Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Caracas - River: The Preview

We will be facing Caracas of Venezuela on Thursday, April 05, 2007. The game will be played in Cucuta, Colombia, due to Caracas' home stadium not being approved by FIFA/CONMEBOL to be used for the Copa Libertadores. The stadium only has seating available for 12,000 people, eight thousand less than the CONMEBOL minimum. Therefore, the match will be played on Colombian ground.

River Plate is expected to field the following team tomorrow:

Juan Pablo Carrizo;
Paulo Ferrari-Danilo Gerlo-Nelson Rivas-Cristian Villagra;
A. Fernández-Leonardo Ponzio-Fernando Belluschi-Zapata;
Mauro Rosales-Ernesto Farías

I think this is an accessible game. They were able to beat LDU by luck, and lost to Colo Colo twice (0-4 in one opportunity). Still, I don't guarantee anything. The last time we faced each other they beat us 1-0, and that was in the Monumental. I wasn't impressed by what I saw, though. They didn't have a really good game, and I think they won more because River played bad and was unlucky at times (2 shots on post), than because they played good and deserved to win. Caracas have four starters suspended, adding another reason to why I will go crazy if "Los Millonarios" don't take the three points. But who knows, I didn't expect River to lose vs. Caracas in the Monumental or vs. Gimnasia (JJ): that could happen again.

If River loses this match, we will be out. A tie won't automatically disqualify us, since there would be one more game to be played, but it wouldn't be a good result. With a tie we would be third, one point away from Caracas and 3 from Colo Colo. Although it doesn't seem to be a horrible position, it isn't good, especially considering that we must face the tough Colo Colo in our last match. They are coming from a 3 game winning streak, two of which ended 4-0 in their favor.

We must get the 3 points on Thursday. If we can win by a big difference, better. Why am I saying this? Because if we win by several goals, we can tie vs. Colo Colo on the last match, and not have to worry about the result of LDU-Caracas. Even if Caracas wins, they would be able to catch up, but not on goal difference (unless they get a tremendous result in Quito.. highly unlikely). The bad thing about a win tomorrow would be that LDU will be out, meaning that they will most likely put subs vs. Caracas on the last match. Still, we must go out to get the three points.

The match will NOT be shown live. A tape delay will be shown on Fox Sports en Espanol at 9:30 PM Pacific/12:30 AM Eastern time.

Vamos River.. Hay que ganar, somos el Mas Grande. Que vuelva el buen juego, que vuelvan las goleadas.. que vuelva..... River.

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