copa sudamericana 2012

O’Higgins vs Cerro Porteño preview

O’Higgins vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio El Teniente
26/07/2012, 20:30 (01:30 BST)

The Paraguayan champions take on the Chilean vice-champions in this intriguing clash in Rancagua, it is Cerro Porteño’s first Copa Sudamericana game since 2010. With a host of new signings during the close season the azulgrana are expected to make a big push for continental glory in this their centenary year.

The champions look relaxed on flight to Chile – Photo: Julio Dos Santos Twitter

Uruguayan coach will stick with his 3-5-2 system that has worked well so far, it is a fluid system with playmaker Jonathan Fabbro getting close to the strikers so at times looks like a 3-4-3. Carlos Bonet, recently acquired from Libertad, is set to make his debut at right wingback while Hernan Rodrigo López was registered just in time and is expected to partner Santiago Salcedo up front. Like Olimpia on Tuesday the emphasis will be on not losing with Fidencio Oviedo a key component in breaking up play.

O’Higgins are back on the international stage after a 20-year drought without the man who helped get them there, Enzo Gutierrez, who was snapped up by Chilean title winners Universidad de Chile. They will probably line up in their familiar 4-3-3 formation which includes Paraguayan Rodrigo Rojas in midfield. He is a dangerman but the away side look stronger all over the pitch and I expect Cerro to take at least a point here.

Cerro Porteño XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Luis Cardozo, Pedro Benítez, Cesar Benítez; Carlos Bonet, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio dos Sanots, Walter López; Jonathan Fabbro; Rodrigo López, Santiago Salcedo

Prediction: 1-1

Selected Odds: O’Higgins win 2.1, Draw 3.55, Cerro Porteño win 3.85, 1-1 scoreline 7.2, Under 2.5 goals 1.92

Best Bet: Backing Cerro DNB (Draw No Bet) looks pretty tempting at 2.46 as I don’t think they will lose and could overpower O’Higgins if they click offensively

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Stats and Trivia

This is Cerro Porteño’s first game against Chilean opposition in the Copa Sudamericana

Cerro Porteño haven’t won any of the last four Copa Sudamericana games, losing three and drawing one

Cerro Porteño last 5 away (Copa Sudamericana)

Pld 5 W 2 D 0 L 3 GF 7 GA 8

O’Higgins last 5 home (all competitions)

Pld 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 GF 9 GA 8

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FULL SQUAD LIST

GK: 1. Roberto Junior Fernandez, 12. Diego Barreto, 25. Pablo Gavilan

DEF: 2. Cesar Benitez, 4. Pedro Benitez, 11. Carlos Bonet, 6.Gonzalo Viera, 7. Walter Lopez, 15.Luis Cardozo

MID: 3. Alexis Gonzalez, 10. Julio Dos Santos, 16. Fidencio Oviedo, 17. Jonathan Fabbro, 18. Jorge Rojas, 24. José Domingo Salcedo

ATT: 8. Germán Alemanno, 9. Guillermo Beltran, 14. Oscar Romero, 19. Hernán Rodrigo Lopez, 20. Alejandro da Silva, 21. Santiago Salcedo

Guaraní vs Oriente Petrolero preview

Guaraní vs Oriente Petrolero
Estadio Rogelio Livieres a.k.a Dos Bocas
26/07/2012, 18:15 (23:15 BST)

Guaraní begin their new era under fledgling coach Diego Alonso, the 37-year-old comes from Bella Vista in his native Uruguay. It is their fourth appearance in the Copa Sudamericana and they want to try and go one better than their previous participation in 2010 when they reached the 2nd round.

Photo: Prensa Club Guarani

Pre-season friendlies have seem the aborigen line-up in a standard 4-4-2 and their strength certainly lies in midfield with plenty of options to toy with. The Uruguayan duo of Marcelo Palau and Sergio Orteman will try and dominate the game in central midfield, if Oriente give the latter too much space they will be punished. The youngsters Luis de la Cruz and Blas Cáceres seem to have been favoured on either flank but Alonso will have similar options on the bench with Dario Ocampo and Iván Gonzalez Ferreira.

Sergio Orteman will be a key figure – Photo: D10.com.py

Oriente Petrolero are one of the better teams from Bolivia and ended last season with a six-game unbeaten streak. They have one player who will know Guaraní well, the Argentine Danilo Carando was at Sportivo Carapeguá during the Apertura. I’ve been told by a Bolivian football expert that they ‘blow hot and cold’ and that inconsistency is evident in their away form in 2012, Pld 11 W 4 D 3 L 4, meaning the aurinegro will be hoping to catch them cold. Overall I feel the home team’s strength in midfield will be too much for their opponents and it should be a comfortable win.

Guaraní XI (probable): Pablo Aurrecochea; Tomas Bartomeus, Alejandro Rodríguez, Luis Cabral, Elvis Marecos; Luis de la Cruz, Marcelo Palau, Sergio Orteman, Blas Cáceres; Dante López, Carlos Hidalgo

Prediction: 2-0

Selected Odds: Guaraní win 1.61, Draw 4.0, Oriente Petrolero win 6.8, 2-0 scoreline 8.0, Under 2.5 goals 1.95

Best Bet: At the moment Guaraní cleansheet is 2.2 which seems generous considering only Cobreloa have scored away from home in the opening four Copa Sudamericana games, obviously a safer bet is the outright win

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Stats and Trivia

Guaraní head-to-head Oriente Petrolero

Pld 2 W 0  D 1 L 1 GF 1 GA 4 – Copa Libertadores 1997

Guaraní all-time record (Copa Sudamericana)

Pld 8 W 3 D 2 L 3 GF 10 GA 10 – 3 editions

Guaraní all-time record (Continental Competition)

Pld 104 W 31 D 28 L 45 – 17 editions

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FULL SQUAD LIST

GK: Pablo Aurrecochea, Joel Silva, Alfredo Aguilar

DEF: Alejandro Rodriguez, Luis Cabral, Elvis Marecos, Tomas Bartomeus, Robert Aldama, Juan Patiño

MID: Dario Ocampo, Marcelo Palau, Juan Aguilar, Jorge Mendoza, Sergio Orteman, Luis De la Cruz, Blas Caceres, Ivan Gonzalez Ferreira, Edgar Aranda, Julian Benitez, Pedro Chavez

ATT: Carlos Hidalgo, Diego Centurion, Jorge Benitez, Dante Lopez

By Ralph Hannah (more infos for paraguay football and their clubs here)