Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion
Competition: Paraguay Clausura
Date: 18 July 2018
Kick-off: 01:00 CET
First things first; the game is held at Defensores del Chaco, Paraguay’s national stadium, not at Arsenio Erico, Nacional’s real – small – home. It’s common practice, which has brought the “Trico” good money these last years (selling much more tickets to Olimpia fans), but poor results. Big deal for Nacional is that they still have Adam Bareiro with them. The young striker didn’t leave during the World Cup finals break, despite reported interest from Chilean side Colo-Colo (among others). Secondary striker Juan Salgueiro did leave, he moved to Libertad, and his absence should be felt. He is 35, past his prime, but during the Apertura there were many games in which his presence on the pitch added a bit of class to this Nacional side. The team finished fourth in the Apertura, and if they replicate those results, they will earn a ticket to the 2019 Copa Libertadores qualifiers.
Reigning champions Olimpia Asuncion, the team that made winning the Apertura look rather easy, have new faces, while some players left the club, and more could follow. Willy Mendieta, a midfielder who was among their top 3-4 players in the first half of the season, admitted the other day that if a good offer (for him and the club) comes these next days, it will be difficult to resist. There are also players who were loaned out by Olimpia to other Paraguayan clubs, and could have returned, but the Para Uno officials decided, in Sebastián Ferreira’s case, to sell (for over 2m euros, to Mexican club Monarcas). Coach Daniel Garnero says that to win the Clausura, they will need to look even better than in the Apertura. It remains to be seen if the motivation will be the same. Olimpia failed in the Copa Libertadores qualifiers, and were left with nothing but the championship very early in the season (while Cerro Porteño and Libertad had to play in the Libertadores group stage). With the Apertura title already won, it remains to be seen how… hungry Olimpia’s players will be, and if their hunger will match that of Cerro, their biggest rivals.
Previous five matches:
Olimpia vs Nacional Asuncion 4-2
Nacional Asuncion vs Deportivo Santani 0-0
Deportivo Capiata vs Nacional Asuncion 0-1
Nacional Asuncion vs Guarani 3-0
Libertad vs Nacional Asuncion 0-0
Olimpia vs Nacional Asuncion 4-2
Deportivo Capiata vs Olimpia 2-2
Olimpia vs Libertad 2-1
Sol de America vs Olimpia 0-3
Olimpia vs 3 de Febrero 3-2
Nacional’s next game is on Monday, at Independiente de Campo Grande. On Saturday, Olimpia will be visiting General Díaz (both Paraguay Clausura matches).
Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion: Head to head Stats
Nacional haven’t won any of their last 11 home games against Olimpia (six draws, five Olimpia victories). Keep in mind though that they don’t usually play at home when they “host” Olimpia, they play at neutral Defensores del Chaco, so that Nacional can sell as many tickets as possible to Olimpia fans (Nacional’s own home is very small).
Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion: Prediction
I’m backing Olimpia to… pick up from where they left off at the end of the Apertura. Nacional are a more than decent team, but I feel there is a significant gap between them and the reigning champions. Plus, Olimpia will be playing – more or less – at home, despite being, technically, “visitors”.
Nacional Asuncion vs Olimpia Asuncion: Betting Tips
Olimpia’s win pays 1.90 (they are favorites, so their double chance is at just 1.25). I would stay with that, mostly because it’s the first game of the new championship, so there are question marks regarding how both teams will appear.