Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Universidad Catolica - River: The Preview

River Plate will be experiencing a tough away match in Santiago, Chile tomorrow. The encounter will be vs. Universidad Catolica, who currently lie in second place in the Chilean Torneo Apertura.

Diego Simeone has once again decided to return to the 4-3-1-2, which resulted effective vs. San Lorenzo. The eleven players that will make up this formation will be:

Juan Pablo Carrizo;
Paulo Ferrari-Gustavo Cabral-Eduardo Tuzzio-Cristian Villagra;
Augusto Fernandez-Leonardo Ponzio-Matias Abelairas;
Ariel Ortega;
Alexis Sanchez-Sebastian Abreu;

The line-up shown above shows little changes from Sunday's game, though the differences may end up being larger. Ferrari will be replacing Gerlo and Ponzio will be coming in for Ahumada, both adding offensive flare to the squad. Augusto Fernandez, meanwhile, will be substituting Radamel Falcao Garcia (suspended), though Alexis Sanchez will technically be the one taking the Colombian's position.

On paper, foward Hector Tapia is the biggest threat to a possible clean sheet. He is Catolica's top goalscorer this season, and has an impressive track record in previous clubs such as Colo Colo, Palestino, and several other clubs. In my opinion, though, the Chilean's best player seems to be Dario Bottinelli. The Argentine is currently on loan from San Lorenzo -where he was unsuccessful- and has scored goals in both the Chilean league and the Copa Libertadores this semester.

A victory tomorrow will be extremely important, for whoever wins will find the top spot in Group 5. The match will be televised live on Fox Sports en Espanol at 5:00 PM Pacific / 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

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