Real Madrid – Barcelona
Real Madrid – Barcelona
Boca Juniors – River Plate
Boca will play with reserves
Boca: Oscar Ustari; Alan Aguirre, Christian Cellay, Guillermo Burdisso y Emiliano Albín; Guillermo Fernández, Cristian Ebes y Nicolás Colazo; Lautaro Acosta, Nicolás Blandi y Lucas Viatri
River will not much combinate
River: Marcelo Barovero; Gabriel Mercado, Adalberto Román y Jonathan Bottinelli; Carlos Sánchez, Leonardo Ponzio, Cristian Ledesma y Leonel Vangioni; Mauro Díaz; Rogelio Funes Mori y Rodrigo Mora link
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.
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.
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
STATS AND TRIVIA
Olimpia vs Cerro Porteño last five
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
It was Barcelona who won the first El Clasico of the season as they recorded a 3-2 win in the Super Cup first leg at Camp Nou, but the goal Angel Di Maria scored in the dying moments of the match can give los Blancos reason for optimism before the return leg.
It’s been a while since Real Madrid last failed to win any of their first three games, and during pre-season nothing could suggest such a scenario.
If we disregard the 5-2 defeat to Benfica, los Blancos were pretty convincing in all other pre-season friendlies and they were certainly expected to start the league campaign with a bang.
However, Real Madrid could only muster a goalless draw against Valencia in the season opener, while they had to settle for a 3-2 defeat to Barcelona in the Super Cup first leg despite taking the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo.
To make matters worse, los Merengues were beaten by Getafe at the weekend, so they clearly face a mountain to climb in the Super Cup return leg.
New signing Luka Modric could be in contention, while Pepe is set to start after recovering from a concussion.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Casillas – Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao – Alonso, Khedira – Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo – Higuain.
Unlike their fierce rivals, Barcelona have enjoyed a bright start to the season, and their five-point advantage over Real in La Liga is likely to put an extra pressure on their opponents.
The Catalans needed some time to hit the ground running in the Super Cup first leg and they even allowed Real to take the lead, but three quick second-half goalsproved enough for the win.
Victor Valdes’ mistake gave los Blancos a lifeline before the match at Santiago Bernabeu..
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol could be in contention for this high-profile match despite fracturing his cheekbone at the weekend, while David Villa will probably have to wait for his chance on the bench.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Valdes – Dabi Alves, Pique, Puyol, Jordi Alba – Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta – Pedro, Messi, Sanchez.