This post was supposed to go up in the early hours of this morning, but when your modem stops talking to your computer at 2am, there’s not an awful lot you can do, so now with about three hours to go before the second leg of the all-Argentine Copa Sudamericana semi-final, here are the starting elevens. The big team news is that Daniel Passarella has been hamstrung because River have failed to negotiate the release of Radamel Falcao García for the match.
The Colombian has been called up for the next round of World Cup qualifiers by his country, and River’s request that he join up with his countrymen later on so that he can play this match has been refused by the Colombian federation. Passarella has at least seen sense after the first leg and relegated Marco Ruben to the bench, but with Falcao River’s front pairing of Buonanotte and Ríos, whilst not lacking potential for goals and entertainment, will be a little short on experience.
Arsenal, by contrast, can settle with a side very similar to the one which enjoyed the better of a dull first leg last week, the key difference being the return of former River number 5 Andrés San Martín to the starting eleven. A win in the Monumental, or a score draw, would send Arsenal through after the first leg was drawn 0-0. A repeat of that scoreline would see the tie go to penalties (no extra half-hour in South America), whilst a River win would see them advance.
River Plate (managed by Daniel Passarella):
Ferrari —- Nasuti —- Tuzzio —- Ponzio
Belluschi —- Ahumada —- Lima
Buonanotte —- Ríos
Arsenal de Sarandí (managed by Gustavo Alfaro):
Gandolfi —- Mosquera —- Matellán —- Díaz
Carrera —- Castiglione —- San Martín —- Yacuzzi
Biagini —- Calderón