Torneo de Verano Preview: Cantolao look to shock Sporting Cristal again

Juan Aurich vs UTC Cajamarca

A draw is most likely here. UTC have gotten points away from home but aren’t expert travellers and have also dropped many. Although the motivation in this match is that Cajamarca can confirm finishing 1st in their group taking them to the final. However, they’ve showed some weaknesses away from home and Juan Aurich despite being bottom, can work their way to a draw or even a potential win.

Player to watch: Miguel Castro (Juan Aurich)

An interesting pick. He’s not a game-changing player but he’s been showing signs of quality and will be important to try and help Juan Aurich pick up the 3 points.

Alianza Lima vs Real Garcilaso

This match is hard to predict because both teams are equally good on paper but Alianza is changing lineups often. Since the international break, they’ve played with a midfield of Luis Ramirez, Luis Aguiar and Rinaldo Cruzado. It’s worked awfully for them because none of them have much defensive awareness. In recent matches, Aldair Fuentes has taken over that central spot in one match whereas Vilchez and Cotrina has played in the other. The midfield has been more dynamic and the team looks more threatening. It will really depend on the lineups. If Bengochea gets the midfield right, Alianza Lima will win.

Player to watch: Oscar Vilchez (Alianza Lima)

Oscar Vilchez has been wrongly not getting minutes. He started in their most recent match against Sport Huancayo (midweek fixture) and has looked solid and exactly what Alianza needed in the midfield. He’s not quite as good as Pedro Aquino but he’s the sort of player that will end Alianza’s bad run after so many matches of having 3 midfielders that don’t have any defensive awareness.

Union Comercio vs Universidad San Martin de Porres

Comercio are on a bad run currently, but they should get back to winning ways here. While Universidad San Martin aren’t a bad side, they have been dreadful away from home. USMP is just slightly better than Union Comercio in terms of squads on paper. No result would be a shock here. As a prediction, Union Comercio will click and win the match.

Player to watch: Miguel Carranza (Union Comercio)

Carranza is a young right winger who hasn’t made his name in the division yet but has been important to Union Comercio. He’s a very interesting player as he likes to sit in the middle and join the attack on either flank. He has good dribbling and pace but is lacking some technique, especially when he’s going to put a cross in or attempt to finish a chance. Unpredictable and sneaky player who will be interesting to keep an eye out in the future.

FBC Melgar vs Sport Rosario

This match is very important as it will likely decide who will finish first in Group 1. As good as Sport Rosario have been, they were always going to meet their match and this is that match. Melgar are simply a step above any team in the division and even more over Sport Rosario. It won’t be a comfortable win but it’s hard to look past la Rojinegra in this one.

Player to watch: Omar Fernandez (FBC Melgar)

Omar Fernandez is the best player in the league, and he’s hit great form in recent matches. It’s a good opportunity to keep impressing and help his team seal that first place in this next match.

Ayacucho vs Alianza Atletico

Ayacucho have been able to stay up the past few years because they’ve taken advantage of being at home, and that will show again in this match. Alianza Atletico are in horrible form and away in the altitude, they will likely continue to struggle. Ayacucho should win here and confirm that they won’t finish bottom.

Player to watch: Jesus Arismendi (Ayacucho)

Neither of these teams have standout players that you will hear much about. The pick of the bunch is probably Villasanti but he’s a keeper and it’s unlikely in this match that the home side will be overwhelmed with shots. In comes Arismendi, who is a solid right back and is more of a defensive minded player than offensive. He’s been Ayacucho’s stand out player in this campaign and should have another solid game here.

Deportivo Municipal vs Universitario

Universitario will continue to impress under Pedro Troglio and win this. It would be harsh to call it “dead rubber” because both teams are near each other in the table and will want to finish above the other. Tactically, it will be a very interesting match as both managers Pedro Troglio and Marcelo Grioni are among the best in the league. Universitario will win this in a tightly contested match and will move up the table to not have to reflect on an actual awful campaign.

Player to watch: Enmanuel Paucar (Universitario)

Fredy Alvarez has been on huge form for Deportivo Municipal and Paucar is just the right man to control him. With an injury to Arquimedes Figuera, it will be more difficult to form a midfield as there isn’t a backup that plays similarly to the Venezuelan. Paucar however, is a regular starter and the rock in Troglio’s midfield. He’s been in good form and will have a job to stop Municipal’s in form player in Alvarez.

Academia Cantolao vs Sporting Cristal

Last time, Cantolao beat Sporting Cristal in a shocking 4-1 at the Alberto Gallardo. Cantolao have really kicked off their campaign since that match. They’ve only lost 1 game since. A draw looks most likely. Los Cerveceros form is really hard to predict with Chemo del Solar as their manager. Sporting Cristal’s squad is superior to Cantolao’s but the latter plays to the max whereas sometimes the former can look lazy. It should be a draw.

Player to watch: Jeferson Collazos (Academia Cantolao)

Collazos is the pick of the bunch again but he’s hit some serious form. Since the beginning of March, he’s bagged 6 goals. He scored just 1 prior to that and now is the league’s top scorer with 7 goals. While a limited player, he’s being used well tactically and it’s working for Cantolao.