Superclásico preview: Cerro Porteño vs Olimpia


Cerro Porteño vs Olimpia

Estadio Defensores del Chaco
27/10/2012, 16:30 (20:30 BST)

Another clásico weekend is upon us and in many ways it should be a ‘true’ clásico in the showpiece sense, neither team is in the running for the league title so this game is all about bragging rights rather than a tactical battle. The last meeting was 0-0 as both sides didn’t want to risk too much early on in the league campaign, expect Saturday’s affair to be totally different.

Fredy Bareiro was once a Cerro player, now he’s scoring for Olimpia – Photo:

For Cerro Porteño this game comes at the juncture of their most important matches of the year, having just beaten Colón in the Copa Sudamericana they are about to take on another Argentine opponent, Tigre, in Asunción next week. It means Jorge Fossati will rest players for this game with Olimpia, with a mix of first team and reserves set to play. As the Uruguayan put it “you have to plan with reason not your heart”. The goalscorers from Tuesday night, Julio Dos Santos and Roberto Nanni, are both likely to drop to the bench but expect star player Jonathan Fabbro to be in the first eleven. There is no doubt what style El Ciclónwill play, attack, attack with a pinch of attack.

Previous superclásico from the skies – Photo:

For Olimpia this game takes on a bit more significance, they still need points for the Copa Libertadores race and José Cardozo will want a clásico-win under his belt to get the fans fully on board. The main man right now is Fredy Bareiro, the striker actually scored for Cerro Porteño in the 2011 Clausura clásico but has since switched sides and will hope to add to his four goals in four previous games. At the time of writing there was a slight injury concern about his strike partner, Maxi Biancucchi, it would be a blow to Olimpia if he misses out – the offensive three (Salgueiro as playmaker) have worked well recently.

Olimpia XI (probable): Martin Silva; Alejandro Silva, Salustiano Candia, Enrique Meza, Eugenio Montiel, Eduardo Aranda, Fabio Caballero, Richard Ortiz, Juan Manuel Salgueiro, Maxi Biancucchi, Fredy Bareiro

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Gonzalo Viera, Pedro Benítez y Luis Cardozo; Mathías Corujo, Víctor Hugo Mareco, José Domingo Salcedo, Jorge Rojas, Walter López; Jonathan Fabbro; Santiago Salcedo


Prediction: 1-1 with Olimpia scoring first but unable to withstand the Cerro response

Selected Odds: Nothing at time of writing (check back later!)

Best Bet: The smart money is probably Under 2.5 goals, historically these games are low scoring with only three of the last 10 going over 2.5 goals. Always hard to pick a winner

Club presidents Zapag and Recanate



Olimpia vs Cerro Porteño last five

The old rivals go head to head – Photo: Ultima Hora Archive

Pld 5 –  Olimpia W 1 – Cerro W 1 – Draws 3

Superclásico head-to-head (League Games)

Pld 274 – Cerro W 97 – Olimpia W 93 – Draws 84

Julio Dos Santos has played the most games for Cerro Porteño in superclásicos but is set to miss out on Saturday

No team has won more than five clásico’s in a row, Cerro have achieved the quintuple twice (1986-88 & 2007-08)


By Ralph Hannah

Paraguay Clausura week five

A Friday double-header followed by a Saturday hattrick and rounded off with a solitary Sunday show, that’s week five in a nutshell. Here are the previews taking into account that Olimpia, Cerro Porteño and Guaraní all have midweek Copa Sudamericana matches.

Cerro Porteño vs Rubio Ñu (TV)
La Olla
24/08/2012, 18:15
Prediction: 2-0

Rubio Ñu take on an azulgrana team for 2nd week running – Photo:

Cerro’s winless run in the league continued last weekend when they failed to get past Carapeguá away. Rubio Ñu at home is an even easier fixture and they really should break their duck on Friday night. It is a similar team to last week but Roberto Nanni who scored in the previous two games is set to be replaced by Santiago Salcedo. Fidencio Oviedo also comes back into the side following suspension. Fossati has learned from his experience (vs Sol) that resting players for the Copa Sudamericana only to lose at home is bad for the relationship with the fans so they’ll be going out with their minds fully focussed on this game. Rubio Ñu are also without a win in the Clausura and have struggled for goals (2 in 4 games) so far. The previous two meetings between these teams have been exciting ones, Cerro coming on top both times, 5-3 and 3-2

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, Cesar Benítez; Carlos Bonet, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio Dos Santos, Walter López; Jonathan Fabbro; Rodrigo López, Santiago Salcedo

SELECTED ODDS: Cerro win 1.61; Draw 3.5, Rubio Ñu 5.3

BEST BET: With both teams showing inconsistency betting on goals rather than the result could be a better option, Cerro usually score late-on so maybe it is worth looking at Over 1.5 goals in-play if they have a goalless first 30 mins


Libertad vs Sol de América
24/08/2012, 19:00

Prediction: 1-0

Libertad had an exciting end-to-end game against Olimpia last Saturday but this week’s game should be a return to type under Ruben Israel, keep things tight and obtain a professional victory. José Ariel Nuñez has been one of the best strikers in the league so far this season and is ably partnered by Pablo Velázquez, there is no doubt that combination can break down the danzarín defence to score.  Like Libertad, Sol de América have drawn three and won one so far this season, twice letting a lead slip against weaker sides (Rubio Ñu & Independiente). The performances of Lorenzo Frutos and Diego Vázquez up front has been admirable but this is the best defence they have come up against so far in the Clausura (they didn’t face Cerro Porteño’s first choice backline) and I’m not sure they’ll be able to breach the Libertad ranks. I’m expecting a close home win to end the run of three draws.

SELECTED ODDS: Libertad win 1.51; Draw 3.9; Sol win 6.2

BEST BET: Boring but safe, a home win

Libertad XI (probable): Rodrigo Muñoz; Jorge Moreira, Ismael Benegas, Gustavo Mencia, Miguel Samudio; Luis Cáceres, Sebastián Eguren, Sergio Aquino, Nelson Romero; José Ariel Núñez, Pablo Velázquez.

Look whole round preview on The Paraguay Football Blog



Carapeguá vs Cerro Porteño (TV)
Estadio Municipal de Carapeguá
18/08/2012, 15:00
Prediction: 0-1

Cerro ahead of Carapeguá game – Photo:

Incredibly Cerro Porteño have not won in the league since that incredible superclásico to decide the title, they seem to be focussing on the Copa Sudamericana having made major changes to the side last week which they lost 3-2 to Sol de América. It is expected that the bulk of the international call ups will be rested again, but with Pedro Benítez will probably come in to ensure Cerro don’t have too many foreigners in the side. Last year Carapeguá relied on Echeverría early on, this season it has been Jorge Ayala who has been the goalscorer. Cerro may only have one win in five but Carapeguá have just one victory in 18 and are staring into the Intermedia-shaped abyss, it should be an away win although it might not be pretty.

Carapeguá XI (probable): Fabiano Heves; Raúl Cáceres, Marcos Arce, Derlis Correa, Cristian Martínez; Rodrigo Cantero, Esteban Ramírez, Diosnel Almirón, Ricardo Ortiz; Jorge Ayala, Marco Prieto

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Junior Fernández; Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, César Benítez; Luis Cardozo, Fidencio Oviedo, Édgar González, Walter López; Roberto Nanni, Santiago Salcedo, Rodrigo López

BEST BET: As we’ve mentioned before Cerro do like to score late on so maybe the HT Draw/FT Cerro bet offers better value than just an outright win

By Ralph Hannah – look whole round preview

Cerro Porteño vs Guaraní

Estadio Gral. Pablo Rojas a.k.a La Olla
30/07/2012, 19:00
Prediction: 1-0

Cerro were in Chile on Thursday, hence the Monday kick off – Photo: Julio Dos Santos Twitter

Expect a good crowd for the defending champions first official home game of the season where they will show off plenty of new signings, add to that the almost derby status of this fixture. Guaraní started really badly with a home defeat in the Copa Sudamericana and I’ve said it a lot but worth repeating, goalscoring is their problem with no top class striker. In contrast Cerro scored three on Thursday night and if they defend competently this will be a winning start to the Clausura campaign. Both sides miss their main playmaker through injury, Jonathan Fabbro and Sergio Orteman respectively.

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): D.Barreto; L.Cardozo, P.Benítez, C.Benítez; C.Bonet, F.Oviedo, J.Dos Santos, D.Salcedo; A.Da Silva, G.Beltrán, R. López

Guaraní XI (probable): P.Aurrecochea; T.Bartomeus, A.Rodriguez, L.Cabral, E.Marecos; L.De la Cruz, M.Palau, J.Mendoza, B.Cáceres; D.López, C.Hidalgo

BEST BET: Last season Cerro had a habit of scoring late goals, in a tight game the Draw/Cerro bet at 4.4 looks interesting

By Ralph Hannah

2012 Paraguay Clausura Preview

On the eve of the start of the 2012 Clausura here are my thoughts on each team’s chances in the championship and all the transfer ins and outs to the best of my knowledge. For a re-cap on the Apertura be sure to check the table and the team of the season. Tomorrow (Saturday) I’ll have the standard game-by-game preview of Week 1.

Cerro won the Apertura, who will win the Clausura? – Photo:

Cerro Porteño

The defending champions are probably favourites to reclaim the trophy considering they are the only major side to hold onto their manager. They have lost a key player from the title win in Edgar ‘Pajaro’ Benítez but have got quality on board at both ends of the pitch with veteran Carlos Bonet and Uruguayan Gonzalo Viera joining the defence with the latter’s compatriot Roro López and Argentine Germán Alemanno welcomed up front. Having already qualified for the Copa Libertadores the league campaign will be put onto the back burner if they progress past the early stages of the Copa Sudamericana, otherwise it could well be consecutive championships.

Ins: Gonzalo Viera (Mirimar Misiones),  Carlos Bonet (Libertad), Francisco Garcia (returned loan), Germán Alemanno (Cobresal), Hernan Rodrigo López (Banfield), Roberto Fernandez (Utrecht), Carlos Espínola (Sporting Cristal), Victor Hugo Mareco (Verona)

Outs: Edgar Benítez (Toluca), Robert Nanni (free agent), Luis Cáceres (Libertad), Diego Godoy (Sportivo Luqueño), Rodrigo Burgos (Sportivo Luqueño)

Prediction: Back-to-back Champions


Runners-up in the Apertura having led by seven points the slump in form came after three key players were sacked, Sergio Orteman, Vladimir Marín and Adrian Romero. Olimpia have now lost their coach to the national team and their main two strikers from the Apertura campaign to European football. The positives are that they snatched Fredy Bareiro who was topscorer in last year’s Clausura with Cerro Porteño plus a series of strong replacements including Juan Manuel Salgueiro from San Lorenzo. They have also employed the very astute Uruguayan Gregorio Perez as manager having been successful in Paraguay with Libertad (and previously managed Olimpia too). However with so many changes and the distraction of the Sudamericana, and the problem of having too many foreigners (only 4 of their 7 can play) a league trophy seems unlikely.

Ins: Fredy Bareiro (Estudiantes Tecos)Alejandro Silva (Fenix), Alfredo Rojas (Sol de América), Nestor Bareiro (Olimpo), Juan Manuel Salgueiro (San Lorenzo), Jorge Daniel Nuñez (Once Caldas), Richard Salinas (Independiente)

Outs: Pablo Zeballos (Krylya), Luis Caballero (Krylya), Francisco Nájera (Atletico Nacional), Alberto Contrera (Rubio Ñu), Sergio Almirón (released)

Prediction: Runners-up


The aurinegro have been active in the transfer market snapping up Sergio Orteman who will form a strong partnership in central midfield with compatriot Marcelo Palau.  However the loss of Julio Manzur in defence further exposes them and without a top class striker it is unlikely new boss Diego Alonso can do more than his predecessor and get anywhere close to top three. Their recent defeat at home to Bolivian side Oriente Petrolero was a case in point of their need for a clinical goalscorer.

Ins: Sergio Orteman (free agent), Robert Ramos Isus (Spain), Andrews Ramos Isus (Spain), Alejandro Rodriguez (Nacional URU), Diego Centurión (Tacuary), Julian Benítez (Mérida)

Outs: Julio Manzur (Pachuca), Fabio Escobar (released), Nelson Romero (Libertad), Oscar Ruíz (Rubio Ñu), Diego Figueredo (released)

Prediction: 4th place


There has been an exodus at Libertad, Jorge Burruchaga left along with most of the Argentine contingent but that pales into insignificance with the home-grown players that have left. Víctor Cáceres and Carlos Bonet were pillars of the Gumarelo’s recent league success, Pedro Sarabia stays on at the club as assisstant to new manager Rubén Israel. In theory Libertad should have been favourites to win the Clausura with Olimpia and Cerro in the Sudamericana but with so many changes and such a short close-season it seems unlikley the new team will be able to gel properly in the 22-game season to take the league.

Ins: Nelson Romero, Pedro Arce, Aldo Olmedo, Gustavo Cristaldo, William Mendieta,  Jorge Caballero (All returned loan), Luis Cáceres (Cerro Porteño), Osmar Molinas (Colo Colo), Sebastián Eguren (Sporting Gijón), Juan Eduardo Samudio (free agent)

Outs: Manuel Maciel (Deportes Tolima), Jonathan Santana (Independiente de Avellaneda), Víctor Cáceres (Flamengo), Cristian Nasuti (Emelec), Luciano Civelli (Uni. de Chile), Cristian Menendez (Lanús), Carlos Bonet (Cerro Porteño), Pedro Sarabia (retired), Marcos Melgarejo (Nacional), Victor Ayala (Lanús)

Prediction: 3rd Place


A decent Apertura considering the Copa Libertadores and managerial change but La Academia have lost a few key players, notably Ariel Bogado their topscorer and Gustavo Cristaldo who was on fire towards the end of the Apertura. The departures of three first team defenders will be a blow too with little cover and rumours that Marcos Miers may be moving abroad too. Could be a tough season.

Ins: Marcos Melgarejo (Libertad), Cesar Cáceres Cañete (Luque), José Cáceres (Trinidense)

Outs: Herminio Miranda (Puebla), Ariel Bogado (Sportivo Luqueño), Denis Caniza (retired), Ricardo Mazacotte (Unión Santa Fe), Gustavo Cristaldo (Libertad), Gustavo Noguera (Tacuary), German Caffa (released), German Cano (Independiente Medellín), Ramón Cáceres (3 de Febrero)

Prediction: 6th place

Sportivo Luqueño

Another clean-out at Luque including the backroom staff with Pablo Caballero replacing Carlos Kiese. The losses of Pablo Aguilar and Ronald Huth certainly weaken the back line while the departure of Roberto Gamarra would have reduced offensive potential if it wasn’t for a similar replacement in Nestor Ayala. With Luque the pressures are off the pitch, a whole city and fierce barra are baying for results to make sure they don’t drop down a division.

Ins: Nestor Ayala (Técnico Universitario), Diego Alejandro Bordón (Talleres de Escalada), Gerzon Chacón (Yaracuyanos), Ariel Bogado (Nacional), Ariel Coronel (Fdo. de la Mora), Gonzalo Maulella (Rentistas), Diego Godoy (Cerro Porteño), Rodrigo Burgos (Cerro Porteño)

Outs: Ronald Huth (Tacuary), Nelson Cuevas (Carapeguá), Jorge Brítez (Rubio Ñu), Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana), Cesar Cáceres Cañete (Nacional), Rodrigo Soria (Carapeguá), Cristian Ledesma (Rubio Ñu), Reinaldo Román (free agent)

Predictions: Just avoiding relegation

Rubio Ñu

Things can’t be as bad as last year, the albiverde started with back-t0-back wins then fell into a horrible slump they never really recovered from, only avoiding a last-place finish thanks to the truly terrible Tacuary. Chiqui Arce is back at the helm after a stint as national team manager and he has made some shrewd signings and will be boosted by Nery Cardozo’s return from Norway. Derlis Gonzalez is now at Benfica which will mean they lose some pace in attack but overall they should improve on the Apertura.

Ins: Wilson Quiñonez (Carapeguá) , Nery Cardozo (returned loan), Oscar Ruiz (Guaraní), Oscar Ayala (Boca Unidos), Alberto Contrera (Olimpia), Aldo Paniagua (General Caballero), Lauro Ramón Cazal (Real Sport), Roberto Gamarra (Libertad), Cristian Ledesma (Luque), Jorge Brítez (Luque), Juan Maldonado (Sol de América)

Outs: Derlis Gonzalez (Benfica), Claudio Correa (Benfica), Pedro Arce (Libertad), Jorge Caballero (Libertad), Gilberto Velazquez, Cristian Sosa, Eric Ramos (Neftçi Baku), Cesar Llamas, Arturo Aquino

Prediction: Chiqui Arce’s return will get them up in top half, 5th place

Sol de América

No doubt that the big loss is José Ortigoza but Sol de América have recruited well in getting Alfred Mazacotte from Tacuary to help cover other losses in midfield, they boast the most exciting young strike force in Paraguay with Enzo Prono (21), Cecilio Dominguez (17), Diego Vazquez (20) and 23-year-old ‘veteran’ Lorenzo Frutos. The key will be to tighten up the defence with goals unlikely to flow as freely as the Apertura.

Ins: Alfredo Mazacotte (Tacuary), Esteban Rivas (Deportivo Morón), Alberto Martinez (??)

Outs: José Ortigoza (Shandong Lueng),  William Mendieta (Libertad), Reinaldo Ocampo (Tacuary), Alfredo Rojas (Olimpia), Juan Maldonado (Rubio Ñu)

Prediction: The loss of Ortigoza’s goals will be felt, unlikely to be in top half but safe from relegation


A terrible Apertura campaign but the side have been boosted for the Copa Sudamericana with Reinaldo Ocampo and Ramón Cardozo hopefully adding a bit more attacking spark. Defensively they looked better towards the end of the year especially when Gregor Aguayo returned from his six month ban. As ever they will set up as hard to beat and try and nick goals where they can.

Ins: Ronald Huth (returned from loan), Ramón Cardozo (León de Huánuco), Fabián Tyson Caballero (Municipal), Reinaldo Ocampo (Sol de América), Gustavo Noguera (Nacional), Nicolas Martinez, Juan Nuñez

Outs: Diego Centurión (Guaraní), Cirlio Mora, Luciano Vera, Alfredo Mazacotte (Tacuary)

Prediction: Should improve but relegation a very real prospect

Independiente de Campo Grande

Alicio Solalinde got the team playing some good football before departing in June, the onus is now on Carlos Jara Saguier to try and keep that going although two of their main attacking threats have left, Francisco García and Imanol Iriberri. The club will be playing with less pressure than those around them who are closer to relegation which could have a positive effect as they typically enjoy expansive football.

Ins: Felipe Gimenez, Thiago Costa, Gabriel Vieira

Outs: Francisco García (Cerro Porteño), Imanol Iriberri (Carapeguá), Richard Salinas (Olimpia), Edgar Ferreira, Alberto Ortega

Prediction: Will avoid relegation

Cerro de Franco

A very good Apertura has given the Primera’s sole representative from Alto Parana a real chance of staying in the top division. Eduardo Rivera got the team well organised and were defensive in the first part of the year before blossoming in the latter part of the season, aided by eight goals from Rogerio Leichtweis.

Ins:  Johan Moreno (Yaracuayanos), Adan Dos Santos, David Aguerro, William Santacruz,

Outs: Marcos Prieto (Carapeguá), Ricardo Caballero, Hugo Bogado, Raúl Duarte, Javier Duarte

Prediction: Must keep organisation and discipline to avoid relegation, will be very tight with Luque and Tacuary

Sportivo Carapeguá

Mario Jacquet went on a great run with Carapeguá when he first joined winning three straight games but after that they only picked up a single victory and drew too many matches especially having led. Without topscorer Eduardo Echeverría, now in Ecuador, they really are set to struggle although picking up Iriberri from Independiente could help.

Ins: Imanol Iriberri (Independiente), Nelson Cuevas (free), Celso González Ferreira (Carabobo), Marcos Prieto (Cerro de Franco), Rodrigo Soria (Luque), Enrique Rafael Narvay, Fabiano Herves, Orlando Rojas

Outs: Aldo Olmedo (Libertad), Eduardo Echeverría (LDU Quito), Wilson Quiñonez (Rubio Ñu), Julio Irrazabal, Danilo Carando (Oriente Petrolero), Ever Barrientos, Jorge Cáceres, Jorge Florentín

Prediction: A good start to the Apertura but ended bottom of promedio as expected, will be relegated

By Ralph Hannah