Raúl Piris, Jose Caceres, David Mendoza; Ricardo Ortiz, Marcos Riveros, Silvio Torales, Marcos Melgarejo; Cesar Caceres Cañete; Julian Benítez
For a list of my ‘Best Bets’ for all Week 16’s games, visit Free Bets Sport for my preview
By Ralph Hannah