Cerro Porteno vs Defensor Sporting
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 14 March 2018
Kick-off: 01:30 CET
Cerro Porteño faced Olimpia on Saturday in Asunción’s and Paraguay’s “Clásico”, losing 1-0, as expected and suggested here (Olimpia’s win was my main tip, paying over 2.00). Cerro won a penalty early in the game, but they lost it, and soon after that they went 1-0 down, from which they never manage to… recover. Deep down, I feel they lost the game when they came out to have their warm-up, 45 minutes before kick-off. Their half of the stands at Defensores del Chaco was half empty, while Olimpia’s half was full to the brim. By the time the game started, it was clear Cerro’s fans were nowhere near filling up their half of the stands, and actually, even among them, many were Olimpia fans (there was no police between the two, in one of the two main stands, so Olimpia fans were free to move from their… congested side to the sparsely “populated” Cerro side). My point is, it was clear Cerro’s fans did not fully believe in their team, and this sort of reflected on how their team played, not rising to the occasion of a “Clásico”. Regardless, Cerro are super motivated in the Copa Libertadores, playing at their revamped stadium, needing something good to… help them “recover” from having earned just six points in six Apertura matches thus far. They have already beaten Monagas in Venezuela, and a second straight win would make them early favourites to qualify for the Copa Libertadores last 16.
Deep down, Defensor Sporting know that Cerro Porteño are their main rivals for a top 2 finish, as it seems unlikely to see Gremio finish third, or Monagas in the top 2. Defensor have already drawn 1-1 at home to Gremio, not a bad result, but it’s the games against Cerro that count the most, especially in case they finish level on points. Last weekend they lost 2-0 at Nacional, their first defeat after two wins and two draws (including the one against Gremio). It was the first time they failed to score after six matches, but then again, they did play with a relatively alternative lineup, as their coach had the game in Paraguay at the back of his mind. They are 6th in Uruguay’s championship, on 10 points from six matches.
Previous five matches:
Olimpia vs Cerro Porteno 1-0
Cerro Porteno vs Deportivo Capiata 2-2
Monagas vs Cerro Porteno 0-2
Libertad vs Cerro Porteno 1-1
Cerro Porteno vs Sol de America 2-0
Nacional Montevideo vs Defensor Sporting 2-0
Defensor Sporting vs Fenix 3-2
Defensor Sporting vs Gremio 1-1
Rampla Juniors vs Defensor Sporting 1-1
Defensor Sporting vs Torque 2-1
Cerro Porteño’s next game is on Wednesday, March 21, again at home, versus Independiente de Campo Grande (Paraguay Apertura). Defensor Sporting will be hosting Progreso on Saturday (Uruguay championship).
Cerro Porteno vs Defensor Sporting: Head to head Stats
Cerro have hosted Defensor Sporting twice before. In 1992 they drew 1-1 (Copa Libertadores group stage), and more recently, in 2005, they beat them 2-0 (Copa Sudamericana second round).
Cerro Porteno vs Defensor Sporting: Prediction
Interestingly, Cerro’s best game thus far in 2018 has been their Copa Libertadores debut, in Venezuela. I’m left with the impression the Libertadores is higher on their agenda than the Apertura in Paraguay. Even so, I feel 1.61 for their win is just too low. I prefer to bet on goals.
Cerro Porteno vs Defensor Sporting: Betting Tips
“Under 2.5 combined goals” is at 1.65, not great, but I do consider it very-very probable, and suits my 1-0 (for Cerro) hunch. If I bet on Cerro’s win, I wouldn’t touch their 1.61, I would go all for all and bet on them to win and the game to stay under 2.5. This way it pays 3.25, and is definitely worth the risk.
More Copa Libertadores betting tips and match previews: