Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apertura 2010 15th Round : Two above, four to go

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 15th 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 !!

Two points is the difference that Estudiantes took over Velez.
The leader won a very easy game at home 2-0 vs Huracan on Saturday, and put some pressure on Velez who could only get a draw 0-0 @ Gimnasia on Sunday and now watches Estudiantes from behind with four games left.

The 15th round also left another solid performance by the surprising All Boys, who beat Newell's 2-0 and keeps climbing in the Averages table.
Except for Tigre, who lost 2-0 @ Lanus (new coach Gabriel Schurrer debuted for them) and the already mentioned Huracan, all the other teams fighting to get out of the promotion/relegation zone curiously were only able to draw : Olimpo 1-1 at home vs Argentinos Juniors, Quilmes 1-1 @ Racing, River 0-0 in a VERY boring derby @ San Lorenzo, and the scoreless draw of Gimnasia at home vs the until then leader Velez.

Boca showed they are alive by getting a deserved 2-1 win vs Arsenal, and the best thing for them is that a young player, Sergio Araujo, made his debut and not only scored a goal but he also showed some interesting skills. Look forward to see him playing in Europe sooner than later.

One of the few highlights of the weekend was Godoy Cruz win 2-1 vs Banfield. With this 3 points, the Mendoza team is only one step away from playing their first international tournament (Copa Libertadores 2011) and they definitely deserve it because they've been one of the best teams this year and one of the few that always tried to play offensive football and is enjoyable to watch.

The next round will be spread over 5 days (!) because of a music show at Veles stadium that forces them to play on Tuesday.

This will be the schedule of the 16th round :

Friday November 26
19.10--Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata-Godoy Cruz
21.15--Arsenal-San Lorenzo

Saturday November 27
17.10--Quilmes-All Boys
20.10--Banfield-Racing Club

Sunday November 28
17.00--Independiente-Estudiantes de La Plata
19.10--River Plate-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
21.15--Newell's Old Boys-Boca Juniors

Monday November 29
21.15--Argentinos Juniors-Colón de Santa Fe

Tuesday November 30
19.10--Vélez Sarsfield-Tigre

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)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Apertura 2010 14th Round : ...and then there were two !

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 14th 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 !!

With Estudiantes defeat last Saturday @ Tigre, and Velez win 1-0 vs Lanus on Sunday, Apertura 2010 now has two leaders.
Behind them only Arsenal, who drew 0-0 at home vs All Boys has a slim chance of fighting for the championship, because the 3rd place is a tie between Newell's (lost 0-2 at home vs Racing) and Colon (2-1 win @ Huracan) but the 8 points that separate them from the two leaders seems too big.
Only 5 rounds left so a very tight finish can be expected but not only among the championship candidates, but also in Copa Libertadores qualification where Newell's, Banfield and Racing, separated only by 2 points will compete for the last spot.

The world famous Super Clasico was played in this round, and River took a deserved 1-0 win with a header from defender Jonathan Maidana, who started his career not long ago playing for Boca. It's not a coincidence that both have been struggling for most of the last two years and they showed this on the field, playing an awful game. Boca's coach Claudio Borghi has finally resigned and the rumors about his replacemente have started.

No big games in the upcoming 15th round as both leaders will play bad teams, and a derby between the struggling San Lorenzo and River.
This will be the schedule (times in GMT-3) :

Friday November 19
20.10-- Godoy Cruz-Banfield

Saturday November 20
17.10-- All Boys-Newell´s Old Boys

Sunday November 21
17.00-- San Lorenzo-River Plate
19.10-- Boca Juniors-Arsenal de Sarandí
19.10-- Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata-Vélez Sarsfield
21.15-- Racing Club-Quilmes A.C.

Monday November 22
17.00-- Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Argentinos Juniors
19.10-- Colón-Independiente
21.15-- Lanús-Tigre

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, November 16, 2010

2nd Update : Argentina - Brazil !

Another super offensive lineup for Argentina, with one doubt on defense : Martin Demichelis, who has a minor injury, or Nicolas Pareja.
A double defensive midfield in Banega and Mascherano, Pastore in a playmaking role and 3 strikers, Messi, Higuan and Di Maria.

So, the probable 4-3-3 formation would be :

Romero - Zanetti, Pareja or Demichelis, Burdisso, Heinze - Banega, Mascherano, Pastore - Messi, Higuaín, Di María

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update : Argentina - Brazil !

Diego Milito, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero got minor injuries in the weekend games and they won't be with the team.

No clue yet about a possible starting lineup because the first training session will be today.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Argentina - Brazil !

Probably not many know that this next Wednesday one of the big international derbies will be played : Argentina and Brazil meet at Qatar.

It might be another of this friendlies that no one cares about, but it's always interesting to see this two football giants meet.

Still no clues about starting lineups as most players are still playing the weekend round with their teams, but the list of players called by coach Sergio Batista shows again the best of the best for Argentina, except for some injured like Barcelona's Gabriel Milito and Inter's Walter Samuel and Esteban Cambiasso.

Goalkeepers : Andújar, Mariano (Catania – Italia), Romero, Sergio (AZ Alkmaar – Holanda)

Defenders :
Zanetti, Javier (Internazionale – Italia), Burdisso, Nicolás (Roma – Italia), Zabaleta, Pablo (Manchester City – Inglaterra), Demichelis, Martín (Bayern Munich - Alemania)
Heinze, Gabriel (Olimpique – Marsella) –Francia),
Pareja, Nicolás (Spartak Moscú)

Midfielders :
Di María, Ángel (Real Madrid – España), Sosa, José (Nápoli – Italia), Mascherano, Javier (Barcelona – España), Banega, Ever (Valencia – España), Bolatti, Mario (Fiorentina – Italia), Pastore, Javier (Palermo – Italia), D’Alessandro, Andrés (Internazionale – Brasil), Biglia, Lucas (Anderlecht – Bélgica)

Strikers : Higuaín, Gonzalo (Real Madrid – España), Agüero, Sergio (Atlético Madrid – España), Messi, Lionel (Barcelona – España), Milito, Diego (Internazionale – Italia), Lavezzi, Ezequiel (Nápoli – Italia), Tevez, Carlos (Manchester City- Inglatera), Gaitán, Nicolás (Benfica – Portugal)

Without the injured Alexander Pato (AC Milan), this is Brazil's list :

Goalkeepers : Víctor (Gremio-Brasil), Jeferson (Botafogo-Brasil) y Neto (Atlético Paranaense-Brasil).

Defenders : Daniel Alves (Barcelona-España), Rafael (Manchester United-Inglaterra), Adriano Correa (Barcelona-España) y André Santos (Fenerbahçe-Turquía), Thiago Silva (Milán-Italia), David Luiz (Benfica-Portugal), Alex Costa (Chelsea-Inglaterra) y Réver (Atlético Mineiro-Brasil).

Midfielders : Lucas (Liverpool-Inglaterra), Ramires (Chelsea-Inglaterra), Sandro (Tottenham-Inglaterra) y Jucilei (Corinthians-Brasil), Douglas (Gremio-Brasil), Philippe Coutinho (Inter de Milán-Italia), Ronaldinho Gaúcho (Milán-Italia) y Elías (Corinthians-Brasil).

Strikers : Robinho (Milán-Italia), André (Dínamo de Kiev-Ucrania) y Neymar (Santos-Brasil).

Monday, November 8, 2010

River coach ... out !

Only 1 win in the last 10 games and none in the last 7 was enough for the club board, and River's coach Angel Cappa is out right before next week's "Super Clasico".

Why right before the derby vs Boca ?
Well, the excuse is that they don't want their archi-rival to be "responsible" of firing the coach.
Kind of crazy idea, but it's another example of how big are rivalries here.

The main candidate to replace him is Americo Gallego, a 1978 World Cup champion who played for River in the 80's and successfully coached them in the 90's and earlier this decade when he won a couple of championships before moving to Independiente where he won a championship as well in 2002 and also won one with Newell's in 2004.
He is experienced and respected, without a doubt it would be the best choice for them right now but of course, it will always depend on the players to improve and end with this awful situation that put them really close to relegation zone.

Apertura 2010 13th Round : Estudiantes or Velez

Click here to download the previews for every game of this 13th 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 gap between the two best teams of the season, Estudiantes and Velez, and the rest got higher this weekend after this two won while Arsenal, Newell's and Godoy Cruz were only able to draw.

With 6 rounds left it looks like one of this two will win the championship.

The leader Estudiantes didn't have a good first half and Lanus looked pretty much in control, but it took only a few minutes for the best team of Apertura to score twice and finish their rivals. Great performances by Gaston Fernandez and Enzo Perez for a team that has conceded only 4 goals in 13 rounds.

That result put big pressure on Velez who played @ Banfield two days later, but the team from Buenos Aires didn't seem to feel it and took a 3-2 win. Five goals and many chances for both made this the best game of the round by far.

If that one was the best, we can say that the worst was the 1-1 derby between San Lorenzo and Independiente, who played with many reserves and rested regulars for the 2nd leg of Copa Sudamericana Quarterfinals when they will play at home (actually, Racing stadium because their stadium is suspended) against Colombian Deportes Tolima (1st leg was 2-2).
Another poor result for San Lorenzo who won only 1 of the last 6, and not a good draw either for Independiente who is in the last places of Apertura.

Two of the teams below Estudiantes and Velez, Godoy Cruz and Newell's, met @ Mendoza and the game ended with the only scoreless draw of the round, a result that wasn't fair at all because the home team was much better and made Newell's (played with reserves also because of Copa Sudamericana Quarterfinals) goalkeeper the man of the match.

Also Arsenal with their 2-2 @ Racing lost some of their chances to fight for the championship. They were leading twice, 0-1 and 1-2, but couldn't hold to it and Racing ended getting a draw that was overall fair.

Some very important games for the Averages table were played, as Olimpo took Huracan back down to reality after the derby win vs San Lorenzo and destroyed them with a very clear 4-0.
Gimnasia-Quilmes played an awful game, but the home team won 1-0 and Quilmes, still win less in Apertura keeps going down and down. After the game some angry "barra brava" fans attacked the players cars, and the crisis in the club keeps growing.

Meaningless but good win for Colon 1-0 over Tigre, who also starts having problems in the Averages table and I left the two biggest teams for the end...Boca and River, who lost again, 0-2 at home vs Argentinos Jrs and 1-0 away vs All Boys respectively, and they will meet next week in another edition of the world wide known "Super Clasico" of Argentinean football.

They are both arriving to this game in their worst shape possible and having awful seasons.
The highest pressure will be on River, who plays at home, couldn't win in the last 7 games and is deep in the averages table for the first time in history.
The game might not be a good one, but for neutral spectators like me it will sure be fun watching them struggle and suffer as this is the most important game of the semester for both of them.
It will be played on Tuesday because River's stadium had a couple of rock shows scheduled for this week.

The schedule for round 14 is the following :

Friday November 12
19.10--Huracán-Colón de Santa Fe
21.20--Banfield-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata

Saturday November 13
16.10--Arsenal de Sarandí-All Boys
18.20--Vélez Sársfield-Lanús
20.30--Tigre-Estudiantes de La Plata

Sunday November 14
14.00--Argentinos Juniors-San Lorenzo
16.00--Quilmes-Godoy Cruz
18.10--Independiente-Olimpo de Bahía BLanca
20.20--Newell's Old Boys-Racing Club

Tuesday November 16
19.00--River Plate-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)