05/16/2021 at 5:15 PM CEST
The Superclásico, the most important game in Argentine football, will be played tonight at 10:30 p.m. in La Bombonera. No other game generates the impact that the Argentine classic in the world when the ball starts to roll. But this passionate duel between the two largest teams in the country that always settles the rivalry will have an additional seasoning marked by the dramatic times of the COVID 19 pandemic: last night 15 River Plate players tested positive and the Millionaire team had to turn to the youth players to complete the squad list.
The virus altered Marcelo Gallardo’s plans and planned strategy to face the classic rival, several of them headlines. And he lost the four main archers. The players who tested positive are: Rafael Santos Borré; Nicolás De La Cruz; Robert Rojas; Enrique Bologna; German Lux; Franco Patroli; Federico Girotti; Bruno Zuculini; Tomás Castro Ponce; Franco Armani; Matias Suárez; Benjamin Rollheiser; Agustín Palaveccino; Santiago Simon.
The news of the contagions in the River Plate concentration was known the night before the quarterfinal match of the Professional League Cup. And it considerably reduced the available players from the list of summoned by the technical director. The rumor even circulated that he could also be infected, although the club denied it.
Gallardo had to raise five youth players to the professional squad. The players named for the substitute bench are: Agustín Gómez (goalkeeper); Tomás Lecanda (central defender); Felipe Peña (central midfielder); Tomás Galván (attacking midfielder); Damian Lucero (front).
The greatest difficulty for the coach in the face of the wave of infections is that the four goalkeepers are infected, so he had to turn to the young Leonardo Diaz, who would start against Boca.
Of the 15 infected players, only three had secured the starting position: Chilean defender Paulo Díaz; the Uruguayan De La Cruz in the midfield; and the attacker Santos Borré.
Faced with this difficulty, the probable eleven of River to face Boca will be: Armani; Milton Casco, Jonathan Maidana, Héctor Martinez, Fabricio Angeleri; Agustín Palavecino, Enzo Peréz, Leo Ponzio, Paradela; Matias Suarez and Julián Alvarez.
Marcelo Gallardo arrives with an impressive record against the classic rival: he won five heads-up crosses against Boca. The streak began in the 2014 South American Cup and then extended to the 2015 Libertadores round of 16, the 2018 Super Cup with a single match in Mendoza, the 2018 Libertadores final at the Santiago Bernabéu Madrid and the 2019 Libertadores semis.
On the side of Boca Juniors, a victory would give a boost to the cycle of Miguel Russo, who is still looked at from the corner of his eye due to the elimination against Santos in the Copa Libertadores last year; although Diego Armando Maradona won the last local tournament.
The coach consolidated a youth midfield with Medina, Varela and Almendra. To them he added the Colombian Cardona, one of his favorites with good games against River. The player returns from a month of inactivated by Covid, and the cardiac complications derived from the virus. The player was not the last classic due to injury and could be an option in the midfield or up front. You will surely have possibilities entering from the bank.
The eleven of the xeineize team would form with: Agustín Rossi; Nicolás Capaldo, Carlos Izquierdoz, Marcos Rojo, Frank Fabra; Cristian Medina, Alan Varela, Agustín Almendra; Cristian Pavón, Carlos Tevez, Sebastián Villa.
Boca plays a lot in the classic, so vice president Juan Roman Riquelme had a talk with the squad and told them: “It is up to you to give joy to the people. The classics are won by those who try. On Monday more than half the country has to be happy”.