Gremio vs Cerro Porteno
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 2 May 2018
Kick-off: 00:15 CET
Gremio’s coach, Renato Gaúcho, spent 10 minutes talking about why he rotated the team in Saturday’s game at Botafogo (2-1 defeat), looking rather irritated. He said that’s the last time he talked about it, adding that “whoever doesn’t understand that a player cannot play four games in nine days, knows nothing about football, has never played football, is an ignorant”. Gremio played with an alternative lineup, for an obvious reason; the championship has 38 game weeks, and if you drop points at the start of the season, you have plenty of chances to bounce back. In the Libertadores, the games are way less, and in the Copa do Brasil (they played there last week) everything comes down to two matches. In this game against Cerro though, Gremio are going to play with their best possible 11. They are second in the group, on five points from three matches, two points behind leaders Cerro Porteño. Central defender Paulo Miranda got injured on Saturday, and will miss some games.
Unlike Gremio, Cerro played with a practically full squad on Friday, when they beat Sol de América 3-0 in Capiatá (neutral venue, but with mostly Cerro fans). Attacking midfielder Cristian Insaurralde reappeared after recovering from his latest injury, played in the last 20-25 minutes, but didn’t fly to Porto Alegre, as he is not yet fit to play in such a demanding game. Coach Luis Zubeldía has the rest of the squad at his disposal, even Argentine striker Diego Churín who got slightly injured on Friday, but recovered on time to be part of the group that flew to Brazil. According to reports, Cerro will start with Antony Silva, Raúl Cáceres, Marcos Cáceres, Juan Escobar, Santiago Arzamendia, Jorge Rojas, Rodrigo Rojas, Marcelo Palau, Willian Candia, Hernán Novick and Diego Churín. Cerro have six wins and two draws in their last eight matches, are leading in their Libertadores group, and are sitting third in the table of their championship in Paraguay (with very few chances of catching leaders Olimpia).
Previous five matches:
Botafogo vs Gremio 2-1
Goias vs Gremio 0-2
Gremio vs Atletico Paranaense 0-0
Cerro Porteno vs Gremio 0-0
Cruzeiro vs Gremio 0-1
Sol de America vs Cerro Porteno 0-3
Cerro Porteno vs 3 de Febrero 3-1
Cerro Porteno vs Gremio 0-0
Cerro Porteno vs Nacional Asuncion 5-0
Cerro Porteno vs Deportivo Santani 0-0
Gremio’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus Santos (Brazil Série A). Cerro Porteño are visiting Libertad on Saturday (Paraguay Apertura).
Gremio vs Cerro Porteno: Head to head Stats
Gremio have hosted Cerro Porteño twice in the past. They drew 0-0 in 1990, and beat them 1-0 in 2007.
Gremio vs Cerro Porteno: Prediction
Cerro have conceded just one goal in their last eight matches, but in Porto Alegre I expect them to concede at least twice, lose, and the game to go over 2.5 goals.
Gremio vs Cerro Porteno: Betting Tips
A simple Gremio win pays just 1.36. “Over 2.5 goals” pays an awesome 2.30, and these two combined promise a 2.60. I repeat, Cerro have conceded just one goal in eight matches, but for example, in their home game against Gremio, with the Brazilians playing practically with the… engine turned off, they could have conceded twice. Every time Gremio decided to step on it just a bit, you could see how easy it was for them to reach Cerro’s box and worry the host’s goalkeeper.
More Copa Libertadores betting tips and match previews: