Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Looking At Newell's Old Boys Copa Libertadores Chances

For the moment, Newell's Old Boys are in a position to once again qualify for the 2011 edition of the Copa Libertadores with 52 points earned over 33 matches. But in truth the only certainties are Estudiantes, 70 points over the Clausura and Apertura, and Argentinos Jrs, as Clausura 2010 Champions.

Estudiantes and Vélez Sársfield are the two most likely teams to win the Apertura, but Newell's Libertadores qualification will not change as both teams will most likely qualify regardless of whether or not they win the title. However, should Arsenal, five points behind the joint leaders, manage to make a surge and claim the Apertura title Newell's could well be dropped out of the running for the tournament.

Other teams La Lepra have  to be worried about are Banfield, who are a mere point behind them; Racing Club, a point behind Banfield; and even Lanús, who sit a further three points back. Independiente are six points from the current final qualifying spot, but considering their form in the domestic competition, and the fact that they have made it to the Copa Sudamericana Semifinals (where they will face LDU Quito, the team that knocked out Newell's in the Quarterfinals) means their focus will be else where.

Considering Newell's final five matches:

All Boys Away  
Boca Juniors Home  
San Lorenzo Away  
Olimpo BBHome  
Colón de Santa Fe  Away  

All Boys have been playing well, and having to face them on their home turf is not going to be easy. That said, after the disappointment of being eliminated from the Copa Sudamericana, and last weekend's dramatic loss to Racing, Saturday's match against the team that dropped Bentral to the B could be pivotal.If we win, it could be clear sailing into the Copa Libertadores. A loss, or even a draw could make things very difficult.

Boca, however, have been playing poorly of late, and being that the match will be at home should make it a near guaranteed three points. San Lorenzo and Colón away will be difficult, but even a point from each match should be enough. Olimpo? Do I even have to say?

For a look at the qualification tables, check out: Wikipedia's entry on Argentina's Primera A 2010-11 season.

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