Copa Libertadores Final 2013: Atletico Mineiro vs Olimpia preview

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.

The King wants his 4th, will he get it? - Photo: abc.com.py

The King wants his 4th, will he get it? – Photo: abc.com.py

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.

Wilson Pittoni celebrates what could be a decisive goal in 1st leg - Photo: abc.com.py

Wilson Pittoni celebrates what could be a decisive goal in 1st leg – Photo: abc.com.py

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

Prediction: 1-1

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

Olimpia vs Brazilian opposition - Photo: D10.com.py

Olimpia vs Brazilian opposition – Photo: D10.com.py

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

Authors Note: All odds are selected from Betfair Sports and accurate at the time of writing, there is a live market on this game

Advertisements

Copa Libertadores 2013 Final: Olimpia vs Atletico Mineiro preview

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. 

Photo - Club Olimpia Oficial

Photo – Club Olimpia Oficial

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.

Demand for tickets has been huge! - Photo: Pasion Libertadores

Demand for tickets has been huge! – Photo: Pasion Libertadores

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.

Ronaldinho in Luque, who'd have thought it! - Photo: Club Sportivo Luqueño

Ronaldinho in Luque, who’d have thought it! – Photo: Club Sportivo Luqueño

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

Prediction: 2-1

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

Olimpia vs Brazilian opposition - Photo: D10.com.py

Olimpia vs Brazilian opposition – Photo: D10.com.py

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

Authors Note: All odds are selected from Betfair Sports and accurate at the time of writing, there is a live market on this game

Copa Libertadores 2013: Olimpia the only team to survive the group stages

The group stages of the Copa Libertadores ended last week and we have just one Paraguayan team in the last sixteen. Olimpia were arguably the weakest of the three qualified sides but as Cerro Porteño capitulated in catastrophic fashion and Libertad wilted towards the end, it left El Decano as the last team standing. They’ve slowly improved under Ever Almeida since he took over at the beginning of the year and here we analyse the three key reasons they are into the knockout stages.

1. Ever Almeida

Ever Almeida winning his 2nd title in 1990 - Photo: pasionlibertadores.com

Ever Almeida winning his 2nd title in 1990 – Photo: pasionlibertadores.com

The record-holder for the most appearances in the Copa Libertadores obviously brings experience, especially in big games, after all he won the trophy twice with Olimpia in 1979 and 1990. We saw that in the gritty victory over Universidad de Chile Santiago but we’ve also seen that Almeida is a smart coach and tactically astute. He has gradually moulded the team he wants and found the best way to utilize Juan Manuel Salgueiro with his strikers, usually Fredy Bareiro but sometimes Juan Carlos Ferreyra. The Almeida effect can be seen in the improvement in results, in the first three games they garnered four points, in the final three they took the maximum nine on offer.

2. Midfield balance

Ortiz offers discipline in central midfield - Photo: D10.com.py

Ortiz offers discipline in central midfield – Photo: D10.com.py

Last year the team was much stronger on paper yet they crashed out in the first round and one difference I’ve noted is their ability to re-organise and keep their shape even when they lose possession quickly. Previously with Serigo Orteman and Vladimir Marin they had two excellent players who both enjoyed freedom and liked to roam to find space something that left them susceptible to counter attacks. This year we have the combination of Richard Ortiz and Eduardo Aranda who are more defensive by nature and more disciplined tacitcally, it allows Salgueiro the freedom he needs to make things happen in and around the opposition goal.

3. Re-discovering the Olimpia garra

Olimpia winning the 1979 Libertadores - Photo: ABC.com.py

Olimpia winning the 1979 Libertadores – Photo: ABC.com.py

Go back through the annals of this tournament and despite being much smaller than the Argentinian, Brazilian and major Uruguayan clubs you will find that Olimpia have picked up some wonderful results in this competition especially away from the Paraguayan capital. In 1979 they got a 0-0 draw in the Bombonera to win the trophy having beaten Boca in the home leg, in 2002 they actually lost the first leg at home to Sã0 Caetano and were a goal down at halftime in the Pacaembú only to score twice in the second half and take the game to penalties, which they won. In 2012 they didn’t manage to win an away game, their only point on the road came in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Flamengo but that was only 15 minutes of magic. This year they fought hard against Newell’s before losing in Rosario but were imperious in Venezuela and Chile, the result against Universidad de Chile was a typical ‘smash and grab’ that epitomised the Olimpia spirit.

Now they face Tigre in the next round, the team from Buenos Aires province have been awful in the league but seem to lead a charmed life in cup competitions. They also have a great record against the guaraní sides, knocking out Cerro of the 2012 Sudamericana with a swashbuckling display which they repeated in the incredible 5-3 victory over Libertad to eliminate them last week. I have a feeling El Decano will prove to be sterner stuff with Almeida’s experience and that garra coming to the fore.

Ralph Hannah

Apertura 2013 Week 5: Nacional vs Olimpia and Carapeguá vs Libertad preview

A weakened Libertad side travel to Carapeguá in the early kick off which we preview below Saturday’s big match between Nacional and Olimpia.

Nacional vs Olimpia
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
09/03/2013; 19:00 (22:00 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

Gustavo Morinigio’s Nacional are second in the league having won every game but one, a heavy defeat to Cerro de Franco in the east of the country. Today they look to win their third straight game and stretch their ‘no draw’ run to 17 games. Remarkably since the previous meeting between these two in the Arsenio Erico, which Nacional won 4-1, Olimpia have won just two league games from a possible nine. They are on a run of three games without a win having lost to General Díaz before drawing their previous two matches against Rubio Ñu and most recently Deportivo Lara.

Melgarejo has got the winner in the past two games for Nacional - Photo: Prensa Club Nacional

Melgarejo has got the winner in the past two games for Nacional – Photo: Prensa Club Nacional

The Academia are without Marcos Riveros which is a notable absentee in midfield, up front Ramón Cardozo is still looking for his first competitive goal for the club. Marcos Melgarejo is an excellent player and has proved his class by scoring the winner in the previous two games, both of which ended 1-0 as Moringio tries to impart some of his defensive wisdom onto the squad.

Fredy Bareiro is Olimpia's form man - Photo: D10.com.py

Fredy Bareiro is Olimpia’s form man – Photo: D10.com.py

Ever Almeida must be a bit concerned, three games without a win and four without a cleansheet prove that his team isn’t quite as settled as he had first hoped. Interestingly he continues with Jorge Báez at right-wingback despite the youngster’s defensive frailties, something that Melgarejo will try and expose at every opportunity. The form man has been Fredy Bareiro who can’t stop scoring, the former Libertad and Cerro man has four in four and scored two ‘golazos’ against Lara. In defence Herminio Miranda can’t play against his parent club so Julio Manzur will take his place in the back three.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: BTTS with Nacional missing holding midfielder Riveros and Olimpia starting with Báez at wingback

Nacional XI (possible): Ignacio Don; Ramón Coronel, Raúl Piris, Leandro Cáceres, David Mendoza; Carlos Ruiz Peralta, Silvio Torales, Hugo Cabrera, Marcos Melgarejo; Ramón Cardozo, Julian Benítez

Olimpia XI (possible): Martin Silva; Salustiano Candia, Julio Manzur, Enrique Meza; Jorge Báez, Eduardo Aranda , Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Fredy Bareiro, Juan Carlos Ferreyra

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

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

Non-Televised game…

Carapeguá vs Libertad
Estadio Municipal, Carapeguá
09/03/2013; 17:15 (20:15 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

Three draws in a row for Carapeguá who know that the wonderful start by General Díaz means the newly-promoted side are no longer a likely relegation contender thus plunging them deeper into the mire. They face a Libertad side also concerned with their points total, they can’t become so enthralled with the chase for continental glory that they forget their ‘bread and butter’. Having said that the Copa Libertadores schedule is unforgiving, they leave for Lima at dawn tomorrow so most of the first team have been given a rest.

With that in mind I’m plumping for a Carapeguá win, they also won this fixture last year and so history is on their side.

Prediction: 2-1

Carapeguá XI (probable): Gustavo Arévalos; Raúl Cáceres, Rubén Maldonado, Robert Aldama, Cristian Martinez; Pedro Chavez, Jorge Britez, Michel Romero, Diego Godoy; David Pereira, Arnulfo Colmán

Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Aldo Olmedo, Gustavo Gómez, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia; Nelson Romero, Osmar Molinas, Sebastián Eguren, Néstor Camacho; Rodolfo Gamarra; Mauro Guevgeozián

For other football previews check CaStRoF’s betting tips

By Ralph Hannah

Copa Libertadores 2013: Olimpia vs Deportivo Lara preview

Olimpia vs Deportivo Lara
Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
05/03/2013; 19:15 (22:15 GMT)
Group Stages
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK)

Days after the death of Olimpia’s legendary manager Luis Cubilla the Paraguayans have arguably the easiest fixture of the group in which to continue the Cubilla tradition of winning in the Copa Libertadores. Tournament debutants Deportivo Lara visit from Venezuela where they sit 5th in their local league. While a win is almost certainly on the cards, Olimpia need only to look at their cross-city rivals Cerro Porteño for a reminder that complacency can cost.

Olimpia promote tonight's match - Photo: Club Olimpia

Olimpia promote tonight’s match – Photo: Club Olimpia

Olimpia are most comfortable with a back three and the first choice defence is all available tonight with Salustiano Candia the most experienced centreback. In midfield Ortiz and Aranda will hold to give Juan Manuel Salgueiro license to roam in the final third although don’t be surprised to see him drop back without the ball and assume a defensive role, that extra discipline has been notable this season. Alejandro Silva at right wing-back has been impressive so far in the Copa games and it is obvious now why he was considered for the Uruguayan Olympic side last year (he was in the preliminary squad).

Olimpia fans will be out in force - Photo: D10.com.py

Olimpia fans will be out in force – Photo: D10.com.py

Deportivo Lara lost their first away match to Universidad de Chile but they were able to record an historic victory against Newell’s in Barquisimeto two weeks ago. They are also expected to play with three central defenders and a playmaker, Jesus Gomez, who was previously with Caracas and has made international appearances at senior level. Their problem seems to be defensive, they have just one cleansheet in nine matches so far this year, something El Decano will look to exploit.

Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Herminio Miranda, Enrique Meza; Alejandro Silva, Eduardo Aranda, Richard Ortiz, Sebastián Ariosa; Juan Manuel Salgueiro; Fredy Bareiro, Juan Carlos Ferreyra.

Deportivo Lara XI (probable): Allan Liebeskind; Jesus Alvarez, Marcelo Maidana, José Rey; Yuber Mosquera, Marlon Fernandez, Miguel Mea Vitali, Vicente Suanno; Jesus Gomez; Rafael Castellin, Zamir Valoyes

Prediction: 2-0

Selected Odds: Olimpia win 1.48, Draw 4.4, Deportivo Lara win 9.2, 2-0 win 7.4, Under 2.5 goals 1.87

Best Bet: With the win heavily odds on I like Olimpia/Olimpia (Olimpia to be winning at halftime and full time) at 2.26, bearing in mind they’ve scored plenty of early goals so far this year.

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

Stats

Olimpia head-to-head vs Venezuelan opposition (Copa Libertadores)

Pld 4 W 2 D 1 L 0 GF 13 GA 4 (all games took place in 1995 group stages)

Olimpia last 5 Copa Libertadores Home

Pld 5 W 4 D 0 L 1 GF 12 GA 6

Olimpia last 5 Continental Comps. (All venues)

Pld 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 GF 6 GA 3

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

By Ralph Hannah

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

Apertura 2013 Week 4: Olimpia vs Rubio Ñu preview

Olimpia vs Rubio Ñu
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
02/03/2013; 19:00 (22:00 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

Saturday’s only fixture could well be Chiqui Arce’s final match as Rubio Ñu coach (he’s strongly linked to the vacant Cerro Porteño job) he will try and get one over on Olimpia as a parting shot. Ever Almeida’s team come into this match after a shock midweek loss to General Díaz, the new boys that have taken the league by storm winning their opening three games.

The club are promoting the fixture - Photo: Olimpia.com.py

The club are promoting the fixture – Photo: Olimpia.com.py

There is a bit of doubt of El Decano’s team selection, it could be a 4-4-1-1 with Alejandro Silva on the right-side of midfield and Jorge Baez in at full back. However if ex-Guarani defener Manzur starts instead of Baez then it will be the more familiar line of three defenders with Silva and Ariosa the wing backs. It seems Salgueiro will partner Fredy Bareiro up front, obviously he is a playmaker by trade so expect him to be operating in the hole and dropping back when they lose the ball to form an extra man in midfield.

Chiqui Arce could be leaving -  Photo: Prensa APF

Chiqui Arce could be leaving – Photo: Prensa APF

When Arce first took the reins at the albiverde he brought in plenty of experience to gain promotion to Primera, then he gambled on youth to great effect before his stint as national team coach and the club’s subsequent fall in the promedio table. With backs against the wall it is a mixture of old heads and fledgling talent – players like Domingo Salcedo and Hugo Lusardi rubbing shoulders with Bryan Montenegro and Roberto Piris da Motta (although the latter is suspended for today’s game).

Almeida got caught out on Wednesday playing with an alternative eleven – personally I think he’s too smart to make the same mistake, a good game awaits us.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals would be my bet with Olimpia good enough to win, Rubio Ñu good enough to score

Olimpia XI (possible): Martin Silva; Alejandro Silva, Salustiano Candia, Herminio Miranda, Sebastián Ariosa; Eduardo Aranda, Wilson Pittoni, Richard Ortiz; Juan Manuel Salgueiro, Fredy Bareiro, Arnaldo Castorino

Rubio Ñu XI (possible): Carlos Servín; Gustavo Gimenez, Oscar Ayala, Arnaldo Recalde, Domingo Salcedo, Gustavo Viera, Carlos Martinez Arce, Jorge Benitez, Angel Lucena, Hugo Lusardi, Bryan Montenegro

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

For other football previews check CaStRoF’s betting tips

 

By Ralph Hannah

Apertura 2013 re-arranged fixture: Olimpia vs Gral. Díaz preview

Olimpia vs General Díaz
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
27/02/2013; 19:00 (22:00 GMT)
TV: Unicanal (Paraguay)

League leaders General Díaz will have their 100% record put to the test by an Olimpia side hoping to replace them at the summit with a win. Of course it is very early days but the Aguilas have been unfazed by the rigours of the Primera División, winning their first two games including a win against local rivals Luque at the weekend. Olimpia are unbeaten in Paraguay this year, the only defeat was away to Newell’s Old Boys but even in that game we saw for the first 60 minutes that what they may lack in individual talent they make up for in team organization and mental discipline.

Enzo Prono could make his first start - D10.com.py

Enzo Prono could make his first start – D10.com.py

Almeida used a both a back three and four against Guaraní in an incredibly open match that they won thanks to a late header from Julio Manzur who keeps his place in defence comprised of just three defenders this time. The major changes are further up the field, Enzo Prono is vying for his first start for the club replacing Fredy Bareiro while Juan Manuel Salgueiro will be rested for Tomás Guzman. Captain Richard Ortiz also takes a breather as Blas Cáceres comes in down the left-hand side.

Right now General Diaz are in the driving seat - D10.com.py

Right now General Diaz are in the driving seat – D10.com.py

General Díaz’s star man is Antonio Bareiro, topscorer from last year he got the winner against Capiatá in the opening game before providing the assist for Marco Prieto’s derby decider last weekend. The coach Humberto Garcia is a luqueño by birth and has the odd distinction of being both promoted to and relegated from the Primera last year (he was loaned in for two weeks by Independiente but couldn’t prevent them from dropping down a division). The team should line up in a 4-4-2.

No Salgueiro could mean less goals for Olimpia, although Tomas Guzman looks a good player – it should be a home win but maybe not emphatically.

Prediction: 2-1

Best Bet: Olimpia scored in the 2nd minute against Guarani and previous to that were 2-0 up against La U within 10 minutes, I like Olimpia to be winning at HT at evens

Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Salustiano Candia, Julio Manzur, Enrique Meza; Jorge Báez, Eduardo Aranda, Fabio Caballero, Blas Cáceres, Tomás Guzmán; Enzo Prono, Juan Carlos Ferreyra

General Díaz XI (probable): Aristides Florentín; Rolando Sanabria, Dionisio Mereles, Lidio Benitez, Marcos Gamarra; Antonio Bareiro, Cristian Sosa, Carlos Vera Segovia, José Svarcas; Marco Prieto, Alfredo Cano

There is a live market of this game available on Betfair

For other football previews check CaStRoF’s betting tips

By Ralph Hannah