Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walking The Tightrope Between League And Copa

As last weeks draw against Estudiantes took Newell's Old Boys deeper into the Copa Sudamericana coach Roberto Sensini has acknowledged the need to start resting players for the games to come. With that in mind has put out the following anticipated line up for Friday's league match up against Vélez Sarsfield:

Alayes, Schiavi, Cichero
Vella, Bernardi, Mateo, Estigarribia
Sperduti, Borghello

Looking it over, I have to wonder, if we're resting players, why are both Rolando Schiavi and Diego Mateo not getting a rest? Both are over thirty, with Schiavi fast approaching forty, and Mateo, God bless him, has had injury problems over the last few seasons. OK, so maybe Vélez are the team that warrants putting your best team out there. But does that mean they'll be rested later on?

Speaking of the Copa, the next round for Newell's starts... wait for it... next week when Bolivian club San José comes to Argentina. I don't claim to have much knowledge of the Bolivian league, but looking at their Clausura 2010 standings (yes, I said Clausura... I know Argentina is currently playing their Apertura 2010... that's just the way it is) San José are sitting exactly mid-table with 15 points from 11 matches. That's five points from the top, with an equal clearance from the bottom. That should, in theory, make them an easy opponent for Newell's, no?

Let's hope they are an easy opponent, because, while the team has done well so far  nothing has come easy at all. Continuing to try and balance between the Apertura and the Copa? Things can get a lot harder very quickly if we don't have an easy game now and again.

As an interesting side note, both Vélez and  San José have similar team crests, and similar kits (er, that's uniforms for any American's reading this.) I have to hope that Newell's players don't get confused during the match against the Bolivians after having just played the team from Buenos Aires... I can see some, towards the end of an exhausting match, starting to have flash backs to the previous contest and things going awry. Sure, it's not all that likely to happen, just my imagination, right?

Well, here's a couple of pictures I dug up from the web, one from each team's past. I'd expect anyone who has followed either league for any amount of time to be able to pick out which is which. Can you?

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