Olimpia vs Atletico Mineiro
Defensores del Chaco, Asuncion
Final 1st Leg
17/07/2013; 20:50 (01:50 BST)
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK); Telefuturo (Paraguay)
In a repeat of the 1992 Copa CONMEBOL Final, Olimpia meet Atletico Mineiro in the first of the two biggest games on the continent. The Paraguayans have been in the final six times before but for Mineiro this is their debut at this level of the competition. Home advantage has been of vital importance this year, Olimpia have won 6 out of 7 home games (the only points dropped in a draw against arguably the weakest side they faced, Deportivo Lara of Venezuela). As with every game in the knockout stages they will be in front of a sell out crowd of over 30,000 and the team will be welcomed by a huge mosaic. To read about how Olimpia reached the final click here.
In terms of team news there is no fresh injury worries and Juan Manuel Salgueiro has completed his suspension that kept him out of the second leg against Santa Fe. The team is expected to line up in a 3-5-2 which is more a 3-5-1-1 as Salgueiro will look to drop behind Fredy Bareiro and dictate play. At the back goalkeeper Martin Silva and central defenders Herminio Miranda and Salustiano Candia keep up their record of having started every game so far this tournament. Also important will be the roles of the wing backs Ricardo Mazacotte and Nelson Benitez, both are probably slightly more defensive than offensive and should allow for Aranda and Pittoni to support attacks from central midfield. The only selection dilemma is if Matias Gimenez or Alejandro Silva plays as the most attacking of the central midfield trio – Silva’s raw pace could be the deciding factor.
Atletico Mineiro trained in Luque on the eve of the game in front of a dedicated crowd and have just one key absentee, the talented youngster Bernard picked up a silly yellow card in the semi-final and has to sit out this game. There is still plenty of talent though, Ronaldinho, Jô and Diego Tardelli will all be on the field of play looking to score a vital away goal. Another former European Star, Gilberto Silva, returns to the bench following his semi final appearance with captain Rever back from suspension.
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Julio Manzur, Herminio Miranda, Salustiano Candia; Ricardo Mazacotte, Nelson Benítez; Wilson Pittoni, Eduardo Aranda, Alejandro Silva; Juan Manuel Salgueiro, Fredy Bareiro
Atletico Mineiro XI (possible): Victor; Marcos Rocha, Rever, Leonardo Silva, Richardlyson, Josué, Pierre, Ronaldinho, Guilherme, Diego Tardelli, Jô
Selected Odds: Olimpia win 2.84, Draw 3.9, Mineiro win 2.86, 2-1 win 12.0, Over 2.5 goals 2.5
Best Bet: Think the Olimpia win is way overpriced considering their record at home this year, goals aren’t that common in Libertadores first leg finals which is why I haven’t plumped for overs despite Olimpia’s strong scoring record in Asuncion
Stats and Trivia
Olimpia in Asunción (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 219 W 113 D 59 L 47 GF 355 GA 220
Head-to-Head vs Atletico Mineiro (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 6 W 1 D 3 L 2 GF 3 GA 5
NB: The 2-2 draw in Asuncion in 1972 saw 5 Mineiro players sent off so points awarded to Olimpia
Olimpia Finals at home (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 6 W 3 D 2 L 1 GF 6 GA 2
Olimpia vs Brazilian (opposition) – For full article (in Spanish) click here