Copa Sudamericana 2013: Nacional vs The Strongest preview

Nacional vs The Strongest
Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
30/07/2013; 19:30 (00:30 BST)
Preliminary Round, 1st Leg
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America)

The 2013 Apertura champions are the first Paraguayan side in action in this year’s Copa Sudamericana and they take on Bolivian giants The Strongest who have won three of the last four titles on offer. Nacional have only competed in this tournament on one previous occassion, in 2011 they beat one Bolivian side, San José, only to lose to another, Aurora, in Cochabamba. Their continental record isn’t great of late, one win from eight games and recent form has also been poor currently with no wins from their previous five.

Nacional XI to play The Strongest - Photo: Club Nacional Paraguay

Nacional XI to play The Strongest – Photo: Club Nacional Paraguay

Gustavo Moringio isn’t flustered however and is set to start the same XI that threw away a two-goal lead to draw on Friday in the Clausura opener. The positive is that he can count on an experiencied side with players like Jorge Achucarro, Cesar Caceres Cañete and Raúl Piris all veterans of continental competition. The likelihood is that The Strongest won’t be too adventurous so a lot of the onus will be on Nacional’s midfield and how they can use possession effectively – Silvio Torales and Marcos Riveros are good at keeping the ball but the more destructive players are on the flanks with Marco Melgarejo and Alfredo Mazacotte the main threats.

Pablo Daniel Escobar is Paraguayan by birth but plays for Bolivia

Pablo Daniel Escobar is Paraguayan by birth but plays for Bolivia

The Bolivians are full of players with local knowledge, Pablo Escobar may have scored against Paraguay at international level but he was born and raised in Asunción and came through Olimpia’s youth ranks. Ex-Cerro Porteño players Alejandro Da Silva and Ernesto Cristaldo are also in the squad while a fourth Paraguayan Jorge Paredes was signed by The Strongest but hasn’t been registered in time for today’s game. Escobar is the main goal threat while 35-year-old goalkeeper Daniel Vaca could be the key figure at the other end, his skills are likely to be tested today.

Nacional XI (probable): Ignacio Don; Carlos Ruiz Peralta, Raul Piris, Leonardo Cáceres, Marcos Miers; Alfredo Mazacotte, Marcos Riveros, Silvio Torales, Marcos Melgarejo; Cesar Caceres Cañete, Jorge Achucarro

The Strongest XI (probable): Daniel Vaca; Diego Bejarano, Rony Jimenez, Abraham Cabrera, Didi Torrico; Nelvin Soliz, Victor Melgar, Walter Veizaga, Ernesto Cristaldo; Pablo Escobar, Gastón Mealla

Prediction: 1-0

Selected Odds: Nacional win 1.47, Draw 4.8, The Strongest win 8.4, 1-0 win 9.2, Under 2.5 goals 2.44

Best Bet: My prediction is a game in which Nacional try and break down their opponents and are possibly a bit cautious themselves following recent defeats, Under 2.5 goals could be a good bet here in a tense game. Nacional are way too short at 1.47 to be considered good value.

========================================

Stats and Trivia

Nacional vs Bolivian opposition (All Continental Competitions)

Pld 4 W 1 D 2 L 1 GF 4 GA 6

Nacional at home (All Continental Competitions)

Pld 16 W 4 D 5 L 7 GF 20 GA 28

Nacional have only played one home game outside of Asuncion, last year’s 2-0 Copa Libertadores defeat to Corinthians was played in Ciudad del Este

========================================

NACIONAL FULL COPA SUDAMERICANA SQUAD WITH NUMBERS (Source Club Nacional)

1

IGNACIO DON

2

ANGEL ALMIRON

3

LEONARDO CACERES

4

DAVID MENDOZA

5

MARCOS MIERS

6

SILVIO TORALES

7

JORGE ACHUCARRO

8

JUAN ARGUELLO

9

BENJAMIN PEDROZO

10

GUSTAVO CRISTALDO

11

MARCO PRIETO

12

HUGO CABRERA

13

DOUGLAS MARTINEZ

14

MARCOS MELGAREJO

15

RAUL PIRIS

16

ALFREDO MAZACOTE

17

CARLOS RUIZ PERALTA

18

DERLIS ORUE

19

NICOLAS MARTINEZ

20

RAMON CORONEL

21

SANDINO SOSA

22

CESAR CACERES CAÑETE

23

FABIAN BALBUENA

24

CRISTIAN MELIDA

25

OSCAR AGÜERO

26

WILLIAN RIVEROS

27

GUIDO AQUINO

28

MARCOS RIVEROS

29

ANDRES RIQUELME

30

CARLOS ALVAREZ

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s