With five more matches to go in the Clausura, things at the top of the table are beginning to tighten up. Binacional and Huancayo rank 4th and 5th respectively, and sit four points back of league-leading Alianza Lima. Failure to earn points in this match all but kills their hopes to win the title. Can Binacional continue their red hot form, or will Sport Huancayo earn a key home win to stay in contention?
Binacional is back
Everyone who bets on Peruvian Liga 1 was waiting for this to happen. After tearing through the league in the Apertura, generating 36 points, Binacional disappointed early in the season.
Through the first eight matches, it appeared like the club from Juliaca had fizzled out. Robert Mosquera took over as head coach in late September, and since then the team has rebounded.
Since Mosquera took over, Binacional has won five matches and lost one away at Melgar.
However, it is how Binacional has won the matches which is most impressive. After scoring two goals just once in the opening seven games, Binacional has scored 2, 3, 4, 0, 7 and 2 in their six games since.
The 4-2-3-1 style installed by Mosquera makes the most of the personnel the team has. Donald Millan, the league-leading goal scorer, is much better playing underneath a lead attacker, which the team has in Marco Rodriguez.
Supplemented by Andy Polar, the team has returned to their suffocating aggressive style which overwhelms opponents. In addition to the 18 goals, the club has generated 105 shot attempts in their last six matches since Mosquera took over.
Their goal differential of 25:10 is now the best-attacking mark and second-best defensive mark in the league.
Binacional has had poor offensive performances sporadically throughout the Clausura. However, the two matches in which they struggled were against elite defences.
A 2-0 and 1-0 loss away at U. de Deportes and FBC Melgar were against two of the biggest clubs in Peru, but also the number one and number three ranked defensive units in the league.
Some bettors may think of elite backline play. U. de Deportes and Melgar play aggressively upfront with 4-1-3-2 and 4-2-3-1 formations.
This lineup offsets the attack of Binacional and forces them to play more rooted in their end.
Sport Huancayo under the management of Carlos Ramacciotti plays an equally aggressive 4-2-3-1 but suffers from a lack of backline talent.
Huancayo has scored 21 goals off of their aggression but conceded 16, 12 more than U. de Deportes and four more than Melgar.
The altitude factor they have at home matches that makes their press more effective is negated with Binacional playing at equal height in Juliaca.
Betting market analysis
Opening prices have these two sides deadlocked in what will be a very competitive match. Huancayo opened as a 2.60 favourite (38% implied probability). Bettors would be best advised to avoid the 1X2 market and look at the total goals option.
Both of these teams play a similar, aggressive 4-2-3-1 attacking style. On one side is Donald Millan, Marco Rodriguez and Andy Polar. On the other is Carlos Neumann, Carlos Ross and Marcio Valverde.
In 2019, the two trios have combined to score 38 and 24 goals for their respective sides. Both managers favour attack in their tactics and can put together an easy game plan to break down the defence on either side.
Over 2.5 goals is listed at 1.87 (53% implied probability), and bettors should look to play the upside and back the high price.