Monday, August 30, 2010

Apertura 2010 4th Round : The Sleeping Giant woke up ?


Click here to download the previews for every game of this 4th round as they were sent to customers.

Things got tighter at the top of the standings as neither of the leaders, River and Velez, won and that allowed other teams to get closer.

Boca wasn't convincing, but they showed a big change of attitude, fighting for every ball like if it was a World Cup final, and got their first win of the season, 2-1 vs the until then undefeated Velez, who now lost the lead of the tournament.
Boca has only 4 points, but maybe a better future ahead now that they have less pressure. Next week's derby vs San Lorenzo will be another big test for them.

Poor game by River who almost lost their first game of the season, but still managed to get a 0-0 draw playing away vs Argentinos Jrs, who had some important missings in midfield (Ortigoza, Oberman). Argentinos lacks of good strikers to finish the goal positions they create, and this is one of the reasons why they sit very close to the bottom with only 2 points in 4 rounds.
Once again River still has a lot to improve, but they are now the only leader with 10 points.

Some teams that took advantage of the leaders losing points were San Lorenzo, Godoy Cruz and Arsenal.
San Lorenzo got a good and expected win at home 3-1 vs recently promoted All Boys, who was still in paradise after 2-0 win vs Boca, but came down to reality.

Godoy Cruz showed again that they are one of the best teams of the league in 2010 and they are every week closer from playing the next edition of Copa Libertadores for the first time in club history.
They beat Colon 3-1 playing away, in a game they started losing 1-0 but their rival got 2 silly red cards and the team from Mendoza took advantage of this and scored 3 goals in five minutes to get the second win in a row. Things are getting ugly for Colon who has only 2 points in Apertura and just 1 win in the last 18 games !

Arsenal also had a great win, 3rd in a row for them, 2-1 @ Independiente and left the Avellaneda team in the last place with only 1 point and a club in flames, with fans insulting the club president and the manager because they let go last season's coach, Americo Gallego, who is a club idol after he won the last Independiente championship in 2002.

Poor draw between Huracan and Newell's, 1-1, to open the round. Both navigate on the middle of the standings but while Newell's can focus on Copa Sudamericana (they debut in 2 weeks vs Estudiantes), Huracan's future doesn't look bright as they are sinking on the Averages table.

More was expected from the South of Gran Buenos Aires derby, Lanus -Banfield that ended in a scoreless draw. Lanus left a better impression and had the best chances to score but couldn't break a great performance by Banfield's goalkeeper, Enrique Bologna.

Tigre finally got points after losing the first 3 rounds, in a solid 3-0 win at home vs Quilmes. They had an irregular performance, but they were really needed of a win and getting it against a direct rival in the Averages table was really important for them.

Another team that needs as many points as they can get to stay in 1st division is Olimpo, who beat Racing 1-0. As in previous seasons when they were in 1st division, Olimpo shows they can be a strong home team and won so far 2 of 2 playing at Bahia Blanca.
Racing will need to do something to stop this bad streak before they are too far from the top places.

The round will be completed on September 29, when Estudiantes - Gimnasia, a big derby that was postponed, will be played.

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 4th round, and if you would like to get them before the games, contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for price details !!!

There's no break last week for the international games, so this is how the 5th round will be played (all times in GMT-3) :

Friday September 3rd
19.10--Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Estudiantes de La Plata.
21.15-- Racing Club-Colón de Santa Fe.

Saturday September 4th
14.10--All Boys-Olimpo.
16.15--Boca Juniors-San Lorenzo.
18.15--Arsenal F.C.-Argentinos Juniors.
20.20--Newell's Old Boys-Independiente.

Sunday September 5th
14.10--Quilmes-Huracán.
16.15--Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata-Lanús.
18.15--Banfield-Tigre.
20.20--Vélez Sarsfield-River Plate.


Standings :


Averages Table (http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-are-relegations-decided.html) :



Copa Libertadores 2011 table ( http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-do-teams-qualify-to-copa.html) :


* Tables taken from "La Redó" (www.la-redo.com.ar)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New URL

From today, you can get into the website using the new URL : www.argentinapreviews.com

Also I've made a redesign, i think it looks better now.

I'm convinced that the only important thing is the info provided, but a better look doesn't hurt. :)

Enjoy

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apertura 2010 3rd Round : Down to two


Click here to download the previews for every game of this 3rd round as they were sent to customers.

Of the 5 leaders we had last week, only 2 made it through this round with another win : Velez and River.

Velez had to work a lot more than in previous rounds to beat Argentinos Jrs but finally the visitors defensive tactic collapsed with 20 minutes left and "El Fortin" took the 3 points. I might sound too repetitive, but Velez is right now the best team in the league, without a doubt.

River had a superb offensive first half, and that was enough for them. In 25 minutes they were already leading 3-1 against a struggling Independiente defense, and the 2nd half was just worthless because the final 3-2 came only in the last minute of the game. River is far from being a great team, but they are improving week to week.

The surprise of the round was once again Boca, losing in neutral ground vs All Boys 2-0, who just returned to 1st division after 30 years.
Boca looked completely lost in offense, once again without Juan R. Riquelme who won't return at least for one more month, and All Boys took advantage of a disoriented team that has only 1 point in 3 games. Future looks bleak again for Boca, and it's unknown how much will new coach Claudio Borghi stay in his job if they don't start winning soon.



San Lorenzo
beat Racing, who was one of the leaders with 6 points, in one of the derbies of the round and got their first win of the season. Very tight game, with the visitors taking advantage of the few goal positions they had and showing that even if they might not fight for the league, they will be a tough team to beat.

Very little to analyze left the draws between Gimnasia - Colon (0-0) and Quilmes - Lanus (1-1)., both with teams that started their games with high energy, but as minutes went by they looked happy to get at least 1 point.
Similar situation on the game that opened the round on Friday, Banfield - Estudiantes, who are two of the best teams in the league but they neutralized each other and ended with a scoreless draw.

The bottom of the standings table is exclusively for Tigre, with 0 points, very poor football and a coach that might leave soon after the 0-2 lose at Newell's, who didn't have to make a big effort to get their first win of the season.

Neither Godoy Cruz, who beat Olimpo 1-0, and Arsenal, 2-0 vs Huracan had much problems to get their first home wins of the season and climb a few steps. Both losers, Olimpo and Huracan, will surely be rivals on the lower places of the averages table next year when relegations are decided.

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 3rd round, and if you would like to get them before the games, contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for price details !!!

This is the schedule of the 4th round (all times in GMT-3) :

Friday August 27
20.10-- Huracán-Newell's Old Boys

Saturday August 28
13.30-- Lanús-Banfield
15.30-- Tigre-Quilmes
18.10-- Colón de Santa Fe-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
20.20-- San Lorenzo-All Boys

Sunday August 29
13.30-- Independiente-Arsenal
15.30-- Argentinos Juniors-River Plate
17.30-- Boca Juniors-Vélez Sarsfield
19.30-- Olimpo-Racing Club

Wednesday September 29
To Be Determined-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata

The La Plata city derby between Estudiantes and Gimnasia is postponed until September 29 because Estudiantes is playing Recopa 2010 (Libertadores 2009 champion vs Sudamericana 2009 champion) this week, vs Liga de Quito.

Standings :


Averages Table (http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-are-relegations-decided.html) :


Copa Libertadores 2011 table ( http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-do-teams-qualify-to-copa.html) :


* Tables taken from "La Redó" (www.la-redo.com.ar)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Argentina - Spain / September 7 / Got Tickets !!


Top class game in 2 weeks at Buenos Aires, and I've already secure my tickets.
Not usual to see top national teams in South America (besides the usual Argentina - Brazil), so even if it's just a friendly, it will be a nice event to attend.

Here's the list of called players by coach Sergio Batista :

Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar - Holanda)
Mariano Andújar (Catania - Italia)
Agustín Marchesín (Lanús - Argentina)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich - Alemania)
Walter Samuel (Internazionale - Italia)
Nicolás Burdisso (Internazionale - Italia)
Gabriel Heinze (Olimpique de Marsella - Francia)
Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City - Inglaterra)
Gabriel Milito (Barcelona - España)
Javier Zanetti (Internazionale - Italia)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool - Inglaterra)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid - España)
Ever Banega (Valencia - España)
Ángel Di María (Real Madrid - España)
Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale - Italia)
Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina - Italia)
Andrés D'Alessandro (Internacional - Brasil)
Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid - España)
Carlos Tevez (Manchester City - Inglaterra)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid - España)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona - España)
Diego Milito (Internazionale - Italia)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli - Italia)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apertura 2010 2nd Round : Home advantage ?


Interesting 2nd round of Apertura 2010.
No big surprises, 5 leaders...and only 2 home wins in 10 games !

Looks like all expectations on Colon might fail again. They played a fair game at home vs Banfield, deserving at least a draw, but ended with a 0-1 lose. Too much prize for Banfield, who won 2 of 2 without much effort and are now one of the leaders.

The derby of the weekend looked like a remake of what they did a few months ago : Boca getting the early lead, Racing scoring twice without doing much, and Boca looking harmless through the rest of the game.
Only 1 point in 2 games is not what Boca fans expected after so many new players arrived but they still look like the hopeless team of last season.
Meanwhile Racing got 6 points out of nowhere and will play another derby next weekend, vs San Lorenzo.

Lanus and Newell's looked too happy not to lose and ended their game in a 1-1 draw that was a fair result.
Arsenal took advantage of two huge mistakes by Tigre's defense and before anyone noticed they were winning 2-0. The home team tried everything possible, but the best they've got was the 1-2, and are one of the two teams with 0 points.

The team that shares the last place with Tigre is recently promoted All Boys, who played a 1st division game at their stadium for the first time in 30 years but unfortunately for them was against Velez, one of the best (or the best) teams of the league. The 1 goal difference of the 1-2 final score doesn't show what happened on the field, where Velez showed that they are 2 or 3 levels above All Boys, and should have won by more but they missed many goal positions.


Strange game played by San Lorenzo at their stadium vs Godoy Cruz. The home team looked in control for most of the first half and were leading 1-0, but the visitors scored before HT, and again only 45 seconds into the 2nd half.
When San Lorenzo looked hopeless, a long shot and a mistake by Godoy Cruz's goalkeeper gave them the 2-2. Two draws in two games for both teams, but the future looks brighter for the Mendoza team.

River fans are sure happy with the 2 wins in 2 games. In the 1-0 @ Huracan they had a better performance compared to the game vs Tigre and some even point them as probable candidates to fight for the league, but for now they are only a team that needs points for the averages table and have a lot to improve before they can be considered a good team.

It took 80 minutes for Estudiantes to score the first goal of the 2-0 vs Quilmes, but without a doubt it was a deserved win. They were highly superior the 90 minutes and got the only win by two goals so far of the 20 games of Apertura (all other teams that won in this 2 rounds made it only by 1 goal !!!).

Gimnasia deserved better luck vs Olimpo. They lost 1-0 in a very tight game between this two very poor teams that will surely fight in the lower places of the relegations table next June.

The last game of the round was an entertaining 1-1 draw vs Independiente and Argentinos Jrs. Both had many chances to score and an Independiente win could have been a fair result, but Argentinos goalkeeper, Nicolas Navarro had a good night and gave his team the first point of Apertura.

If you want to get the best previews for Argentinean football, contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for details !

This is the schedule of the 3rd round (all times in GMT-3) :

Friday August 20
19.10--Newell´s Old Boys-Tigre
21.15-- Banfield-Estudiantes de La Plata

Saturday August 21
14.10--Quilmes A.C. -Lanús
16.15--Vélez Sarsfield-Argentinos Juniors
18.20--Godoy Cruz de Mendoza-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
20.20-- Racing Club-San Lorenzo

Sunday August 22
14.10--Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata-Colón de Santa Fe
16.15-- River Plate-Independiente
18.20-- Arsenal-Huracán
20.20-- All Boys-Boca Juniors


Standings :


Averages Table (http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-are-relegations-decided.html) :


Copa Libertadores 2011 table ( http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-do-teams-qualify-to-copa.html) :


* Tables taken from "La Redó" (www.la-redo.com.ar)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rep. of Ireland 0 - Argentina 1


It will probably be forgotten soon because it was a poor game, but Sergio "Checho" Batista's debut as the Argentina NT coach ended with a solid win against a rival that only tried to attack in the last couple of minutes, when the visitors had already changed more than half of the starting lineup.

The goal was scored in the 1st half by Di Maria (in offside?) with a nice lob over the Irish goalkeeper.

Argentina showed a different tactic from the one that Maradona used along the World Cup, with Mascherano getting a lot of help from Gago and Banegas, and Messi playing as a right winger, in a similar position to the one he's used to play for Barcelona.
In fact, Messi said after the game that Batista asked him to play in that place where he felt comfortable, showing that he's happy to have Batista as a coach again (he was also the coach of the team that won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with Messi, Aguero, Di Maria among others).

The next friendly will be definitely a more interesting one : September 7 @ Buenos Aires, vs the World Champion, Spain.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ireland - Argentina


Tomorrow at Dublin, the first friendly for Argentina in the post-Maradona era will be played.

Argentina will be coached by Sergio Batista (1986 WC Champion) who until 2 or 3 weeks ago was in charge of the younger squads of Argentina, and was promoted to be the new coach of the Argentina NT, at least until December, but some sources say that there's a chance that he might stay longer (with Copa America 2011 being played next July at Argentina) if results are OK in the few friendlies left in 2010.

Most players called for this friendly arrived on Sunday or Monday, so there wasn't much time to do any serious trainings, but the confirmed lineup would use a 4-1-4-1 tactic (4-3-3 for others) with :

Sergio Romero - Nicolas Burdisso, Martin Demichelis, Walter Samuel, Gabriel Heinze - Javier Mascherano - Lionel Messi, Ever Banega, Fernando Gago, Angel Di María - Gonzalo Higuaín/Diego Milito

The only doubt is on the main striker, because Higuain arrived with a minor injury after a friendly he played with Real Madrid vs LA Galaxy.
There's an obvious tactic change from the team that played on the World Cup, with Banega and Gago joining Mascherano in midfield to help him with the defensive responsibilities.

Carlos Tevez , with flu symptoms probably won't travel to Dublin.

The rest of the squad is : Mariano Andújar, Maximiliano Rodríguez, Jonás Gutiérrez, Mario Bolatti, Javier Pastore, Sergio Agüero, Fabricio Coloccini, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Pablo Zabaleta, Emiliano Insúa.

On a secondary note, Ireland's coach Giovanni Trappatoni had to be hospitalized because of food poisoning, and the team could be coached tomorrow by his assistant, Marco Tardelli.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Apertura 2010 1st Round : Velez, Lanus...and not much more...


First round of the season gone and as expected there was nothing surprising.
Every game was tight, and there were no winners by more than 2 goals !

The best team of the round was without a doubt Velez, who was far superior to Independiente even if the 1-0 result doesn't show it. Brilliant game by this Buenos Aires team, who is one of the main candidates to win this league.

Lanus got a good away win 2-1 at Arsenal. Even without their best player, Sebastian Blanco, they played good football and got a deserved win.

Two teams that took lucky wins were Racing and River.
Racing got only a slim 1-0 against All Boys, who returned to 1st division after 30 years and even though they have a humble squad and no big stars, they've left a good impression.


Same for Tigre, who managed to hold River and create the best chances in a very tight game, that was decided in the 91 minute when historic club idol Ariel Ortega and young striker Rogelio Funes Mori saved River.

Estudiantes didn't deserve to get the 3 points either in the 1-0 away win at Newell's, but the home team didn't do much either. The game was destined to be a very poor 0-0, but a silly mistake by Venezuelan defender Gabriel Cichero in his debut with Newell's, gave Estudiantes a penalty kick that Juan Sebastian Veron converted into the 1-0.

The last champion, Argentinos Juniors, didn't have a good start on their home game vs Huracan. The 1-0 result at half time was a fair result for the hosts, but in only 5 minutes they lost concentration and Huracan managed to score twice. Only 2 minutes later Argentinos got a red card, and what 7 minutes later looked like a home win, ended with the guests taking the 3 points.

Colon was also disappointing in their visit to Quilmes. The recently promoted home team didn't show much football, but they had high energy on their first game back into the top division, and got an 89 minute deserved goal when Colon thought that they already had the 3 points.

The only 0-0 came in a boring draw between Gimnasia and San Lorenzo that didn't leave much to analyze, and neither did the Banfield win 2-1 vs recently promoted Olimpo, who left a bad impression and showed poor football even though they were winning 1-0 after only 15 seconds.

Boca and Godoy Cruz closed the round with a fun 1-1 in a game that any of them could have won. Boca's new defense looked as poor as last semester, and Godoy Cruz with no big stars and a lineup full of unknown players, showed that they are still a tough and very difficult team like in last Clausura when they ended in the 3rd place.

Next round's schedule will be (all times in GMT-3) :

Friday August 13
21.15-- Colón-Banfield.

Saturday August 14
14.15-- Boca Juniors-Racing Club.
16.15-- Lanús-Newell's Old Boys.
18.20-- Tigre-Arsenal.
20.20-- San Lorenzo-Godoy Cruz.

Sunday August 15
14.15-- Huracán-River.
16.15-- All Boys-Vélez Sársfield.
18.20-- Estudiantes-Quilmes.
20.20-- Olimpo-Gimnasia LP.

Monday August 16
19.10-- Independiente-Argentinos Juniors.

Don't miss the best previews for every game !! Check the post below to see some samples, and contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for details.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

1st Round Previews



Now that the first round is over, here you can see the previews that were sent to customers the day before the games.

Download the ZIP file with all the 1st Round previews here

As you can see, 6 of the 10 games had the 1X2 outcome correctly predicted.
Also one game (Godoy Cruz-Boca) was analyzed giving the correct score !
And others like Banfield - Olimpo, River - Tigre had the winner and correct goals difference.

Come back tomorrow for a review of what happened in the first round of Apertura 2010 !

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1st Round Schedule Changed

Finally, there will be only one game on Friday, and Banfield-Olimpo is moved to Sunday morning.
So, the final schedule and referees is (in Argentina time, GMT-3) :

Friday August 6
21.00-- Arsenal-Lanús (TV), Árbitro: Rafael Furchi.


Saturday August 7
14.00-- Quilmes A. C.-Colón (TV), Árbitro: Luis Alvarez.
16.10-- Argentinos Juniors-Huracán (TV), Árbitro: Juan Pablo Pompei.
18.15-- Newell´s Old Boys-Estudiantes LP (TV), Árbitro: Néstor Pitana.
20.20-- Racing Club-All Boys (TV), Árbitro: Federico Beligoy.


Sunday August 8
11.00-- Banfield-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca (TV), Árbitro: Patricio Loustau.
14.00-- River Plate-Tigre (TV), Árbitro: Pablo Lunati.
16.10-- Gimnasia y Esgrima LP-San Lorenzo (TV), Árbitro: Sergio Pezzotta.
18.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Independiente (TV), Árbitro: Héctor Baldassi.
20.20-- Godoy Cruz-Boca Juniors (TV), Árbitro: Saúl Laverni.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Latest Transfers


With only 4 days to the new season, some teams are making the latest transfers before the market is closed.

* Boca finally completed the renewal of what was their biggest problem last season, the defense. To GK Cristian Luchetti, central defenders Matias Caruzzo, Cristian Cellay and Juan Manuel Insaurralde, now right/left defender Clemente Rodriguez, who played last season for Estudiantes and was with the Argentina NT in the SouthAfrica WC, returned to the team where he started his career, Boca for the second time.
Young defender Ezequiel Muñoz left the club in a transfer to Italian Palermo, and after 2 months of negotiation, finally playmaker and club idol Juan Roman Riquelme finally signed a new contract for 4 more seasons, probably the last before he retires.

* River added probably their most important acquisition of the off season : striker Mariano Pavone, who had some successful seasons playing for Estudiantes, and the last 2 was at Spain's Betis. Once he's healthy to be in the starting lineup, he should be their main offensive weapon.

* San Lorenzo and Independiente are two other big teams that moved the market lately adding one striker each, something they definitely needed.
The first one signed Uruguayan striker Sebastian Balsas, a 1.97 mt tall player coming from his country's Nacional, while the second team has added striker Facundo Parra, who had a good 09/10 season playing for relegated club Chacarita.
Last Saturday San Lorenzo beat Racing on PKs after a 1-1 draw in the 90 minutes, and won the small winter friendly tournament that this teams played and where also Quilmes and Banfield participated.


* Huracan lost their captain, defender Paolo Goltz, transferred to Lanus, but they've added two experienced players : playmaker Angel Morales (coming from Nacional, and also ex Racing, Independiente among many other teams) and striker Rolando Zarate (ex Velez).
While there's no doubt that both are important players, Morales is 35 years old and Zarate 32, and both have already seen their best years and now have been struggling with injuries in the last few years of their careers.
Huracan, as Quilmes, Tigre, Olimpo and Gimnasia, have made very deep changes in their squad, so their performances for next season are right now a question mark.

Only 4 days until the season starts !! Don't miss the best and only previews for each game, contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for details about month and season prices.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

First Round Schedule


This will be the schedule of the first round, times are in Argentinean zone (GMT-3) so you have to add 4 hours for UK time or 5 hours for CEST.

Interesting game on Saturday between Newell's and Estudiantes, and on Sunday Independiente-Velez are probably the highlight of the day.

Friday August 6
19.00-- Arsenal-Lanús (TV).
21.10-- Banfield-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca (TV).


Saturday August 7
14.00-- Quilmes A. C.-Colón (TV).
16.10-- Argentinos Juniors-Huracán (TV).
18.15-- Newell´s Old Boys-Estudiantes LP (TV).
20.20-- Racing Club-All Boys (TV).


Sunday August 8
14.00-- River Plate-Tigre (TV).
16.10-- Gimnasia y Esgrima LP-San Lorenzo (TV).
18.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Independiente (TV).
20.20-- Godoy Cruz-Boca Juniors (TV).