Deportivo Municipal and Real Garcilaso begin Week 13 in Peru Liga 1 on Friday evening. La Academia makes the trip from Lima to Cusco where they will seek a victory to avoid dropping to the last place in the league. Will the visitors upset, or will Garcilaso continue their strong play at home?
A couple of weeks ago when Deportivo Municipal travelled to Ayacucho, here on Pinnacle, I outlined the difficulty small market clubs have when forced to play at altitude. The trip earlier in the month was to play at 2,700 meters.
The journey this week is much more taxing at 3,400 meters in Cusco. Not only is the extreme altitude a factor, but the climate plays an issue as well. The temperatures in Cusco are forecast to be at a low of 5 degrees for kickoff, a full 15 degrees colder than that of the training facility of Deportivo Municipal in Lima.
In their three altitude games against Huancayo, Comercio and Ayacucho, Deportivo Municipal has lost by a combined scoreline of 8-3. The play in the 270 has been most concerning.
Deportivo Municipal have shown a lack of fitness to maintain any attack, and inability to defend. The three opponents generated 54 shot attempts, 25 of which were from inside the box in comparison to 36 and 15 for Municipal.
The scoreline could have been much worse. In terms of scoring opportunities, the three opponents generated ten attempts with a probability of goal higher than 50% in comparison to just two for Municipal. With three poor performances at altitude thus far, there is little to suggest a turnaround in their most challenging away match of the season this Friday.
Real Garcilaso has not been stable overall. Looking at the table, the team is in 12th place with 13 points from 12 matches.
More than 12 points back from U. de Deportes for the league lead, the fifth-place finishers from the Apertura have little hope of exceeding their 26 point total from the Apertura. Since acquiring Javier Arce from defending champions Binacional, Garcilaso has turned their season around winning three of five matches.
Coming from Binacional, Arce knows how to play at altitude, and it has shown with Garcilaso scoring six goals in the two games played at Cusco. The only two teams to earn points in Cusco the last three months have been other clubs that play at altitude, Huancayo and Huanuco.
Against opponents that play at sea level like Deportivo Municipal, Garcilaso is at a perfect 3-0 with 9 points and a goal differential of 7-0 and a shot differential of 66-32.
Real Garcilaso has opened as a 1.42 favourite which implies a win probability of 70%. This match is by far the most significant price tag on the team for the entire season and will be the highest price the remainder of the year.
The price is well justified when assessing the difference in talent and ability when playing at extreme altitude. The market has not caught up to the inability of Deportivo Municipal.
Considering how many high-quality chances Municipal concedes, the handicap at -1.25 and -1.5 both present value, with alternates of -1.75 and -2 in play as well.