Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion
Competition: Copa Sudamericana
Date: 13 July 2017
Kick-off: 02:45 CET
Winning just five of their 22 games, Nacional couldn’t have asked for much more than the 9th position in the Apertura’s table. The championship ended more than two weeks ago, leaving the Paraguayans with a lot of time to… reflect on what was a poor season. On the other hand, at international level, in the previous round of the Copa Sudamericana, they were the stars of one of the biggest shocks in the competition so far. They lost 2-1 at Cruzeiro in the first leg, and they went 1-0 down at home after just 12 minutes. They needed two goals to take the game to penalties, and they did just that, they scored twice, stayed alive, and in the penalty shootout they proved more focused and luckier, to end Cruzeiro’s Copa Sudamericana season prematurely.
Four weeks before the end of the season in Paraguay’s Apertura, Olimpia were right behind leaders Libertad and Guarani, challenging for the title. Three draws and a defeat, so just three points in their last four matches, left them third, 13 points below the top. Olimpia started 2017 fighting for a spot in Copa Libertadores’ group stage. They eliminated Independiente del Valle from Ecuador, but against Botafogo they were… heartbroken, beating the Brazilian side 1-0 at home in the second leg (they had lost by the same score in Rio de Janeiro), only to get eliminated in the penalty shootout that followed. Carlos Rolón, Iván Torres, Farid Díaz and Sergio Otalvaro are the four players that Olimpia signed these last weeks, and have all been included in the revised list the club sent to Conmebol for the remainder of the Copa Sudamericana. On the other hand, Argentine striker Pablo Mouche continues to train with the team, but it’s a matter of time before he moves to Europe. He is said to have a great offer from a Turkish club.
Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion: Head-to-head Stats
Three draws and five wins for Olimpia in the last eight matches between these two with Nacional as hosts. Last time Nacional beat Olimpia at home, was back in 2013.
Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion: Prediction
There is no doubt Olimpia have a better team, but with this being the first of two legs, I can see them settle for a draw, especially one in which they will have scored.
Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion: Tips
I’m going with draw, at 3.20, a result that won’t be a disaster for the hosts (it will keep them alive), and definitely not a bad one for the visitors either.