Campeonato Apertura 2013: Week Three Preview

After seeing the four Chilean teams participating midweek in the Copa Sudamericana progress to the next stage of the competition attention now returns to the league with a number of looking to maintain their unbeaten starts to the season whilst a number of others, most noticeably Unión Española, will be looking to break their duck.

After progressing to the next stage of the Copa Sudamericana midweek with a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivian side Real Potosi, Universidad de Chile will be looking to carry that form into the opening match of round three of the Apertura season against Cobresal on Friday night. Having won their last seven outings against their opponents and not lost to them since 2009, manager Marco Antonio Figueroa will have high hopes of picking up his first win in the league with La U to add his to his midweek triumph.

Saturday’s action kicks off in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo with the unbeaten Universidad Católica hosting the pointless Universidad de Concepción. Los cruzados come into this match off the back of consecutive league wins and midweek Copa Sudamericana success and having not lost to their opponents since 2007 they will be confident of making it three wins in a row and keeping the recently promoted Universidad de Concepción without a point after three rounds.

The weekend’s third match sees two of the league’s undefeated teams go head to head as Palestino host Santiago Wanderers in the Estadio La Cisterna. After both teams won their opening round fixtures both teams shared the spoils last weekend with Palestino drawing 1-all with Universidad de Chile whilst their opponents played out a scoreless draw with Audax Italiano. Palestino have a good recent record against Wanderers having not lost to them since the 2010 Clausura season although three of those meetings have ended in draws so one would expect another tight affair once again.

One of the surprise packets early on in this season have been Rangers de Talca who have won their opening two fixtures against Huachipato and Universidad de Chile. They will be looking to make it three in a row when they take on Everton in the Estadio Bicentenario Lucio Fariña in Saturday’s penultimate round. Everton will be full of confidence going into this match after their impressive win over Colo Colo last round and will be buoyed by the fact that they haven’t lost to their opponents since the 2008 Clausura season.

Saturday’s final match takes place in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida as the unbeaten Audax Italiano play host to the undefeated O’Higgins. These two teams met most recently in the Copa Chile group stages that was held in the break between the two seasons and honours were shared with a win apiece with the away team winning on both occasions. Recent history between these two teams is pretty even with their last four Primera Division meetings resulting in two wins each and fifteen goals scored. Therefore a result is to be expected in this one and every possibility that the goal drought that has plagued this season might be broken.

It is a rare thing to see Colo Colo sitting on the bottom of the Primera Division table but that’s just what we have after two rounds of this season. In Sunday’s opening match they will be looking to rectify that situation when they travel up north to take on Antofagasta at the Estadio Bicentenario Calvo y Bascuñán. For their part, los pumas come into this encounter off the back of a loss to O’Higgins and will face a Colo Colo side who will have gained some confidence from the progression midweek in the Copa Sudamericana and who have only lost to them once in their last nine meetings.

Sunday’s next two matches kick off at 4pm with Unión La Calera hosting Ñublense at the Estadio Nicolás Chahuán whilst Unión Española take on Iquique in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones.

Both Unión La Calera and Ñublense have only picked up a point so far this season although for the former they have only played one match after their last round fixture against Universidad de Concepción was washed out. Meanwhile Ñublense drew their last match with Cobreloa after losing their opening match to Universidad Católica. The team from La Calera has won their last three encounters against their opponents and will be confident of repeating that trend.

Unión Española’s title defence hasn’t exactly got off to the greatest of starts having lost their opening two matches of this season. During the week their misery was compounded as Patricio Rubio joined rivals Universidad de Chile. What will give them some hope is that they have a pretty good record against Iquique, having won six out of the last seven matches between the two teams and will be confident of getting their season back on track.

Another team that is without a point this season is Huachipato and they host Cobreloa in the final match of the round. Cobreloa have had a good start to the season and are unbeaten after two rounds plus progressed to the next stage of the Copa Sudamericana midweek with an impressive win away to Peñarol. They also have a good recent record against Huachipato having only lost once to their opponents in their last six outings and will be confident that they continue their good start.

Primera Division Torneo Apertura 2013 , Round three fixtures

U. de Chile vs. Cobresal (Fri 20:00, Santa Laura)
U. Católica vs. U. Concepción (Sat 12:00, San Carlos)
Palestino vs. S. Wanderers (Sat 15:00, La Cisterna)
Everton vs. Rangers (Sat 17:30, Bicentenario Lucio Fariña)
A. Italiano vs. O’Higgins (Sat 20:00, Bicentenario La Florida)
Antofagasta vs. Colo Colo (Sun 15:30, Bicentenario Calvo y Bascuñán)
U. La Calera vs. Ñublense (Sun 16:00, Nicolás Chahuán)
Iquique vs. U. Española (Sun 16:00, Tierra de Campeones)
Huachipato vs. Cobreloa (Sun 18:00, CAP)

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