Campeonato Petrobras 2013: Week Thirteen Preview

Round thirteen is a veritable clásico weekend with three of them taking place with the highlight surely to be the clásico porteño between Everton and Santiago Wanderers. Other matches of note are the opener between Unión Española and O’Higgins, where the former will look to arrest a run of two matches without a win and the weekend’s final match between two teams that have under performed this season, Huachipato and Colo Colo.

The round kicks off with a cracker of a match as top of the table Unión Española host fourth placed O’Higgins on Friday night at the Estadio Santa Laura. La furia roja since moving five points clear at the top of the table two rounds ago have only picked up one point in their last two games losing last to bogey team Unión La Calera last round. O’Higgins for their part unbeaten in their last three matches including a last start two-all draw against second placed Universidad de Chile. What will be of concern to Unión Española manager Jose Luis Sierra is that in their last three matches, including a Copa Chile semi-final, his team has found the back of the net once plus they will be missing midfield rock Diego Scotti. These two teams met four time last year with the honours being shared as both teams picked up two wins apiece so don’t expect this one to be a draw.

Saturday’s opening match is the weekend’s first clásico with Everton playing host to Santiago Wanderers in the clásico porteño in the Estadio Bicentenario Lucio Fariña. The form of these two going into this match couldn’t be any more of a contrast with Everton having lost their last three matches whilst Santiago Wanderers have won their last three. These two have not met since 2011 when they met twice in the Copa Chile with Everton winning one match and the other being a draw. That win in somewhat of an anomaly with Santiago Wanderers having not lost to Everton in the Primera Division since the 2006 Apertura Season. Despite it being a clásico where usually you would throw the form guide out of the window one would think Santiago Wanderers would be favourites to take this one out.

Following the clásico porteño is another clásico with Audax Italiano taking on Palestino in the clásico de colonias in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida. These two after reasonably good Clausura seasons have struggled somewhat this season with Palestino sitting in thirteenth position, three points and two positions above their opponents. For Audax they will be hoping that Sebastián Sáez continues his recent good goal scoring record having scored in his last four matches, finding the back of the net eight times in the process. Over the years there hasn’t been a dominant force in this clásico de colonias although Palestino has won two of their last four meetings in the Primera Division, with the other two matches being draws and based on recent form go in as slight favourites.

We get a break from the clásicos in Saturday’s next match as Universidad Católica host the struggling Iquique. Los cruzados are only one point behind league leaders Unión Española and will be confident of maintaining the pressure having won their last two matches whilst Iquique have lost their last three matches and are currently sitting on the bottom of the table. What will give Católica some more confidence is that they have won five of their last eight meetings although Iquique did win their last encounter during the Clausura season but that won’t count for much come Saturday evening.

Saturday’s action draws to its conclusion in the Bicentenario Carlos Dittborn with the struggling San Marcos de Arica taking on Rangers de Talca. Having lost their last three matches at this stage it looks like the team from Arica will need a miracle to stay in the Primera Division and will face a tough task against a Rangers side that has only lost one match in their last five meetings. These two last met in 2011 in the Primera B with both teams winning their respective home matches but based on recent form it is hard to see San Marcos repeating that effort.

The weekend’s final clásico takes place on Sunday afternoon with Cobresal hosting Cobreloa in the clásico del cobre in the Estadio El Cobre. Cobresal, who are sitting second last on the regular season table and third last on the coeficiente de rendimiento table, come into the clásico off the back of their first win of the season whilst Cobreloa ended a recent form slump with a win over San Marcos de Arica. There isn’t a more one sided clásico than this one with Cobreloa winning the last six meetings and keeping Cobresal goalless in all but one of them in the process. With their current standings as they are it is hard to see this changing come Sunday afternoon.

Kicking off at the same time as clásico del cobre is the clash between Ñublense and Unión La Calera in the Estadio Nelson Oyarzún. Unión La Calera currently sit one point and one position above their opponents on the table and are currently on an unbeaten run of four matches and should be full of confidence coming off a win against league leaders Unión Española. Meanwhile Ñublense have an up and down last four matches taking it in turns to either win or lose their matches. These two teams last met in the Primera Division in 2011 with Unión La Calera both of their meetings and with both teams in reasonably good form this should be a tight encounter.

Whilst must of the attention in the north of the country is focused on the clásico del cobre, Antofogasta is also in action as they host third placed Universidad de Chile in the Estadio Bicentenario Calvo y Bascuñan. It has been five matches since Antofagasta have last picked up a win and they will find it difficult to arrest that slump against an Universidad de Chile side, who are finally gelling under Dario Franco, and are unbeaten in their last seven matches and winning five of them. Add to that Universidad de Chile have only lost to their opponents once in their last eight meetings, winning six of them. Therefore one would assume La U will continue their unbeaten run and Antofagasta will continue to struggle at the wrong end of the coeficiente de rendimiento table.

The weekend’s action draws to its conclusion in the Estadio Monumental with one Colo Colo hosting Huachipato. Both teams have had seasons they would rather forget and come into the match off the back of losses with Colo Colo going down to Universiad Católica in the clásico and Huachipato lost at home to Cobresal. Los albos have won their last three matches against Huachipato, with the latter having only scored one goal in those three matches. Expect this to be an intriguing affair to end round thirteen.

Primera Division Torneo Transición 2013 , Round thirteen fixtures

U. Española vs. O’Higgins (Fri 20:00, Santa Laura)
Everton vs. S. Wanderers (Sat 12:30, Bicentenario Lucio Fariña)
A. Italiano vs. Palestino (Sat 17:00, Bicentenario La Florida)
U. Católica vs. Iquique (Sat 19:30, San Carlos)
SM Arica vs. Rangers (Sat 22:00, Bicentenario Carlos Dittborn)
Cobresal vs. Cobreloa (Sat 16:00, El Cobre)
Ñublense vs. U. La Calera (Sun 16:00, Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún)
Antofagasta vs. U. de Chile (Sun 16:00, Bicentenario Calvo y Bascuñan)
Colo Colo vs. Huachipato (Sun 18:30, Monumental)

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