Olimpia Asuncion vs Junior
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 2 February 2018
Kick-off: 01:30 CET
Olimpia did a… professional job in the first qualifying round, drawing 0-0 at Montevideo Wanderers, and beating them 2-0 in the return leg, back home. It wasn’t that easy, the game was at 1-0 until the 88th minute, a single Wanderers goal would have put an early end to Olimpia’s Copa Libertadores dream this season, but the Paraguayans stayed focused, and backed by an absolutely packed Defensores del Chaco (officially they sold something over 33,000 tickets, but the 40,000-capacity stadium was full to the brim), they finished the job off with their 88th-minute goal. The new Apertura season in Paraguay hasn’t started yet, it does start this weekend, so the two games against Montevideo Wanderers are the only official ones Olimpia have given since December 10. Needless to write, there are no tickets left for the match. The cheapest categories (just under and just over three euros) started selling out on Monday, and on Tuesday even the most expensive (more like, “less cheap”) tickets were gone.
The biggest news at Junior is that they flew to Paraguay without their most famous player, Teo Gutiérrez. Another striker, Uruguayan Jonathan Álvez, is also unavailable, as he got sent off in his last Libertadores game, playing for Barcelona (Guayaquil) against Gremio, last season. Alberto ‘El Mudo’ Rodríguez, a Peruvian centre-back who would start the game if available, is also out, due to injury. Junior looked good in their three friendly matches the last ten days, they won all three (not against really big rivals though), but they haven’t played an official match since December 3, and, I repeat, they traveled to Paraguay without three players who under different circumstances would be starting this game. Last season they failed in the qualifiers, beating Atlético Tucumán 1-0 at home, but losing 3-1 in Argentina, not making it to the Copa Libertadores group stage,
Previous five matches:
Olimpia vs Wanderers 2-0
Wanderers vs Olimpia 0-0
Deportivo Capiatá vs Olimpia 1-2
Olimpia vs Libertad 1-0
Independiente FBC vs Olimpia 1-3
Junior vs Independiente Medellin 2-1
Junior vs Jaguares de Cordoba 1-0
Junior vs Real Cartagena 3-1
Junior vs America de Cali 2-2
Junior vs Flamengo 0-2
Olimpia are facing Independiente FBC on Monday (their first game in the new championship campaign in Paraguay), not really away from home, as the match will be held at – sort of neutral – Defensores del Chaco. Junior are playing at home on Sunday, against Atlético Bucaramanga (Colombia championship).
Olimpia Asuncion vs Junior: Head to head Stats
Olimpia have hosted Junior just once before, 34 years ago. It was a Copa Libertadores group stage match, and they won 1-0.
Olimpia Asuncion vs Junior: Prediction
Junior are nothing like Montevideo Wanderers, the team Olimpia had a hard time beating at home in the previous qualifying round, but then again, I expect the hosts to look even more match-ready than a week ago, they will have a full stadium cheering for them, Junior are without key figures, so… all things considered, I’m backing Olimpia to win the game.
Olimpia Asuncion vs Junior: Betting Tips
Olimpia’s win pays 2.00, which I consider good enough to avoid risking further with special bets. If I absolutely had to choose something riskier, I would combine Olimpia’s win with a clean sheet, seeing how solid they looked defensively against Montevideo Wanderers, and keeping in mind that Junior are without Gutiérrez and Álvez. This combination pays 2.87.