Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Newell's Set For The Copa Sudamericana

With Newell's Old Boys set to play their first round, first leg Copa Sudamericana match this Thursday, it's time to take a look at who we can expect to see out on the pitch... and, of course, a look at the team they'll face.

Rolando Schiavi will be missing, due to the red card he picked up when Emelec eliminated La Lepra from the Copa Libertadores. With that said, the question is show will replace him? Word is that the two players Sensini is looking at are Alexis Machuca and Nacho Fideleff, with Machuca being being reported as the more likely to make the starting eleven. No other changes are expected from the players who started over the weekend:

Alayes, Machuca or Fideleff, Cichero
Vella, Mateo, Bernardi, Estigarribia
Sperduti, Borghello

It's interesting that Mauricio "El Gordo" Sperdutti has suddenly been moved from the right side of midfield after all the work that was put into searching and signing forwards who have produced so little so far this season. Considering his defensive short comings, up front may just be the best place for him. Had Sensini thought of that before hand he could have asked for a right sided midfielder rather than another striker.

The players expected to be on the bench (along with either Machuca or Fideleff) are Guzmán, Dolci, Scaglia, Domínguez, Velázquez, Rodríguez, Salvatierra y Dening. I really have to wonder about this... the last three players listed are all strikers, and Velázquez can play as either an attacking midfielder or up front as a striker... if the team is playing with two in the starting eleven, is there really a need for that many on the bench? I'm absolutely certain that Dening isn't needed... he's never done anything that I've seen from him.

It also means that there will only be one true defender available off the bench. Sure, Diego Mateo, or Vella could slide back from the midfield if necessary, and Dolci and Scaglia might do in a pinch, but I'd rather have another option myself.

While this game is at home, it will be far from easy as Newell's yet again get to face Estudiantes, current Apertura leaders, and the team opened the season by beating Newell's 1-0 at Estadio Marcelo Bielsa. Word is, however, that they are concentrating on the title chase as Juan Sebastián Verón, Rodrigo Braña, and Gastón Fernández are reported to not be making the trip to Rosario. Apparently they are either overconfident, or simply don't feel the Sudamericana is important enough to field their full strength. Whatever, hopefully Newell's can take full advantage of the situation and go into the second leg with a 2+ goal lead to work with.

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