Guarani vs Independiente CG
Competition: Paraguay Apertura
Date: 5 March 2018
Kick-off: 23:30 CET
Can one mistake in a single game make a player quit football, his professional career? If we are to believe Wilson Pittoni, Guaraní’s player, yes. Not that he quit football, but he claimed that he did consider the option, after the mistake he made last Monday in the derby against Olimpia, and the messages of… hate he received after that (by Guaraní fans). It was the 41st minute, Guaraní had taken the lead three minutes earlier, Olimpia had won a corner-kick, Pittoni was standing close to the first post, he thought the ball was going out, left it, his goalkeeper didn’t expect that, and… just like that, Olimpia equalised with a direct corner-kick! Guaraní ended up getting massacred in the second half, 5-2, and we’ll never know what would have happened if Pittoni hadn’t committed that mistake, and the score was 1-0 for Guaraní at halftime. Despite their collapse in the second half, there were some positives for Guaraní; after looking extremely poor offensively a few days earlier against Junior, in their painful elimination from the Copa Libertadores, the Asunción side at least created half a dozen good chances and scored twice. It’s a small consolation, after such a massacre in a derby, but… it’s something, a tiny silver lining in that heavy cloud above them right now…
Independiente de Campo Grande have to be the most pleasant surprise these first weeks of the Apertura, not only because they have gathered seven points, but mostly because of the football they have played, especially at home. First, they butchered Nacional Asunción 4-0 (a game though they may still lose inside four walls, as the Paraguayan FA are still considering a Nacional claim that Inde fielded an ineligible youngster), and last weekend they massacred Sportivo Luqueño, 4-1, causing the first coach change of the season in Paraguay (Luqueño fired their coach after that game). “Both teams to score” and “over 2.5 goals and both teams to score” were my two tips last week. Sebastián Ferreira and Nico Martínez were a joy to watch in the last 30 minutes, turning a 1-1 into a resounding 4-1 triumph. By the way, kudos to Ferreira for letting Walter Clar take the penalty in the 77th minute. He could have taken it himself, but he had already scored, and when his teammate asked him the ball, Ferreira didn’t think twice before handing it over to him. In their previous two away games, Inde lost 2-1 to Olimpia, and drew 1-1 at General Díaz.
Previous five matches:
Olimpia Asuncion vs Guarani 5-2
Guarani vs Junior 0-0
Guarani vs Deportivo Capiata 2-1
Junior vs Guarani 1-0
Libertad vs Guarani 2-0
Independiente CG vs Sportivo Luqueno 4-1
General Diaz vs Independiente CG 1-1
Independiente CG vs Nacional Asuncion 4-0
Independiente CG vs Olimpia 1-2
Rubio Ñu vs Independiente CG 1-3
Guaraní’s next game is at General Díaz, on Sunday. Independiente are hosting Deportivo Santaní on Saturday (both Paraguay Apertura matches).
Guarani vs Independiente CG: Head to head Stats
Guaraní beat Independiente twice last season as hosts, 3-0 and 3-2. Before that, they hadn’t hosted them since 2012.
Guarani vs Independiente CG: Prediction
Guaraní are hurt, desperate to bounce back from that 5-2 humiliation at Olimpia on Monday, but against this spectacular Independiente, I have serious doubts they will win. I very much prefer betting on goals.
Guarani vs Independiente CG: Betting Tips
“Over 2.5 combined goals” is at 1.60, low. Taking a slightly bigger but much better paying risk, I’m going for “over 3.5 goals”, at 2.40. I consider this a game that can end anything from 1-3 to 3-1 (even though my hunch says 2-2), so I’m not picking a winner, but I do expect several goals, and two very rewarding football hours for those who’ll watch the game.