Blooming v The Strongest
The Strongest sit pretty at the top of the league and with an impressive record of eight wins, three draws and only one defeat so far this season, and that defeat was in Brazil to Fluminense. Just as impressive is their defensive prowess, having only conceded nine goals, their scoring is also a very solid 22. Spanish manager Rescalvo seems to have been inspired in the signing of Uruguayan Arias while Argentine Triverio continues to find the back of the net regularly.
Blooming for their part have recovered somewhat under the guise of manager Bustos. The beginning of the season could not have been worse, with a draw followed by five straight defeats. Blooming have had some spirited if pointless performances in the Sudamericana and midweek came away from Always Ready’s high altitude with a credible draw in the League Cup.
Although historically The Strongest lead the series between these two 78-54, in Santa Cruz Blooming are much stronger, leading 50-9. The Strongest won there in 2020 and you’d have to go back to almost ten years ago and 2014 for their previous win.
Despite Blooming’s pick up and history being on their side The Strongest are too strong and focused right now and should take a win back to La Paz.
Guarani v Resistencia
Guaraní effectively bowed out of the title race with a 0-3 reverse to Cerro Porteño that leaves them 11 points from first place. Resistencia have their own woes, a fourth straight game without a win has put them amongst the relegation places.
Hernán Rodrigo López was juggling between the Copa Sudamericana and league but the most recent set of results might have tipped the balance in favour of continental competition.
With a home game coming up straight after this clash with Resistencia it is likely he will rest some key players – especially those just back from injury like topscorer Facundo Barceló. In midfield Estivel Moreira got his first start of the season against Cerro and will likely continue due to Dorrego’s injury. Gastón Gil Romero has recovered from injury and will likely play some part in the game.
Resistencia opened the scoring against Sportivo Ameliano, just the 3rd time they’ve done so in 2023, but were pegged back later on. They have just two clean sheets in their 14 league matches as new boss Sergio Orteman has been unable to stop the rot. In Orteman’s eight games in charge they have conceded 1.62 goals on average.
The previous meeting was a resounding 4-0 win for Guaraní with Barceló and Néstor Camacho in top form that day. It has been a theme for Resistencia against the big clubs this year, losing by the same scoreline to Libertad and falling 3-0 to Olimpia. Their only point gained against the Top 4 was a 1-1 draw with Cerro Porteño.
Although Guaraní were scoreless in their last game at Dos Bocas, against Libertad, they have generally fared well at home registering 11 goals in their other six games – that firepower should be enough.
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