Juan Pablo Carrizo;
Leonardo Ponzio-Danilo Gerlo-Federico Lusenhoff-Cristian Villagra;
Belluschi/Burzac-Nicolas Domingo-Rene Lima-Matias Abelairas;
Ariel Ortega-Marco Ruben;
1) Ponzio, Gerlo, Lussenhoff, and Villagra. What do I think when I hear those names? I think of literally our four worst players this season. Surprisingly enough, they will be making up our last line on the field tomorrow. Either way, it's not like our defense has been playing well lately, so I wouldn't necessarily say we are losing too much with these changes. Still, if Argentinos Juniors put out an offensive display, it shouldn't be too complicated for them to score.
2) The team will be playing without a playmaker, returning to the dreadful 4-4-2 formation. The last time we tried playing without a #10, we saw a horrible performance vs. Botafogo in the first leg of the Round of Sixteen of the Copa Sudamericana. Was it really necessary to put Rene Lima over Diego Buonanotte, who was fantastic on Sunday?
3) The two fowards don't seem to score much. Ariel Ortega often fails to leave a good image when playing as a foward, contrary to his game in the midfield. Marco Ruben, meanwhile, has been our striker with the worst goals per game ratio this season. Why couldn't we make room for Rios or Zarate, moving "el Burrito" back to his original position?
4) Argentinos Juniors are a great team at home, having beaten tough rivals such as Boca, Colon, and Newell's Old Boys there. Last week, in fact, they won 4-0 in their stadium! Add that to the fact that they always give River a hard time, and it makes you start wondering why are making so many unnecessary changes. A few are understandable, but I contiue to ask: why not play with a 4-3-1-2, with Ortega or Buonanotte as playmakers? Besides, Independiente won 3-0 over Gimnasia (JJ) today. Can we really afford to lose any more points?
A positive point is that Mauro Rosales has returned from his injury and will be on the bench. After his request to gain some minutes before the Superclasico, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him come in for the second half.
The match will be shown live on TyC Sports USA at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern Time.