Tuesday, April 1, 2008

America - River: The Preview

River Plate will be facing America in the famous Estadio Azteca tomorrow. The game corresponds to Group 5 of the Copa Libertadores 2008.

Los Millonarios will be missing several players because of injuries: Ariel Ortega, Augusto Fernandez, Mauro Rosales, Diego Buonanotte, Oscar Ahumada, Eduardo Tuzzio, and Gustavo Cabral will all be out due to not being fit. Therefore, Diego Simeone has decided to field the following eleven:

Juan Pablo Carrizo;
Paulo Ferrari-Cristian Nasuti-Nicolas Sanchez-Cristian Villagra;
Leonardo Ponzio-Matias Abelairas;
Alexis Sanchez-Radamel Falcao Garcia-Rodrigo Archubi;
Sebastian Abreu

One of the most interesting points of the match will be to see how well Nicolas Sanchez has progressed from his injury. It is important to note that this will be his first official game since he was injured in October 2007 vs. Defensor Sporting.

As for the midfield, Rodrigo Archubi has won himself a spot for tomorrow thanks to his goal on Sunday (also partially because of all the unavailable midfielders). He will be returning a bit back, making the team have 3 defensive midfielders at times. Sanchez and Falcao, on the other hand, are expected to do the opposite and make a line of three fowards during periods of the game.

Regarding America, the team is arriving in the middle of a huge crisis - one of the largest in the club's history according to many. Think of the 2007 edition of River, but perhaps even worse. The coach and the President of the Mexican side have both agreed that they will resign from their positions at the end of the season, while the squad is also leaving weak promises on the field. Still, this doesn't mean we should underestimate the "Aguilas". We all know what getting big-headed can do (remember our good friends Caracas?), and players like Salvador Cabañas always possess a threat.

The game will be shown live on Fox Sports en Español at 8:00 PM Pacific / 11:00 PM Eastern Time.

As a side note, Universidad Catolica defeated Universidad de San Martin today (1-0 in favor of the Chileans). This leaves the group standings as follows:

1. River Plate: 3-0-1 (6/4, +2); 9 Points
2. CF América: 2-0-2 (6/5, +1); 6 Points
3. Univ. San Martín: 2-0-3 (4/5, -1); 6 Points
4. Universidad Católica: 2-0-3 (4/6, -2); 6 Points

This means that a loss tomorrow will still leave us as one of the two group leaders, while a tie or a win will automatically qualify us to the Round of Sixteen with one match remaining. Vamos River!

1 comment:

Christian said...

Not a bad lineup really. I have little respect for America so we could pull out a win here, though I doubt it'll be the most exciting match ever. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Archubi get a start.