Campeonato Petrobras 2013: Week Three Preview

The third week of the Torneo Transcición is shaping up as a tantalising prospect with a number of key games taking place with clashes between O’Higgins and Huachipato, Unión Española and Universidad de Chile, and Colo Colo and Iquique being the standouts.

For the third consecutive week Audax Italiano get the weekend’s round of fixtures underway, this time playing host to San Marcos de Arica in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida. Los italicos will be looking for a change of Friday night fortune as they look to pick up their first win of the season against a San Marcos team that is yet to lose since returning to the Primera Division.

Next up on Friday night is an intriguing encounter in the south of the country as the winless and goalless Huachipato play host to fellow southerners, OHiggins. Huachipato manager, Jorge Pellicer will be hoping that his team can end their run of three hours without a goal, but without the likes of César Cortés and Manuel Villalobos who departed in the off season, they may struggle against an O’Higgins side who have just come off an impressive victory over Santiago Wanderers.

The intriguing matches continue on Saturday with the first two matches surely to garner plenty of interest. First up Iquique take on Colo Colo at the Estadio Tierra de Campeones with the los celestes dragones looking to get their first win against a los albos side who despite picking up their first win of the season last weekend won’t have fond memories of their last visit to the north of the country.

The following match is a replay of the Clausura quarter-final with Universidad de Chile looking to reverse that result when they host Unión Española in the Estadio Nacional. La U come into the match off the back of their first win of the season against Audax Italiano whilst their opponents will be looking to bounce back from a shock loss to Rangers de Talca. The match will also be the first time that new la furia roja signing Francisco Castro will face his old club and is also a preview of the upcoming Copa Chile semi-final between the two same teams.

Saturday’s action comes to an end with the winless,pointless and homeless Santiago Wanderers welcoming Unión La Calera to their temporary home of the Estadio Bicentenario Lucio Fariña. La Calera for their part will be looking to return to winning ways after a last start loss to Colo and they won’t get a better opportunity than against a struggling Wanderers side.

Another team in a similar position to Wanderers is Cobresal with the team from El Salvador currently in the relegation zone and without a point this season. After staying in the Primera Division courtesy of a promotional playoff Cobresal will again find themselves in a similar position come the end of this short season should their poor start to the season continues. It doesn’t get any easier for them on Sunday afternoon as they find themselves up against recently promoted Everton, who have begun their campaign in good form with a draw and a win and will have plenty of confidence after an impressive last start win over Clausura champions, Huachipato.

Whilst Cobresal have started the season poorly their clásico del cobre rivals Cobreloa have started the season like a runaway train with two impressive wins over Colo Colo and Iquique, scoring nine goals in the process. Next up for them is a meeting on Sunday afternoon with fellow northerners Antofagasta on Sunday, who themselves picked up an important away win to Ñublense in the last round. Whilst this is billed as an away game for Cobreloa, due to renovations at their home ground the Parque Juan López will become their new home for the foreseeable future.

Newly promoted sides San Marcos de Arica and Everton have started the season strongly but the same cant be said of Ñublense, who have one point from their first two games and will find themselves in relegation trouble if they don’t turn their form around. This week they find themselves up against Palestino, who themselves have have picked up only two points in their first two matches but will be heartened by their performance against Universidad Católica where they salvaged a point with only ten men.

The last match features the aforementioned Universidad Católica travel down msouth to taken on Rangers de Talca. Rangers come into the match looking to claim another big scalp after pulled off a confidence boosting away win over Unión Española whilst their opponents will hoping they can put away their chances this weekend. Boosting their chances is the signing of Carlos Villanueva during the week, who hopes his return to Chile will gain him a return to the national squad.

Primera Division Torneo Transición 2013 , Round three fixtures

A. Italiano vs. SM Arica (Fri 19:30, Bicentenario La Florida)
Huachipato vs. O’Higgins (Fri 22:00, CAP)
Iquique vs. Colo Colo (Sat 16:00, Tierra de Campeones)
U. de Chile vs. U. Española (Sat 18:30, Nacional)
S. Wanderers vs. U. La Calera (Sat 21:00, Bicentenario Lucio Fariña)
Cobresal vs. Everton (Sun 16:00, El Cobre)
Antofagasta vs. Cobreloa (Sun 16:30, Parque Juan López)
Palestino vs. Ñublense (Sun 16:30, La Cisterna)
Rangers vs. U. Católica (Sun 18:30, Fiscal de Talca)

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