Clausura Week 9: Cerro Porteño vs Sportivo Luqueño preview

Cerro Porteño vs Sportivo Luqueño
La Olla, Asunción
20/09/2014; 17:10 (22:10 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

Leo Astrada returns to La Olla having had to coach three consecutive away games with Cerro Porteño in his second spell at the Barrio Obrero club. They face a Sportivo Luqueño side that has continued to do well under Daniel Navarro following Eduardo Rivera’s resignation. In fact the auriazul head into this clash with just one defeat in 14 (to leaders Guarani) and are ahead of Cerro in the table.

Photo: Club Sportivo Luqueño - prensa

Photo: Club Sportivo Luqueño – prensa

While Arce didn’t want to rest players in the league, Leo Astrada has a history of favouring continental tournaments over domestic so some first teamers players will step aside today. Youngster Bruno Valdez will play alongside Mareco at centre-back while Oviedo and Oscar Romero are set to watch from the bench. Iván Torres and Sergio Díaz are likely starters.

Veteran Brazilian Rodrigo Teixeira and Argentina Guido Di Vanni are likely to play up front, filling Luque’s foreigners quota. Navarro usually plays with three strikers so either Derlis Alegre or Marcelo Ferreira will fill the remaining spot. Midfielder Luis Miño has been making the side tick so far, the 25-year-old has a good range of passing and is dangerous from far out. Cristhian Aguada the left-sided player is exciting to watch, the 21-year-old full back he likes to get forward and scored the equalizer from the bench against Olimpia earlier in the season – could he do the same today?

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Carlos Bonet, Bruno Valdez, Victor Hugo Mareco, Junior Alonso; Mauricio Sperduti, Miguel Paniagua, Julio Dos Santos, Iván Torres; José Ortigoza, Sergio Díaz

Luqueño XI (probable): Rodolfo Rodriguez; Mario Saldívar, Carlos Rolón, José Leguizamón, Sergio Vergara; Miguel Godoy, Luis Miño, Lorenzo del Valle; Derlis Alegre, Rodrigo Teixeira, Guido di Vanni.

By Ralph Hannah

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Clausura 2014 Week 5: Cerro Porteño vs Guarani preview

Cerro Porteño vs Guaraní
La Olla, Asunción
23/08/2014; 18:30 (23:30 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

The biggest game of the fledgeling season, table-toppers Guarani could be pegged back by their hosts Cerro Porteño one of a four-strong chasing pack. Cerro return to La Olla after a successful midweek excursion to Montevideo in the Sudamericana, they have now kept four straight cleansheets as Chiqui Arce’s side begin to click into gear. The aurinegro like their rivals have no trouble finding the net, although a repeat of the 5-5 draw in their previous meeting might be a bit too optimistic.

CerroGuara

The Azulgrana can’t afford to rest players as the league is important for qualification into the 2015 Libertadores, with that in mind Arce will play his strongest team and hopes to welcome back Dani Guiza from injury. The main decision is who he plays as his designated U20s player – either Junior Alonso or José Ortigoza will have to make way for Carlos Montiel or Sergio Diaz respectively, my money is on the former. One of the key players today will be central defender Danilo Ortiz who will have to out muscle Federico Santander, not an easy task.

Jubero will want his team to attack, it is afterall his best form of defence with the aformentioned Santander forming a great partnership with Fernando Fernandez as the youngster almost seems to steal space to always find himself on the end of a flick or cross. Adilson Lezcano had a strong game at right back last week, his pace could help the side on the break although he is likely to find himself pegged back by Cerro’s Oscar Romero. Iván Gonzalez Ferreira is a fantastic player and will look to cause problems by running at the defence, cutting in and shooting from distance – he’ll be a thorn in Cerro’s side all afternoon that’s for sure.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Carlos Bonet, Bruno Valdez, Danilo Ortiz, Carlos Montiel; Mauricio Sperduti, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio Dos Santos, Oscar Romero; José Ortigoza, Dani Guiza

Guaraní XI (probable): Joel Silva; Adilson Lezcano, Julio César Cáceres, Luis Cabral, Edgar Aranda; Dario Ocampo, Marcelo Palau, Juan Aguilar, Iván Gónzalez Ferreira; Federico Santander, Fernando Fernandez

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

 

By Ralph Hannah

Clausura 2014 Week 4: Guaraní vs Sol de América preview

Guaraní vs Sol de América
Dos Bocas, Asunción
17/08/2014; 15:30 (20:30 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

The Aurinegro finished second in the Apertura and have started this campaign well despite losing topscorer Jorge “Conejo” Benítez to Europe. They are currently on a 13-game unbeaten run stretching back to early May and have won their last two matches following a draw in the season opener. Three points today would put them in pole position.  Sol have also had a solid start, they were unlucky to lose their opener against Libertad and the 1-0 win over Rubio Ñu last week will be a confidence boost going into today’s clash.

Guarani will go top with a win - Photo: Club Guarani

Guarani will go top with a win – Photo: Club Guarani

Youngster Fernando Fernandez has been leading the line for Guaraní and is partnered by the ever-dangerous Federico Santander. Spanish coach Fernando Jubero relies on the grit and determination of Uruguayan Marcelo Palau in midfield to protect his back four. Dario Ocampo is as always a dangerous figure whether starting or coming off the bench with his darting runs and through balls, Iván Gonzalez Ferreira is an excellent runner with the ball, the Aborigen are full to the brim with offensive talent and will surely find the net today at home.

The Danzarín have lost central defender Bruno Váldez to Cerro Porteño but this week they gained the experience of veteran Claudio Morel Rodriguez who had played at Boca while Pompei was on the coaching staff there. In midfield the main threats are from Edgar Orzuza on the right hand side and Ignacio Miño in the middle who managed six goals in the Apertura. Up front Diego Vázquez is a very intelligent player and he is joined by the talented and temperamental Claudio Correa. Another striker, Cecilio Dominguez is back from his 4-game loan to Nacional where he played the semi-final and final of the Copa Libertadores although he might be rested today.

Prediction: 2-0

Best Bet: Home win is odds on but it is a good bet, if you can find Guaraní to score more than one goal that is also a strong option

Guaraní XI (probable): Joel Silva; Eduardo Filippini, Julio César Cáceres, Luis Cabral, Edgar Aranda; Dario Ocampo, Marcelo Palau, Juan Aguilar, Iván Gónzalez Ferreira; Federico Santander, Fernando Fernandez

Sol de América XI (probable): Gerardo Ortiz; Aureliano Torres, Adalberto Goiri, Raúl Cáceres, Celso Cáceres; Edgar Orzuza, Ignacio Miño, Edgar Villasboa, Marcos Duré; Diego Vázquez, Claudio Correa

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

 

By Ralph Hannah

Clausura Week 4: Rubio Ñu vs Cerro Porteño preview

Rubio Ñu vs Cerro Porteño
La Arboleda, Asunción
15/08/2014; 19:00 (00:00 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

Having got their first win under their belt last weekend, Chiqui Arce’s side are looking to go momentarily joint top tonight in Asunción as Paraguay’s capital city celebrates her 477th birthday. Rubio Ñu have garnered just one point from their opening three games with relegation a very real possibility for the Trinidad-based club. Despite that start the albiverde can celebrate the fact they are playing Cerro Porteño at their home ground, a very rare occurrence and made possible thanks to the recent installation of floodlights. Expect a capacity crowd on this bank holiday Friday and events like these can only serve to improve the local league.

La Arboleda hosts tonight's game Photo: Julio C.Fernandez - Prensa Rubio Ñu

La Arboleda hosts tonight’s game Photo: Julio C.Fernandez – Prensa Rubio Ñu

The big blow for Cerro Porteño is the absence of Spanish striker Dani Guiza who is carrying an injury, it seems likely that Rodolfo Gamarra will play just off José Ortigoza in a blend of pace and power. New signing Mauricio Sperduti made his mark last game with a fine cross to set up Julio Dos Santos who has been in the goals of late, in fact he finished joint topscorer in the Copa Libertadores. Defense has been an issue, Victor Mareco still doesn’t convince and although Junior Alonso is a better left back than Montiel it is the latter who will probably start to fill the designated U20s cuota.

Rubio Ñu have struggled of late with no wins in five if you go back to the end of the Apertura, coincidentally their last victory was versus Cerro Porteño in that tournament, it was 4-1 capping a purple patch for Pablo Caballero’s team. Ex-Cerro striker Ale da Silva is set to start and other players to look out for is the Argentine midfielder Sergio Escalante and youngster in central midfield Roberto Piris who has a lovely range of passing. The defense is experienced with 4-time World Cup veteran Denis Caniza at centre-back and 33-year-old Uruguayan Diego Ciz at left back. Although for all their experience the collective lack of pace is likely to be exposed by Cerro’s rapid attack.

Prediction: 1-2

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals – this is traditionally high scoring as both team’s philosophies are based on attack, the goals per game average is 4.1 over the last 10 games!

Rubio Ñu XI (probable): Mario Santilli; Gustavo Giménez, Celso González, Denis Caniza, Diego Ciz; Sergio Escalante, Ismael Roa, Robert Piris, Diego Figueredo; David Pereira, Alejandro Da Silva

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Carlos Bonet, Danilo Ortiz, Victor Hugo Mareco, Carlos Montiel; Mauricio Sperduti, Miguel Paniagua, Julio Dos Santos, Oscar Romero; Rodolfo Gamarra, José Ortigoza

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

 

By Ralph Hannah

Clausura 2014 Week 3: Sportivo Luqueño vs Olimpia preview

Sportivo Luqueño vs Olimpia
Feliciano Cáceres, Luque
10/08/2014; 15:30 (20:30 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

A rampant Olimpia visit Luque hoping to win their opening three league games for the first time since the 2011 Apertura (when they went on a run of 7 victories). They have impressed against both 3 de Febrero and 12 de Octubre but today will be a test for their youngsters in the hostile atmosphere of the Feliciano Cáceres. Luque may have started their campaign poorly with no goals and one point to show for their first 180 minutes of football but the Auriazul often raise their game against El Decano.

Guerreño is one of the rising stars at Olimpia - Photo: Club Olimpia Oficial

Guerreño is one of the rising stars at Olimpia – Photo: Club Olimpia Oficial

Uruguayan coach Eduardo Rivera has been pleased with glimpses of the football he’s seen in the Clausura from his renovated side but he lamented “silly” errors against Guaraní which saw them lose 2-0. The weak point in defence is arguably José Escobar the designated U20s player (see here for more info on that rule) who only turned 19 last month and is breaking through in senior football, he could have a tough afternoon marking Walter Clar who is fast becoming the Paraguayan Gareth Bale with some of his all-action displays. Despite not scoring this season the team are stronger up top – Marcelo Ferreira is an exciting player, the 20-year-old left-footer shows good movement and gets into great positions and is the perfect contrast to 36-year-old Brazilian bruiser Rodrigo Teixeira who provides the muscle. Another youngster to keep an eye on is Derlis Alegre who has a habit of getting into the box at the right time.

Olimpia have looked excellent so far this campaign, the return of Juan Manuel Salgueiro has given them control in midfield and his experience blends well with the youthful exuberance of Clar, Guerreño and Martínez around him. Christian Ovelar missed a few chances against 12 de Octubre but the striker is sure to find his feet soon enough. El Decano look solid at the back and should be able to repel Luque today with Clar and Guerreño likely to give their opposing full backs plenty of work to do.

Prediction: 0-2

Best Bet: An away win looks a good price today, Olimpia haven’t won in Luque since the 2011 Apertura but this current side has the potential to be as good as that group of players from three years ago.

Sportivo Luqueño XI (probable): Jorge Chena; Juan Escobar, Robert Aldama, José Leguizamón, Sergio Vergara; Derlis Alegre, Luis Miño, Miguel Godoy, Leonardo Delvalle; Marcelo Ferreira, Rodrigo Teixeira

Olimpia XI (probable): Victor Centurión; Gustavo Noguera, Julio Manzur, Salustiano Candia, Richard Salinas; Carlos Guerreño, Eduardo Ledesma, Fernando Martínez, Walter Clar; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Cristhian Ovelar

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

 

By Ralph Hannah

Clausura Week 3: Cerro Porteño vs Capiatá preview

Cerro Porteño vs Capiatá
La Olla, Asunción
09/08/2014; 18:30 (23:30 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

A winless Cerro play their first game of the season in La Olla and the pressure is building on Chiqui Arce with fans and the board anxious for three points to try and keep in touch with a flying Olimpia. Capiatá on the other hand are doing well under Hector Marecos, they won their last 3 games of the Apertura including a 1-0 win over Cerro and have started the Clausura unbeaten.

Spertudti arrives with big expectations of him - Photo: cerro.com.py

Spertudti arrives with big expectations of him – Photo: cerro.com.py

Arce saw some key players leave at the end of the Apertura, namely Angel Romero (Corinthians) and Luis Cardozo (Morelia) leaving them weaker at both ends of the pitch. The new hope is Sergio “Kun” Díaz the 16-year-old who has started the first two games but is yet to find the net so may make way today. Bruno Valdez was signed from Sol to fill the gap at centreback while Miguel Paniagua has crossed town from Guaraní and was very good in central midfield against Libertad in the last game. The big boost however is the arrival of Mauricio Sperduti from Argentina, the right-sided midfielder spent many years at Newell’s before spending a year in Italy with Palermo, he is likely to give the Capiateño defence a tough time.   The combative Fidencio Oviedo is suspended today following a red card versus the Gumarelo.

Capiatá have been relying heavily on the goals of Fabio Escobar, the 32-year-old has 4 in his last 5 league matches, but they’ll have to do without him today as he got his marching orders last week’s draw with Sol de América. Ex-Olimpia midfielder “Tom” Ortiz usually ups his game against his old rivals and will try and work in the space behind the midfield and in front of the defence. Jorge Ayala will probably start in Escobar’s absence as he looks to recreate his wonderful 2012 with Carapeguá, since a serious injury he hasn’t got many goals. Don’t expect them to defend with 10-men behind the ball, they will be organized but inventive.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: BTTS because although Fabio Escobar isn’t available for Capiatá the absence of Fidencio Oviedo in Cerro means they will be a bit light in midfield, set-piece defending has also been an issue this season.

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Carlos Bonet, Danilo Ortiz, Victor Hugo Mareco, Carlos Montiel; Mauricio Sperduti, Miguel Paniagua, Julio Dos Santos, Oscar Romero; Rodolfo Gamarra, Dani Guiza

Capiatá XI (probable): Tobias Vargas; Arturo Aquino, Jorge Paredes, Nestor Gonzalez, Derlis Ortiz; Oscar Ruiz, Angel Martinez, Edgar Balbuena, Ricardo “Tom” Ortiz; Cristian López, Jorge Ayala

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

 

By Ralph Hannah

Clausura 2014 Week 2: Olimpia vs 12 de Octubre preview

Olimpia vs 12 de Octubre
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
03/08/2014; 18:00 (23:00 BST)
TV: Tigo Sports (Paraguay)

The new era is here for Olimpia and it already seems more exciting that the drab displays we saw in the 2013 Clausura and 2014 Apertura. Last week they beat 3 de Febrero in Ciudad del Este with several youngsters impressing as Diego Alonso looks to the future. 12 de Octubre managed a credible draw against Guaraní but the threat of relegation hangs heavy and today will be a tough test.

Clar is one of several exciting youngsters - Photo: ABC Color

Clar is one of several exciting youngsters – Photo: ABC Color

Alonso is bolstered by the signings of midfielder Eduardo Ledesma who returns to Paraguay after 8 years in Argentina and a brief spell at Liga de Quito, another midfielder José Montiel is also back after several years in Italy with Reggina and Benvento Calcio. Finally the Uruguayan left back Jonathan Lacerda is also eligible to appear having joined from Santos Laguna in Mexico. Juan Manuel Salgueiro looked good last week on his return and the trio of youngsters Walter Clar (19), Carlos Guerreño (18) and Walter Gonzalez (19) were all exciting going forward. Fernando Martínez the 20-year-old is likely to keep his place at the base of the midfield today.

12 de Octubre are coached by Olimpia legend Alicio Solalinde who has a knack of getting decent results against his old team but he doesn’t have much talent to call upon at the moment. Yimi Cano is suspended after a red card last weekend making their defence even more lightweight, up front they have the experienced Jorge Achucarro and Richard Estigarribia who until recently was plying his trade in Peru and Ecuador.

Prediction: 3-0

Best Bet: Hard to look past the Olimpia win today and I expect them to score at least two making the Olimpia -1 bet quite attractive.

Olimpia XI (probable): Victor Centurión; Gustavo Noguera, Julio Manzur, Salustiano Candia, Richard Salinas; Carlos Guerreño, Eduardo Ledesma, Fernando Martínez, Walter Clar; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Cristhian Ovelar

12 de Octubre XI (probable): Aristides Florentín; César Godoy, Jorge Caballero, Francisco Miranda, Wildo Alonso; William Schuster, Héctor Caballero, Pablo Rolón, Nicolas Caballero; Richard Estigarribia, Jorge Achucarro

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

 

By Ralph Hannah