Sunday, January 29, 2012
Only 10 days left for Clausura 2012, Copa Libertadores has already started, but once again Argentina's football stops tonight to see another edition of the Super Clasico between River and Boca.
The 1st leg was a solid 2-0 win for the Apertura champion, who seems to take this 2nd leg a little bit more relaxed.
Coach Julio Falcioni didn't confirm the starting lineup, but it's almost a certainty that he will mix 3 young players (left defender Sanchez Miño, midfielder Erbes and striker Araujo) with some of the usual regulars.
Once again midfielder Diego Rivero, striker Cvitanich and playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme won't be available.
For River things are a little more serious. They started last Wednesday's game with high confidence, but everything went wrong for them after Boca's first goal.
Rumors said that they would use some reserves, but coach Matias Almeyda decided to use his best team, except of course for playmaker Alejandro "Chori" Dominguez who was sent off in the previous game.
Is this going to be the last Super Clasico of 2012 ? or will River get promoted back to 1st division and they will meet again in the next semester ?
One thing is for sure: this is a game that no one wants to miss, even if it's nothing else but a friendly.
Boca Juniors: Agustín Orión; Franco Sosa, Rolando Schiavi, Juan Insaurralde, Juan Sánchez Miño; Pablo Ledesma, Leandro Somoza or Cristian Erbes, Walter Erviti; Cristian Chavez; Sergio Araujo, Nicolás Blandi.
River Plate: Daniel Vega; Luciano Abecasis, Jonatan Maidana, Ramiro Funes Mori, Juan Manuel Díaz; Carlos Sánchez, Ezequiel Cirigliano Leonardo Ponzio, Martín Aguirre; David Trezeguet or Rogelio Funes Mori, Fernando Cavenaghi.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Despite the important missing players, despite the first 5 minutes where River completely dominated, it was Boca again who took the first Super Clasico of Summer 2012.
It took the Apertura champion only 1 attack position to score the 1st goal and put River under even bigger pressure, something they couldn't handle because only a few minutes later their best player, Alejandro "Chori" Dominguez was sent off on a double yellow after a foul + insult to the referee.
And then the Boca 2011 appeared, making the game a very dull and boring one, easily holding to the 1-0 and waiting for their chance to score the 2nd, which came with 10 minutes left when they were already playing also with 10 men due to a deserved red card on defender Facundo Roncaglia.
Both goals scored by young striker Nicolas Blandi, who should be a third option (or maybe even a 4th one when Viatri is recovered from his torn ACL) this semester behind Cvitanich and newly acquired Santiago Silva, who is only allowed to play in Copa Libertadores this semester due to some FIFA rule (he already played for another two teams this season).
The 2nd leg of this Super Clasico will be played next Sunday @ Mendoza, and it will be Boca this time a bigger favorite with some of their regular offensive players back, against a River without their best player (suspended Alejandro Dominguez).
But you know, a derby is a derby and there's no room to relax.
River learned it the hard way today adding another humiliation to the long list they suffered in the last couple of years.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
7 months ago River suffered their biggest humilliation ever, getting relegated to 2nd division for the first time in over 100 years of history.
When they thought they couldn't go lower, their all time rival Boca easily won the 1st division Apertura 2011 !
There have been discussions about these two derbies (the next one will be played next Sunday) for months. Unbelievable but true, months of talking about a couple of friendlies, and today one of the mayor sports channel (Fox Sports) will have a special coverage starting 6 hours before the game !!!
All pressure is on River as they have to prove that they are in 2nd division but not dead, and what better opportunity than to win a Super Clasico against the 1st division champion ?
They've built up a pretty good team and in the offseason they've added a new star to play with Alejandro "Chori" Dominguez and Fernando Cavenagui in attack, as 1998 World Cup champion David Trezeguet returned to play in Argentina after 15 years in Europe, and to do it in he club he's been a fan since he was a little kid.
His debut couldn't have been better: he played only 20 minutes in a friendly vs Racing, scoring the winning goal of a 2-1.
Boca definitely doesn't want to lose one either, but they will have some problems to put a decent starting lineup, especially offensively because midfielders Rivero, Ervitti, playmaker Riquelme and striker Dario Cvitanich are all out due to injuries/suspensions (yes, we have suspensions in friendlies) and new striker Santiago Silva (added from Fiorentina where he played very little the last 6 months) is still not ready to play for his new team.
River seems to be in better mood and more focused for this very expected Super Clasico, but they can't relax against the current Argentinean champion.
For the first time ever the derby will be played at Chaco, a province all the way up to the north of Argentina and tickets are of course sold out since long ago.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
With Copa Libertadores starting in less than a week and Arsenal debuting in the 1st stage against Peru's Sport Huancayo, it's time to kick off the 2012 paid information service for Argentina Previews that will start this next Sunday !!
As I've been doing since 2010 there will be two different services, which can be combined to get the BEST information there is about Argentinean football :
* Early Information: 2 days before each round of Clausura starts, you get a short preview for every game with missings for each team, a few lines of analysis and a prediction.
This service includes also Copa Libertadores/Sudamericana games that involve an Argentinean team.
* Full Previews: very early in the morning of each league game you get a full preview with even deeper information, analysis, probable lineups and predictions.
This service does not include any Copa Libertadores/Sudamericana game.
Both services include a short analysis of previous games, plus odds comments, bets recommendations and of course, I'm available on MSN/Skype/Email to answer any questions.
Contact me now at email@example.com for fee details, previews samples (you can see any game of the last 2 years) and other questions.
Join ASAP for the whole semester and you will get a special price with a discount !!!
Monday, January 16, 2012
The traditional summer friendlies started and there were no surprises as all teams played exactly as expected: slow and absolutely boring football.
3 draws in 3 matches (Estudiantes 1 - Racing 1, San Lorenzo 0 - Independiente 0 and River 0 - Estudiantes 0) that left very little to analyze, as most of them were using mixed lineups or made many changes in the 2nd half.
Tuesday will have the debut of the last champion, Boca, playing against San Lorenzo but without a doubt the most expected matches are the "SUPERCLASICOS" between Boca and River (25/1 and 29/1) the first ones since River was relegated to 2nd division last July.
In terms of transfers, everything is still pretty much quiet and very few things are worth mentioning:
* Boca will have midfielder Pablo Ledesma back (he was playing at Italy's Catania) and they've added veteran Uruguayan striker Santiago Silva (ex Velez, Fiorentina) but curiously he is only allowed to play Copa Libertadores for them because this season he has already played for two other clubs and FIFA does not allow a third one.
* Belgrano lost their best player as Franco "Mudo" Vazquez was sold to Italy's Palermo and they are looking forward to sign Colombian striker Marco Perez, who did very little for Independiente in Apertura.
* Despite having one of the biggest debts in Argentinean football, Independiente is looking forward to add another striker and ex Estudiantes attacker Ernesto "Tecla" Farias could be the man if he manages to be released from Brazil's Cruzeiro, where he played last year.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Hello from the 38 degrees Buenos Aires ! (picture above is Mar del Plata, about 400 km from here)
I definitely can't remember a more quiet Summer market.
Teams are only allowed to add up to 2 new players, but with the very little available in the market that is worth and not much money around as usual, so there has been very little news worth mentioning.
Some of them:
* Not many new players...but a lot of coaches changes !
The most important one is probably veteran Alfio Basile (ex Argentina NT in 2 periods, Boca and many many others) returning to his "1st love", Racing. Lots of expectations that he will be the one to use the potential of this team.
Another coach who returned to his beloved club is Gerardo Martino (recently coached Paraguay NT in the 2010 World Cup), joining Newell's, the team where he played almost his whole career.
Also Jorge Da Silva jumped from Godoy Cruz (they hired 1986 World Cup Champion Nery Pumpido) to Banfield,
* One of the few teams that already has 2 new players is Velez, who lost veteran striker Guillermo Franco (went to Mexico's Pachuca) but added playmaker Federico Insua (was playing in Turkey) and striker Mauro Obolo, who comes from a couple of successful seasons playing for Arsenal.
* Experienced Uruguayan striker Carlos Bueno (scored 21 goals for Mexico's Queretaro in 2011) joined San Lorenzo, who hopes to have a good semester that makes them avoid the promotion playoffs. Also left defender German Voboril returned from his loan to Godoy Cruz, who tried to keep him until the last minute before he decided to play for San Lorenzo again.
* Playmaker Martin Morel (ex Tigre, good but very irregular player) joined All Boys and Leandro Gracian (ex Velez, Boca, also a very irregular playmaker) will play for Colon.
* The Apertura champion Boca is still looking for a scorer. They wanted Obolo but he already signed for Velez, so now they are pointing at Godoy Cruz's Ruben Ramirez and Fiorentina's Santiago Silva.
The usual mini Summer friendly tournaments start tonight with Racing and Estudiantes playing in the seaside city Mar del Plata.
This will be the full schedule (many other informal friendlies are usually played), including the extremely expected 2 meetings between Apertura champion Boca and (now 2nd division) River Plate:
Copa Ciudad Mar del Plata Elaion YPF 2012 (Estadio José M. Minella, Mar del Plata)
Tuesday January 10
22.10-- Racing Club-Estudiantes de La Plata
Saturday January 14
22.10-- River Plate-Estudiantes de La Plata
Jueves 19 de enero
22.10-- River Plate-Racing Club
Copa de Oro Elaion YPF 2012 (Estadio José M. Minella, Mar del Plata)
Thursday January 12
22.10-- San Lorenzo-Independiente
Tuesday January 17
22.10-- Boca Juniors-San Lorenzo
Saturday January 21
22.10-- Boca Juniors-Independiente
Copa Provincia de Buenos Aires Elaion YPF 2012 (Estadio José M. Minella, Mar del Plata)
Saturday January 28
22.10-- Independiente-Racing Club
Copa Ciudad de Mendoza Elaion YPF 2012 (Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza)
Friday January 20
22.10-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-San Martín de San Juan
Monday January 23
22.10-- San Lorenzo-San Martín de San Juan
Thursday January 26
22.10-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-San Lorenzo
Copa Luis B. Nofal (in Estadio Centenario, de Resistencia, Chaco; and in Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, de Mendoza)
Wednesday January 25
22.10-- Boca Juniors-River Plate (Chaco)
Sunday January 29
22.10-- Boca Juniors-River Plate (Mendoza)