Cerro Porteno vs Gremio
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 18 April 2018
Kick-off: 02:30 CET
Cerro Porteño are leading in the group, on six points from two matches. They needed a couple of refereeing mistakes though to beat Defensor Sporting in their previous match, at home. Their first goal in their 2-1 victory looked like an offensive foul by scorer Diego Churín. As for the Argentine’s second goal in the sixth minute of added time, there is zero doubt it was an offside, a very clear offside actually, which, somehow, the assistant referee (right in front of Cerro’s bench) missed. On Friday, Cerro destroyed Nacional Asunción 5-0 at home, offering a real… show in the second half. Despite their great run of positive results in Paraguay’s Apertura lately, they are left far behind leaders Olimpia, and will need a mini miracle to catch them. Cerro have played 16 matches at their impressively reconstructed “Nueva Olla” (“New Cauldron”) stadium, and they are still undefeated. They have 12 wins and two draws in domestic competitions, one win and one draw in international matches. Obviously, they want all three points to pretty much secure their presence in the last 16 of the competition, but… realistically looking at this, even a draw wouldn’t be a bad result for them.
It took Gremio more than 50 minutes to open the scoring against Monagas at home in their previous group match, but after that, they… threw a party, finishing the game at 4-0. Four points for them from two matches, having drawn at Defensor Sporting a couple of weeks earlier. On Saturday, they beat Cruzeiro 1-0 away from home, despite playing without a couple of key players, and having two (of the 11 who started the game in Belo Horizonte) with fever(!). André, a 27-year-old attacker who played his first game for Gremio, scored in the 55th minute, and the Porto Alegre side managed to protect that lead, even after getting reduced to 10 men (Argentine defender Walter Kannemann, one of the two guys who played with fever, got sent-off in the 73rd minute). Big news at Gremio is that Luan didn’t travel to Asunción, because of feeling muscular pains. Cícero will start instead of him. Ironically, André, their scorer last weekend, didn’t travel with the team either, because he hasn’t been included in the Libertadores list. Be reminded, Gremio are the reigning Copa Libertadores titleholders.
Previous five matches:
Cerro Porteno vs Nacional Asuncion 5-0
Cerro Porteno vs Deportivo Santani 0-0
Guarani vs Cerro Porteno 0-4
Cerro Porteno vs Sportivo Luqueno 2-0
Cerro Porteno vs Independiente CG 4-0
Cruzeiro vs Gremio 0-1
Brasil de Pelotas vs Gremio 0-3
Gremio vs Monagas 4-0
Gremio vs Brasil de Pelotas 4-0
Gremio vs Avenida 1-1
Cerro’s next game is on Saturday, again at home, versus 3 de Febrero (Paraguay Apertura). Gremio will be hosting Atlético Paranaense on Sunday (Brazil Série A).
Cerro Porteno vs Gremio: Head to head Stats
Cerro have hosted Gremio twice before. They beat them 3-1 in 1990, and lost 1-0 in 2007. Both were Copa Libertadores group stage matches.
Cerro Porteno vs Gremio: Prediction
Honestly, Luan’s absence is what’s keeping me from predicting a Gremio win. Obviously, even without him, Gremio remain a far superior team, but… I have my doubts regarding them winning this game.
Cerro Porteno vs Gremio: Betting Tips
“Both teams to score”, at 2.20, is my main tip, actually my only tip, being unable to decide between Gremio’s win and Cerro Porteño’s double chance. The Brazilians are far superior, but they’re playing without their best player, against a team that has been very good for weeks now, a team that have never lost in their stadium (after its reconstruction), and last but not least, it’s a game in which a draw won’t be a bad result for any of the two. I can definitely see Gremio score, but deep down I expect Cerro to avoid defeat, so… “both teams to score”, 2.20, much better than Cerro’s double chance (1.50).
More Copa Libertadores betting tips and match previews: