Friday, November 5, 2010

Thinking One Match Ahead

Planning for the Copa Sudamericana Quarterfinal second leg Newell's Old Boys coach Roberto Sensini has announced a makeshift team to face Godoy Cruz in tomorrow's Apertura match in Mendoza. The only regulars set to play are goalkeeper Sebastián Peratta, defender Gabriel Cichero (returning from injury,) and midfielder Luciano Vella.

Here's the expected lineup:

Sebastián Peratta
Alexis Machuca, Cristian Lema, Gabriel Cichero
Luciano Vella, Franco Dolci, Carlos Vaca, Cristian Díaz
Leandro Velázquez
Luis Rodríguez, Sebastián Taborda

Of the others who will play Machuca and Dolci are the two who I have confidence in. The rest? Lema will be making his debut. Vaca made his debut during the Clausura 2009, playing two games, and hasn't been seen sense. Cristian Diaz has only appeared in four matches in his career. Velázquez hasn't gotten enough playing time to really judge. Rodriguez has a pair of goals in the Apertura, but those were wide open chances that were so easy to score on he almost would have had to have been dead to miss them. Taborda... well, I've given him the nickname The Great Tree Stump for a reason. Let's hope he can make me eat those words.

Yes, this is a grand experiment, one that hopefully will be a pleasant surprise and Newell's will walk away from the match with at least a point. I'll be happy with any kind of respectable result that does not cause the younger players in this lineup any loss in confidence.

Also traveling with the team will be Nahuel Guzmán, Ignacio Fideleff, Mauricio Scaglia, Marcelo Estigarribia, Martín Tonso (reserve team playmaker, just traveling for the experience), Mauro Formica, Mauricio Sperdutti, Daniel Salvatierra, and Emanuel Dening. As there is only room on the substitutes bench for seven players, and Tonso not expected to be anywhere near the pitch, my guess is that Dening will be the other player left behind. But, hey, if it were up to me both Scaglia and Salvatierra would be in the starting eleven. We'll see what Sensini does tomorrow...

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