The news shot on the morning of Saturday changed the whole perspective of Boca-River this Sunday, which will define one of the semifinalists of the League Cup in the Bombonera: ten players from Marcelo Gallardo’s team presented symptoms of Covid and remained excluded from the superclassic. An unexpected blow and with little time to react.
Thus, the coach and his coaching staff work on the available alternatives, hoping that before the game there will be no new positive cases: this week, River was in Barranquilla, so the entire squad shared two full days … now, the ten confirmed cases are Paulo Díaz, Federico Girotti, Enrique Bologna, Germán Lux, Robert Rojas, Nicolás De La Cruz, Rafael Borré, Bruno Zuculini, Tomás Castro Ponce and Franco Petroli. Thus, once the concentration in a Buenos Aires hotel where they were going to spend the night was suspended, the doubt grows: how will the visiting team form in the Bombonera?
The outbreak that shook River in the preview of the superclassic
Of the usual headlines Diaz, Rojas, De la Cruz and Borré will not be there. Thus, Gallardo’s ability to play with three central markers is cut, so the pair will be made up of Jonatan Maidana and David Martínez. On the right side, the doubt is that Gonzalo Montiel had a muscle injury last Sunday and is not in optimal condition. Will he play or will the coach have to choose between Álex Vigo and Milton Casco? On the left, Fabrizio Angileri is a fixture.
In the midfield, the presence of Enzo Pérez, auente in the last two games due to a gastrointestinal picture, is the best news Gallardo could have received this week. He could be joined by an old caudillo: Leonardo Ponzio, at 39, would be a starter against Boca. Agustín Palavecino -who scored the tying goal in the last superclassic- has a guaranteed place, while Jorge Carrascal (more offensive) or José Paradela could appear on the left wing, who showed a good level against Aldosivi a week ago and scored a goal.
Up front, the minutes he added Matias Suarez since he recovered from the injury they have put him as the great attack card in the Bombonera. Still lacking in rhythm, as was warned against Junior on Wednesday, He is the most unbalanced player on the squad. It will be the holder. His partner will be Julián Álvarez. What River will not have is a typical central striker in the face of the forced absences of Borré and Girotti.
Other possibilities? Among the names available in attack are also Lucas Beltrán (he was already a starter against Boca) and Agustín Fontana, who still did not have a game in which he stood out.
Thus, River will go to La Bombonera with ten confirmed casualties, imploring that another not be added in the tests that the campus will do on Sunday morning. In any case there will already be a curiosity: the substitute goalkeeper will be Alan Leonardo Díaz, who is 21 years old and has not yet had the opportunity to add minutes in Reserve. It is that Enrique Bologna, Germán Lux and Franco Petroli are parts of the casualties. Don’t let Armani catch a cold, River fans joke on social media …