Atletico Mineiro vs Olimpia
Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
Final 2nd Leg, Olimpia lead 2-0 on aggregate
24/07/2013; 20:50 (01:50 BST)
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK); Telefuturo (Paraguay)
It has been a real battle for Olimpia this year but incredibly they are now on the verge of their fourth Copa Libertadores triumph against a team packed full of superstars. On the financial side there is a real gulf in spending, Atletico Mineiro can afford to pay Ronaldinho a reported 450,000 dollars a month – earlier in the year Ever Almeida dug into his own pocket and stumped up 10,000 dollars so the club could afford to travel to an away game in this competition. On the playing staff Carlos Humberto Paredes hasn’t asked for his wages, just enough to pay for his kid’s tuition fees. This Paraguayan side are full of resolve and have fought against the odds to get this far.
Obviously Almeida isn’t going to be quite as positive as he was at home, but he isn’t a fan of parking the bus either. Expect three at the back and the Salguiero-Bareiro double act to be deployed up front. The probable change from the first leg is the apperance of Ricardo Mazacotte at right wing-back with Alejandro Silva moving to a central role replacing Matias Gimenez. That in theory will make Olimpia a bit more defense-minded and once again there will be big pressure on Eduardo Aranda and Wilson Pittoni to keep things tight in the middle.
Atletico Mineiro have lost both full backs to suspension – Marcos Rocha and Richarlyson – but they welcome back Bernard from the sin bin which is going to be a huge boost for the Galo creatively. Also, as Tim Vickery put it in his BBC column, Ronaldinho can’t play as badly as he did in the first leg. They’ve been a danger at home all year winning every game but one (a 1-1 draw with Tijuana) though the good news for Olimpia is that the Brazilians have only managed one cleansheet and they certainly looked shaky in defence last week.
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; Michel, Rever, Leonardo Silva, Junior Cesar, Josué, Pierre, Ronaldinho, Guilherme, Diego Tardelli, Jô
Selected Odds: Atletico Mineiro win 1.44, Draw 4.2, Olimpia win 9.2, 1-1 draw 10.0, BTTS 2.12
Best Bet: I like BTTS in this game with Atletico sure to get a goal at home and likely to expose themselves as they search for a second, Olimpia will look to hit them on the counter.
Stats and Trivia
Olimpia in Asunción (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 220 W 114 D 59 L 47 GF 357 GA 220
Head-to-Head vs Atletico Mineiro (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 7 W 2 D 3 L 2 GF 5 GA 5
NB: The 2-2 draw in Asuncion in 1972 saw 5 Mineiro players sent off so points awarded to Olimpia
Olimpia Finals away (Copa Libertadores)
Pld 6 W 1 D 2 L 3 GF 2 GA 7
Olimpia vs Brazilian (opposition) – For full article (in Spanish) click here