Defensor Sporting vs Cerro Porteno
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 16 May 2018
Kick-off: 00:15 CET
Eduardo Acevedo, Defensor Sporting’s coach, used only two regulars last weekend, when they visited River Plate in Uruguay’s championship. Left midfielder Ayrton Cougo and central midfielder Martín Rabuñal started the game, but the rest of the squad was made up of players who don’t usually feature in the first 11. Defensor lost 1-0, they are on zero points from two matches in their championship, but the… sacrifice may prove worth it. They are on four points in their Libertadores group, three behind Cerro Porteño. They lost 2-1 in Asunción (Cerro’s winner deep into added time came from an offside position). In case they finish level on points, it’s not the goal difference in the games between them that matters the most, but the goal difference in all group matches. Cerro are at -2 at the moment (after their 5-0 thrashing at Gremio), while Defensor are at 0, meaning that any Defensor win, even by just one goal, will get them second in the table. Of course, Defensor have the last group game at Gremio, and earning a point there will be a major challenge.
It feels like Cerro have two… matchballs at their disposal. They can finish the qualification off in this game, or, worst case scenario, get the job done back home, next week, when they host Monagas. The timing looks perfect for them, as they just beat Olimpia in Paraguay’s “Clásico” (that was Olimpia’s first defeat of the season, an extra reason for Cerro to be thrilled). Coach Luis Zubeldía has pretty much all his players at his disposal, and is expected to start the game with Antony Silva, Raúl Cáceres, Marcos Cáceres, Juan Escobar, Santiago Arzamendia, Jorge Rojas, Marcelo Palau, Hernán Novick, Kevin Fernández, Alfio Oviedo and Diego Churín.
Previous five matches:
River Plate vs Defensor Sporting 1-0
Defensor Sporting vs Atenas 0-2
Peñarol vs Defensor Sporting 4-1
Defensor Sporting vs Boston River 2-1
Monagas vs Defensor Sporting 1-0
Cerro Porteno vs Olimpia 1-0
Deportivo Capiata vs Cerro Porteno 2-3
Cerro Porteno vs Libertad 0-2
Gremio vs Cerro Porteno 5-0
Sol de America vs Cerro Porteno 0-3
Defensor’s next game is on Saturday, again at home, versus Progreso (Uruguay championship). Same day, Cerro will be facing Independiente de Campo Grande (Paraguay Apertura).
Defensor Sporting vs Cerro Porteno: Head to head Stats
Defensor have hosted Cerro twice before. In 1992 they lost 2-3 (Copa Libertadores group stage), and more recently, in 2005, they drew 1-1 (Copa Sudamericana second round).
Defensor Sporting vs Cerro Porteno: Prediction
Defensor Sporting played with reserves last weekend. Cerro played with a full squad. Defensor are obliged to win, Cerro know that if they drop the ball in this game, they can still get the job done next week, at home, versus Monagas. I’m backing the hosts to win the game.
Defensor Sporting vs Cerro Porteno: Betting Tips
Defensor’s win pays 2.22. If I left winners and losers aside and bet on goals, I would go for “under 2.5”, but it doesn’t pay more than 1.61.
More Copa Libertadores betting tips and match previews: