Two of the major challengers for the Apertura title have a few last-minute niggles to sort out after Thursday’s events. First, Estudiantes, who looked for a while on Thursday as if they weren’t going to be able to play Juan Sebastián Verón in their opening match of the season. And then Boca, who have a mini injury crisis of sorts.
Verón appeared on Thursday afternoon’s edition of TyC’s Estudio Fútbol to express his anger at the handling of his transfer from Chelsea to Estudiantes, where he’s been on loan for the last twelve months. The problem seemed to reside with the English FA, who hadn’t sent the relevant papers to their Argentine equivalents, and Verón blamed the beauracracy, stating that ‘it’s my transfer, not Chelsea’s,’ and going on to say that he had been ‘hurt’ by the way in which things were panning out. But a meeting with Estudiantes president Eduardo Abadie eventually saw things sorted, and the relevant documentation should be with the La Plata club in time for Verón’s inclusion against Banfield on Friday.
No such luck for Boca Juniors, who will be forced to pick from a depleted squad in their first match against Rosario Central. Jonathan Maidana, not previously a first-choice player but one who’s impressed in pre-season and was expected to start at centre-back this weekend, has a sore rib following Thursday morning’s training session, and will need a scan to assess the extent of the damage. At the very least though, he’s out for the first match.
Of more worry is full-back Juan Kropoviesa’s sprained ligament, which could prove far more serious, and deprive Boca of a player who was an important part of their side for the league last season. Most likely, Claudio Morel Rodríguez will replace him at left-back, with Matías Silvestre and Matías Cahais as the centre-back pairing. Hardly a shabby lineup, but not what they’ve been training for, so it won’t be a welcome reshuffle for anyone…