Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Too easy for Estudiantes


Once again, it was too easy for Estudiantes, the new leader of Apertura after playing the 4th round postponed game this afternoon.
They didn't need a big effort to beat Gimnasia in the "La Plata" derby for the 8th time in the last 11 games. From the start it was obvious that the home team, playing in front of a stadium 100% full of their fans (no Gimnasia fans were allowed for security reasons) was a better team, and it didn't take long for them to have 2 or 3 very good chances saved by Gimnasia's goalkeeper, Gaston Sessa.
But it was in the 36th minute when the 1-0 came through a header by defender Federico Fernandez, and right before halftime, Juan Sebastian Veron "invented" a penalty that the referee bought, and they took a 2-0 lead.
The 2nd half wasn't necessary as Gimnasia could have played for 2 more hours and they were never going to score a goal, and Estudiantes was happy enough with the 2 goals difference.

Gimnasia lost their coach as Diego Cocca had to resign after this poor start that has them in promotion zone in the averages table and in the last place of Apertura, and Estudiantes has to prepare for a very important game @ San Lorenzo next Sunday.

Standings :

Monday, September 27, 2010

Apertura 2010 8th Round : Only at home


Click here to download the previews for every game of this 8th round as they were sent to customers and contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for further details about how to get the previews for every game of Apertura 2010 !!

How could we jump from 30 goals in the 7th round to this awfully boring weekend with only 13 goals scored ?

The round was divided in two : 6 home wins on Friday + Saturday, and then 4 draws on Sunday.
On the 6 home wins no away team scored a goal, and on the whole round only 2 did : Godoy Cruz with a penalty kick in the 1-1 @ Huracan, and Quilmes in the last minute of the 1-1 game @ River.

The only team this round that was able to make 3 consecutive passes between teammates was Velez, who didn't have to sweat at all to beat a very poor Olimpo 3-0 and take the top place in the standings. Very solid performance by the new leader who was able to win after two consecutive 0-0 draws.

River...River..... They played a fairly good game, were winning 1-0 and missing chances to finish a very poor Quilmes who had almost no shots at goal in the whole game...until the 92nd minute, when ex-Boca Miguel Caneo appeared completely alone on an air ball and scored the 1-1 with a header. It was the surprise of the round and a big hit for a River team that can't find their true form and continues struggling in the Averages table.

Estudiantes plays their 4th round pending game on Wednesday vs Gimnasia in one of the big derbies of the league and if they win they could take the top spot of the standings.
On Saturday they beat a harmless Boca 1-0 with a very early goal. The visitors were coming from two consecutive wins and needed a third one to keep their chances of fighting for the championship alive, but they showed no reaction at all against a very defensive Estudiantes who was more than happy with the tight win.

The ex-leader is San Lorenzo, who played a pale game against Colon and returned from Santa Fe with empty hands after losing 2-0. The home team, with interim coach because Fernando Gamboa will start training the team this week, didn't need to make a big effort to beat a San Lorenzo team that didn't look at all like in previous rounds and lost their first game of the season.

The other team that lost the first game of the season (and there are no more undefeated teams in Apertura) was Banfield, who after a boring game lost 1-0 @ Argentinos Jrs. The last champion won their first game of the season and this gave some air to coach Pedro Troglio who couldn't afford another lost game. Banfield was probably more focused on Wednesday, when they will play the first leg of the round of 16 in Copa Sudamericana against Colombian team, Deportes Tolima.

Another team who took the first win of the season was Independiente, with a very tight 1-0 at home vs Gimnasia. The visitors missed two unbelievable chances to get a draw in the last minutes of the game, but Independiente's win was deserved because they played a solid game overall.

After two consecutive loses where they conceded 8 goals, Lanus won again and it was a very tight 1-0 vs All Boys. The home win was deserved, but the visitors were very close to get a draw.

The boring game of the round was the scoreless draw between Tigre and Racing. Almost no shots at goal, everything ended in a foul...thanks for making me lose 90 minutes guys !

The other scoreless draw of this weekend was between Arsenal and Newell's, but it was a much more fun game. The home team hit the post twice in the 1st half and missed at least 6 or 7 very clear chances to score. In the 2nd half Newell's was a little better and had their share of chances to win it too. Even if there were no goals it was one of the best games and it could have easily ended 2-2.

Huracan had a new coach but they played as poor as usual in the 1-1 draw vs Godoy Cruz. They played almost 70 minutes with one more player on the field because Godoy got an early red card, but they never were able to overcome their rival.

Next Wednesday @ 4pm (GMT-3), Estudiantes and Gimnasia will play the postponed game from Round 4. The "La Plata derby" (a city 50km from Buenos Aires) is one of the games to watch every tournament as there is a big rivalry between this two teams that divide a city.

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 8th round as they were sent to customers and contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for further details about how to get the previews for every game of Apertura 2010 !!

The schedule for Round 9, when we will reach half of Apertura, is this :

Friday October 1
19.10-- Quilmes-Arsenal
21.20-- Newell's Old Boys-Vélez Sársfield


Saturday October 2
14.10-- All Boys-Tigre
16.20-- Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata-Argentinos Juniors
18.30-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Independiente
20.30-- Racing Club-Huracán


Sunday October 3

14.00-- Olimpo-Colón de Santa Fe
16.00-- San Lorenzo-Estudiantes de La Plata
18.10-- Boca Juniors-Lanús
20.20-- Banfield-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)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apertura 2010 7th Round : Who wants to be the leader ?


Click here to download the previews for every game of this 7th round as they were sent to customers and contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for further details about how to get the previews for every round of Apertura 2010 !!

Another round gone, 1/3 of Apertura passed, and the leader keeps changing every round.

Last week we had Velez, Estudiantes and River at the top, but neither could win this weekend and the leader is once again San Lorenzo who started losing and playing awful vs Olimpo.
But having the best coach in the league (Ramon Diaz) sometimes pays off, and an offensive change only 25 minutes in the game and a couple of tactic moves at half time made it a 3-1 for San Lorenzo who is still undefeated after 7 rounds.

The other undefeated team is Banfield, who after 4 draws in a row finally won again...and what a win ! They destroyed Independiente with a 4-0 that left "Los Diablos" in the last place, and without a coach and a manager because as i write this both Daniel Garnero and Cesar Luis Menotti (Argentina's 1978 World Cup champion coach) are in a meeting to leave the club before fans burn it down.

About the previous leaders, both River and Estudiantes played poor games and lost 1-0 @ Newell's and 2-1 @ All Boys respectively.
Not much to say about River as it was a very tight game. Newell's win was deserved, but a draw could have been a fair result as well. Even if they are fighting in the top spots, River doesn't look to me as championship material and they should probably focus on getting points to get out of the promotion/relegation zone rather than thinking of winning Apertura.

All Boys's win was one of the surprises of the round. They played a practical game, used the little chances they had and got 3 points that were deserved against a poor Estudiantes team that lost their best player, Juan Sebastian Veron, with an injury probably for at least a week or more.
Estudiantes still has one pending game (big derby vs Gimnasia on September 29) and if they win it they could be at the top again.

Velez and Arsenal gave us the worst game of the round. A 0-0 draw that was fair. Velez played a little better but they had many important missings in midfield and had to settle with the scoreless draw.

Two teams that needed a win like air were Gimnasia and Racing, and they not only won, but did it in great fashion. Gimnasia with a nice 3-0 over Huracan and Racing with a 4-0 against Lanus.
Neither of the justified the big difference, but i don't think their fans will care about it.
Both losers, Huracan and Lanus, ended this round with many doubts about the future.

Tigre gave another surprise winning 2-1 @ Godoy Cruz. The team from Buenos Aires won 10 of the last 12 points after losing in the first 3 rounds and now became a respectable rival for any team.

Quilmes and Argentinos still can't win in the season. Quilmes almost made a miracle as they were losing 0-1 at home and changed it to 2-1 with 9 men, but Argentinos kept them winless with the 2-2 in the 93 minute.

Boca closed the round with a good win 3-1 at home vs Colon. The "Bosteros" played a poor first half that ended 1-1, but improved in the 2nd and took their 2nd win in a row thanks to Martin Palermo's hat-trick (he also missed a PK!).
Colon won only 2 of the last 21 games and coach Antonio Mohammed might resign before the next game.

Interesting round next weekend with Boca visiting Estudiantes as the main game of the weekend.
This is the complete schedule for the 8th round (game times in GMT-3) :

Friday September 24
19.10-- Vélez Sársfield-Olimpo.
21.20-- Independiente-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

Saturday September 25
14.10-- Argentinos Juniors-Banfield.
16.20-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Boca Juniors.
18.30-- Lanús-All Boys.
20.30-- Colón de Santa Fe-San Lorenzo.

Sunday September 26
14.00-- Arsenal-Newell's Old Boys.
16.00-- Huracán-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba.
18.10-- Tigre-Racing Club.
20.20-- River Plate-Quilmes.

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, September 14, 2010

6th Round


Click here to download the previews for Round 6 of Apertura 2010

Some very high fever has made my life hell the last week, so unfortunately there won't be any long review for the 6th round that was played this weekend.

Just to mention that the most expected, San Lorenzo - Velez, was also the most boring game of the weekend and ended in a 0-0 that suited both teams.
After the game there were some big incidents between fans of both teams that will probably lead to San Lorenzo's stadium, or at least part of it, being suspended for next week's game vs Olimpo.

River deservedly beat Arsenal 1-0 and is now one of the 3 leaders of the league, together with Velez and Estudiantes, who won very easy 2-0 vs Racing. They all have 13 points, but Estudiantes with one game less played.

Boca played better than last week and won 3-1 @ Olimpo, but they are still below mid table and will need to win 2 or 3 more games in a row ASAP if they want to fight for this championship.

This will be the schedule of the 7th round :

Friday September 17
19.10-- Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata-Huracán.
21.20-- Racing Club-Lanús.

Saturday September 18
14.10-- San Lorenzo-Olimpo
16.20-- Godoy Cruz-Tigre
18.30-- Quilmes-Argentinos Juniors
20.30-- Arsenal de Sarandí-Vélez Sarsfield

Sunday September 19
14.00-- All Boys-Estudiantes de La Plata
16.00-- Newell's Old Boys-River Plate
18.10-- Banfield-Independiente
20.20-- Boca Juniors-Colón de Santa Fe

Standings :

Monday, September 6, 2010

Friendly - Argentina - Spain


Probably one the most interesting friendly on Tuesday will be the one played between the World Champion, Spain, and Argentina.
It's considered a big event in Buenos Aires, as argwe are not usually visited by top teams (except of course for our Brazilian neighborhoods) so there's great anticipation for this game that will be played in front of a "Monumental" full of 60.000-70.000 fans.

Both will have their best available lineups, with Spain only missing Barcelona's defender Carles Puyol who is injured.

Argentina's coach Sergio Batista will use an offensive 4-3-3 starting lineup, very similar to the team that played in the last World Cup, but with a more balanced midfield because Javier Mascherano won't be alone with the defensive responsibilities and will be joined by Valencia's Ever Banega, and Inter's Esteban Cambiasso. Also Inter's Javier Zanetti is back in the team after not being called by Maradona for the World Cup squad.

Spain could have a few changes from the usual team : Marchena replacing the injured Puyol, and Arbeloa playing for Sergio Ramos in defense, Cesc Fabregas for Xabi Alonso in midfield and Jesus Navas playing for David Villa in offense.
All replaced players will be on the bench and probably play some minutes in the 2nd half.
Although not confirmed by Del Bosque, there's a chance that both Pepe Reyna and Victor Valdez will play some minutes, but Iker Casillas would start for the world champion as usual.

Probable formations :
Argentina : Romero - Zanetti, Demichelis, Gabriel Milito, Heinze - Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso - Messi, Higuaín, Tevez

Spain : Casillas - Arbeloa, Piqué, Marchena, Capdevilla - Busquets - Jesus Navas, Xabi, Cesc Fabregas, Iniesta - Torres


Referee : Oscar Ruiz (Colombia)

Apertura 2010 5th Round : San Lorenzo !


Click here to download the previews for every game of this 5th round as they were sent to customers.

Special weekend for San Lorenzo fans (yes, myself included of course) as our team won one of the big derbies of the season, a deserved 2-1 win @ Boca that puts them in an even bigger crisis, with only 4 points in 5 games, 8 below the leader Velez and coach Borghi doesn't seem to have a bright future ahead. Some of you probably know that San Lorenzo is the only team with an advantage over Boca in the historical H2H (and it's been like this forever), and now the difference is 8 games in San Lorenzo's favour.

Velez beat River 2-1 in the other special game of this round. A tough game, lot of fighting and little football, but Velez got a deserved win and now they are one of the new leaders of the league.
Next week they visit San Lorenzo, who is one point behind them, in one of the must-see games of the 6th round.
River is down in the second to last place of the averages table and if the season ended now they would be relegating !

Slowly and without anyone noticing, Arsenal won 4 in a row and they are one of the teams at the top of Apertura. Another solid performance in the 1-0 win vs the last champion Argentinos Jrs, who is now one of the bottom teams with only 2 points.
River-Arsenal meet next week, so we'll have 4 of the 5 top teams playing each other.

The 5th team fighting at the top of Apertura is Estudiantes, who got a slightly lucky win 2-1 @ Godoy Cruz, with a 92 minute goal, and now they 2 points behind Velez and Arsenal, but with one less game played (September 29 they play their 4th round game vs Gimnasia). Godoy Cruz lost at home for the first time since October 2009.

One of the undefeated teams is Lanus, who got a good win 2-0 @ Gimnasia, the only team that has no goals scored yet (in 4 games because they have the previously mentioned derby vs Estudiantes postponed) and they are going deep into the averages table. Lanus has an interesting offense with Aguirre, Blanco and Uruguayan Mario Regueiro and if they continue like this they can be championship candidates.

Third lose in a row for Racing (1-2 at home vs Colon) after winning the first two rounds and fans started to lose patience with this team where they have put big hopes. They had many players missing and had to face Colon's goalkeeper, Diego Pozo, having a career night and saving everything the threw at him.
Colon finally ended the curse, won after 10 games and now coach Antonio Mohammed has some fresh air to work this week.

Two big winners this weekend were All Boys and Huracan, who beat Olimpo at home 1-0 and Quilmes 2-1 away respectively. This 4 teams will be fighting to avoid relegation next June, so any points they can take each other are very important.
Of the 3 promoted teams this season Quilmes's future doesn't look good at all as they are the only of this teams with no wins in Apertura, and only 2 points so far.

Independiente showed some improvement and deserved to beat a very poor Newell's but they only got a 1-1 draw and now sit at the bottom of the standings, together with Argentinos and Quilmes, with only 2 points. It will be a very important week for Independiente because they meet Argentinos next Thursday in the 2nd leg of their Copa Sudamericana match (Independiente won 1-0 at home in the 1st leg) and coach Daniel Garnero might resign if they are eliminated.
Newell's looks in pace to end in the middle of the table as they can't improve from very irregular performances from week to week.

Banfield showed some tiredness after beating Velez last Thursday and this allowed Tigre to get a 1-1 draw that could have been very difficult if "El Taladro" was 100% rested. The visitors couldn't take advantage of playing vs 10 Banfield men for the last 25 minutes after striker Ruben Ramirez was sent off.

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 5th round, and if you would like to get them before the games, contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for price details !!!

This will be the schedule of the 6th round (starting times in GMT-3 as usual) with San Lorenzo - Velez as the outstanding game of the weekend :

Friday September 10 :
19.10--Tigre-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata
21.20--Colón de Santa Fe-All Boys

Saturday September 11 :
14.10--Estudiantes de La Plata-Racing Club
16.20--San Lorenzo-Vélez Sársfield
18.30--Lanús-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
20.30--Huracán-Banfield

Sunday September 12 :
14.00--Argentinos Juniors-Newell's Old Boys
16.00--River Plate-Arsenal
18.10--Independiente-Quilmes
20.20--Olimpo-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