Tuesday, August 28, 2007

River - Estudiantes: The Preview

River Plate will be facing Estudiantes (LP) tomorrow in what will be a very tough and important match. In the historical records, River is clearly leading in wins (84 wins, 31 ties, 31 losses), though the last few compromises have ended in favor of Estudiantes. The last time River kept the three points was in March 2006, when the team was able to win 3-1 with goals by Jonathan Santana, Gonzalo Higuain, and Ernesto Farias. Only one year and a half have passed, yet neither of those three players remain at the club.

With so many changes made by Passarella every round, it is hard to predict the probable line-up. *Updated - This following players are expected to start:

Juan Marcelo Ojeda;
Paulo Ferrari-Cristian Nasuti-Nicolas Sanchez-Eduardo Tuzzio;
Augusto Fernandez-Oscar Ahumada-Fernando Belluschi;
Ariel Ortega;
Marco Ruben-Radamel Falcao Garcia

Several surprising changes will be made. Eduardo Tuzzio and Leonardo Ponzio, who have been playing bad lately, will be replaced by Cristian Nasuti and Augusto Fernandez, respectively. Meanwhile, Marco Ruben will start over Mauro Rosales, one of our best players so far.

Estudiantes, despite still being a great team, is not the same one we saw crowned the champions of the Torneo Aperutra 2006: Mariano Pavone (their top-goalscorer) and Jose Sosa (an extremely talented midfielder) have both been sold. Other great players such as Juan Sebastian Veron, Diego Galvan, and Rodrigo Brana are all injured.

Another loss will cause even more fury for the fans and may result in the speculated departure of Daniel Passarella. Although he is unlikely to leave, several directives wish to refresh the airs and bring in a new head coach. Boca Juniors legend Carlos Bianchi was named as a possibility, but he rapidly rejected any possibilities. Diego Simeone (currently in charge of Estudiantes) is another candidate, though it would be odd to see him leave his current role, in which he is more than comfortable. We must still be careful, though, fore great players such as Pablo Piatti and Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi will still be present. This team may be lacking some of their stars, but they will be anything but easy to beat.

The match will be shown live on TyC Sports USA at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern Time.


loes said...

I'm sorry but has Passarella lost his mind?????
We see it today!

Locoxriver said...

Yeah.. Well, I think it's fine for Ponzio and Tuzzio to go to the bench, since they've been playing bad.

But Rosales?! I understand his logic in a way: he's looking for goals, and Ruben and Zarate would be his best bets. Since el Roly isn't ready to start, Falcao is right behind him in "goleador" style fowards. Still, I would prefer to see Rosales start instead.

- Locoxriver