Sunday, April 8, 2007

River - Belgrano: The Preview

We will be facing Belgrano today, in what is scheduled to be River's first match since the elimination from the Copa Libertadores 2007. This will also be the first time since the game vs. Lanus that we'll be able to host a Torneo Clausura match in the Monumental (due to the stadium being suspended previously).

Passarella is expected to make several changes for this match: a total of 4, 5, or even 6 may be made. It seems as if he's been reading my blog. Why am I saying this? Simple: we won't be seeing neither Gerlo or Zapata. "El Chapa" Zapata, in fact, was not even included in our coach's list of 20 players that would concentrate for this match. This is yet another sign that they won't be renewing his contract and he will be on his way to becoming a free agent in June (thank god!).
Anyway, back to today's game. River is expected to field the following them, but nothing is confirmed yet:
Juan Pablo Carrizo;
Paulo Ferrari-Eduardo Tuzzio-Federico Lussenhoff-Cristian Villagra;
A. Fernandez-Fernando Belluschi-Oscar Ahumada-Diego Galvan;
Ernesto Farias-Marco Ruben;

A few youngsters, such as Andres Rios, Sebastian Sciorilli, and Matias Abelairas, concentrated with the first team and may end up getting a few minutes today.

Belgrano will arrive at the Monumental with an enthusiastic and inspired squad. Last weekend they beat Velez by 3-0, and they are after another good result. Despite that, they aren't doing too great (they've only won 2 matches this season and accumulate a total of 8 points). In fact, of the total 12 points possible, they only have 1 point this tournament while playing away from home. No game should be considered an easy win for us, though. We already saw what happened with Caracas on Thursday.

Although many may not be aware of this, Belgrano actually does have some really good players. Montoya, their goalkeeper, is one of the best in the Argentine league and will be extremely tough to get through -especially if we continue creating a low amount of chances-. Bolatti is a great defensive midfielder who was wanted by Boca, Independiente, and River in the past. Andres Rios is their foward with most goals this season, so he may be another player to watch for.

The match will be shown live on TyC Sports USA at 2:15 PM Pacific/5:15 PM Eastern.

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