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Nicaragua Clausura Finals Odds & Pick: Real Esteli vs Managua Leg 1

John Dillon

by John Dillon in Soccer News

May 1, 2020 · 7:11 AM PDT

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The ball is seen during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
  • Reigning champions Esteli host table-toppers Managua in Clausura playoff final
  • Three home draws in succession for second-place finishers Esteli
  • See all odds and best bets for Nicaragua Primer Liga Clausura playoff final

Nicaraguas’s soccer league has reached the playoff final stage after remaining in action during the coronavirus crisis which has shut down most of the world game.

Real Esteli are at home against Managua in the first leg of the showdown on Saturday evening  with the return tie on the following Wednesday.

Managua finished top of the regular season Clausura table while Real Esteli were second – with both advancing through a two-legged semifinal playoff during the past week.

Real Esteli vs Managua Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Real Esteli -½ (-121) -120 Un 2¼ (-104)
Managua +½ (-108) +322 Ov 2¼ (-104)
Draw N/A +239 N/A

Odds taken May 1

The contest is a re-match of the final of the Apertura section of the competition last winter in which Real Esteli defeated Managua 2-1 on aggregate.

Indeed, the three previous finals in the nation’s two-section league system have been contested by these two sides.

The oddsmakers make the reigning Clausura champions Real Esteli surprisingly wide favorites to win the first leg tie at –120. Managua are an attractive +322 with the draw  at +239.

Unbeaten in 14 Games

This is despite the fact that Managua are unbeaten in their last 14 matches, including the two-legged playoff semifinal victory over Walter Ferretti.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 9.00 pm EST at the Estadio Independiencia in Esteli.

These odds also surprisingly discount the fact that Managua were 2-0 winners when they visited Real Esteli during the regular season in February.

However, the teams drew 1-1 in the return regular season game in early April and at +239 this looks a good value outcome for what should be a tight first leg clash this weekend.

Given Managua’s win at Real Esteli three months ago, the +322 price for a victory by the visitors is also attractive.

Real Esteli’s current undefeated run stretches to six games including the two-legged semifinal playoff triumph against Diriangen.

In fact, Real Esteli have drawn their last three home matches.

Real Esteli’s current undefeated run stretches to a less impressive six games including the two-legged semifinal playoff triumph against Diriangen.

After a 1-0 win for Real Esteli in the first leg of the semifinal at their HQ last Saturday, there was a 0-0 draw in the return fixture on Wednesday.

Managua reached the final by defeating Deportivo Walter Ferretti.

After a 0-0 draw at Walter Ferretti’s base last Wednesday, they won 4-2 at home on Wednesday.

The season in Nicaragua is split into two sections with the Apertura competition running from August until December and the Clausura following between January and May.

Matches Behind Closed Doors

While the competition has continued in defiance of the pandemic crisis, matches have been played behind closed doors. Some fearful players have confessed to attempting to limit physical contact because they have been worried about their health.

These have been the two dominant teams in Nicaragua in recent times.

Real Esteli also won the 2018-19 Clausura final against Managua on the away goals rule.

Meanwhile, Managua were the 2018-19 Apertura champions with a 1-0 aggregate win over Real Esteli.

There have been two opening leg draws in the recent playoff finals between these teams.

In this season’s Apertura final last winter, Managua gained the upper hand with a 1-0 first leg win at home. But they then lost 2-0 in the return tie.

There have been two opening leg draws in the recent playoff finals between these teams.

In the final of the 2018-19 Apertura competition, there was a 0-0 stalemate at Esteli’s HQ before a 1-0 win in the return game for Managua.

In the subsequent Clausura final in May last year, the first leg resulted in a 3-3 draw on Managua’s home patch. After a 0-0 draw in the second leg, Esteli won the prize on the away goals rule.

In the 18-match regular season, Managua finished top with 42 points – seven ahead of second-placed Real Esteli.

The leaders won 13 times while drawing three games and losing only twice.

Leading Regular Season Goalscorers

They were the competition’s most prolific goalscorers with a tally of 33 while they conceded only 15.

Real Esteli claimed second place with a record of 10 wins, five draws and three defeats. They scored 29 goals and conceded 11 times.

With Saturday’s first leg taking place at Real Esteli, it is worth noting that Managua had the second most impressive record on the road in the regular season with five wins, two draws and two defeats.

Esteli were beaten only once at home – by Managua in February.

But their form on their own patch was still only the fourth best in the regular season with five wins, three draws and that sole defeat.

Pick: Draw +239

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