Cerro Porteño vs Guarani
La Olla, Asunción
26/07/2013; 18:30 (23:30 BST)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)
Life without Jonathan Fabbro begins here for Cerro Porteño who start off with a tough game against the Apertura runners-up Guaraní. In fact it was the aborigen who looked the best team in the final weeks of the tournament as the champions Nacional took their foot off the gas. This is usually an entertaining fixture with the last eight games providing a winner and both sides will want to get off to a good start and build confidence before their Copa Sudamericana games next week.
Chiqui Arce has been linked with plenty of players but to date only Jorge Ortega (ex-Lecce, Tacuary and Rubio Ñu) has come into the side to strengthen the attack. Victor Hugo Mareco is suspended (yellow card limit) but other than that he has a full team to pick from with Carlos Bonet back from a long-term injury and straight into the side. The Romero twins play in front of the Dos Santos-Oviedo combination and it is Guillermo Beltrán, hoping to end a 500 minute scoring drought, who leads the line up front.
Guaraní have a new coach, like his predecessor Gustavo Díaz is a young Uruguayan and the 38-year-old has an impressive CV. In 2011-12 he was voted manager of the season while at Defensor Sporting and joins the Asuncion club from Uruguayan giants Nacional. Two other Uruguayans have departed, both Palau and Orteman were very important in central midfield but their absence gives Jorge Mendoza a chance to shine alongside Miguel Paniagua. Up front the registration of Federico Santander doesn’t seem to have come through in time meaning Benfica starlet Derlis Gonzalez will play up top.
Best Bet: Always hard to call these early season games but I think Cerro Porteño will get one over their rivals tonight, they were strong going into the end of the season and with home advantage they should have enough for the outright win.
Cerro Porteño XI (confirmed): Roberto Fernández; Carlos Bonet, Teodoro Paredes, Junior Alonso, Néstor Ramírez; Matías Corujo, Julio Dos Santos, Fidencio Oviedo, Óscar Romero; Ángel Romero, Guillermo Beltrán
Guarani XI (probable): Pablo Aurrecochea; Eduardo Filippini, Luis Cabral, Julio Cáceres, Elvis Marecos; Luis de la Cruz, Miguel Paniagua, Jorge Mendoza e Iván González Ferreira; Guido Di Vanni, Derlis González
For a list of my ‘Best Bets’ for all of the Week 1 games, visit Free Bets Sport for my preview
By Ralph Hannah