Last seasons runners-up Independiente del Valle visit Paraguayan champions Olimpia on Thursday night in the preliminary qualification rounds of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier continental competition.
Last weeks game was a tight one. IDV edged out Olimpia in a game of very few real chances. Olimpia looked to play on the break last week, but will have to play on the front foot tonight if they are to progress.
Olimpia, or “The Kings of Cups” as some people refer to them to are a gigantic club compared to IDV. They have won the Paraguayan top flight an astounding 40 times and boast THREE Libertadores titles to boot. They also qualify by means of the aggregate table. topping it despite not winning the Apertura or Clausura, with a record of 26-6-10. Olimpia also qualified last year, but were eliminated in a group containing UNAM Pumas, Tachira and Emelec, coming 3rd on 7 points.
Independiente captured the hearts of the continent last year as they made it to the final before going down to Atletico Nacional 2-1 over two legs. It was quite the story that such a small team, who hadn’t even played in the top flight until 2010 would go so far in the competition. On their famous run they eliminated Guarani, qualified from a group containing Atletico Mineiro, Colo Colo and Melgar, before slaying the reputations of Boca and River with a win over UNAM Pumas sandwiched in between. They have earned another shot at the Copa courtesy of their overall standing in last years aggregate table, coming 4th with a record of 19-7-18.
Olimpia will come into the match tonight in good confidence after putting in a dominant performance in the opening round of the domestic season at the weekend, winning 3-0 away at Sportivo Trinidense. We expect Olimpia to take the field tonight with the following starting eleven:
Azcona; Ferreira, Pellerano, Salcedo, Gimenez; Gonzalez, Riveros, Ortiz, Benitez, Mouch, Montenegro
As with most small club fairy tales, the ending was not so sweet for IDV. Most of the team from last season has departed, and then manager Pablo Repetto will be in the opposing dug-out tonight as he has taken over Olimpia. Non the less a new band of player and manager are looking to write chapter 2 of the story and have already seen off one side in this years competition, knocking out Peruvian side Deportivo Muncipal 3-2 over two legs, despite a 2-2 scare in the home leg. Tonight Kener Arce misses out through suspension. We expect them to take to the field with the following as possible starters:
Bone, Núñez, León, Segovia, Ayala, Arroyo, Rizotto, Mejía, Mera, Cortez, Estrada.
Olimpia are going to throw everything at IDV tonight. They will be roared on by a big home crowd. We can’t see IDV keeping a clean sheet tonight, given that Olimpia have scored at least twice in their last 6 home outings. IDV will look to sit deep and withstand pressure, but at some point they will likely have to come out and attack. The tie should never really be dead with the score at 1-0 from the first leg. Even if the hosts are two goals up with 10 minutes left an IDV goal would eliminate them. There should always be one side desperately pressing for a goal throughout the game, as well as another sitting deep in their own half. The goal market does appeal given the strength in the Olimpia attack, but we fancy pressure at both ends throughout the game will generate a large amount of corners. Last weeks game had 13 which makes the price on over 9 tonight look even more generous.
Tip: Over 9 corners – 2.10 with bet365
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