El Clásico de Avella… oh.

The Avellaneda derby between Independiente and Racing won’t be taking place in Avellaneda this time round, on Saturday. In part that’s because Independiente are the home side and, well, you can’t very well play the derby at home when you’re renting out your rivals’ stadium for the season, can you? So instead, Diablos Rojos and Racinguistas will have to up sticks and make their ways to Liniers, where Vélez Sársfield’s stadium will be hosting the match. And, Independiente president Julio Comparada insists, it’s entirely down to security. Read on for the expected lineups…

Someone might want to have a word with him. In choosing Vélez’s ground, Comparada’s not only gone against the (security-related) request of CoProSeDe to use either the Estadio Municipal de La Plata or Lanús’s ground, but has actually decided to have one of the country’s fiercest rivalries staged in the stadium where River’s barra fought a running battle in view of the rest of the crowd back in March. The José Amalfitani is undeniably one of the country’s finest stadia, but those scenes make Comparada’s excuses difficult to take without a pinch – well, a handful – of salt. In addition to reminders of that event, there’s also the small matter of cost: in the Province of Buenos Aires, where both Avellaneda clubs are based and where Lanús and the Estadio Municipal also are, each member of security personnel would cost AR$45 for he day. In Capital Federal, which includes Liniers and Vélez’s ground, it’s exactly double that.

Security is always heavily affected by ticketing issues as well, and Comparada’s choice of ground is going to cause some headaches there as well. Due to the security arrangements necessary for such a big derby at a ground both sets of rival fans are going to have to travel across the city to reach, there will be just 7,000 populares available to Independiente fans wanting to stand behind the goal, and just 3,000 for Racing. Independiente had requested 5,000 for their rivals, but the Capital security authorities wouldn’t allow that many. Due to this, prices for the platea (the stand along the side of the pitch) have been lowered to AR$15 for Independiente members and AR$40 for non-members (allowing members to enter the platea for the same price as the popular would normally cost, and giving non-members a 20% discount on the normal non-member price).

On the pitch, both sides will be looking for the win – Independiente to keep chasing the title, although their challenge is unlikely to last beyond next weekend anyway, and Racing in the increasingly desperate bid to avoid the Promoción playoff. Racing manager Juan Manuel Llop has made five changes from the side who drew with Gimnasia La Plata last weekend: Diego Menghi replacing the injured Marcos Cáceres; José Schaffer comes in for Matías Martínez; Claudio Yacob comes in for Matías Sánchez; José Luis Fernández for the injured Maxi Moralez, and Reinaldo Navia takes the place of Diego Manicero. Blanquiceleste CEO Fernando De Tomaso was present at the training session on Thursday, at an awkward time for his dictatorship presidency of the club.

For Independiente, Daniel Rolfi Montenegro might well be returning, having trained well with the reserves, from an injury that’s kept him out for most of the Clausura. Colombian striker Freddy Grisales won’t be playing, after an injury kept him out of his country’s current European tour. He’s back to fitness, but the club want to avoid making a scene with the Colombian federation.

The teams, assuming no last-minute injuries in training on Friday, will be…

Independiente (manager Claudio Borghi):

F. Assman

R. Moreira —- C. Matheu —- G. Rodríguez —- L. Mareque

G. Machín —- L. Pusineri —- D. Ledesma —- H. Fredes

D. Montenegro —- G. Denis

Racing Club (manager Juan Manuel Llop):

J. L. Martínez Guillota

F. Sosa —- D. Menghi —- G. Mercado —- J. Schaffer

J. Chatruc —- A. Bastía —- C. Yacob —- J. L. Fernández

R. Navia —- F. Sava

13 thoughts on “El Clásico de Avella… oh.

  1. Nice feature Sam. Especially the bit about “dictatorship” (that shouldn’t have been scratched as it’s just that. It’s not a presidency. He is just the CEO of a company that was given the rights to administrate the football aspects of our club. Anyway).

    I find this whole 3000 tickets for Racing fans an incredible joke, but extrangely, I think it could play to our advantage. Things are in constant turmoil at our club and the fans are adding an immense pressure to our players. They really stink, but they are all we have and the hinchada has really openly declared themselves against this squad in our match against Gimnasia last weekend, when we saw banners with inscriptions such as “YOU SUCK” or “We (the fans) score 10 points every match. You (the players) have 10 points in the entire tournament”.

    Understandable reaction from the fans (although I’m not one to insult my own players and I don’t think you can get an advantage by doing that).

    The biggest enemy continues to be De Tomaso and he’s got banners dedicated to him as well. After the Boca match (when we were robbed and not adjudged a clear hand-ball and an offside in the same action when Boca equalized) De Tomaso said: “No one will touch our butt while I’m Racing president” (“touch a butt” is a phrase we use to refer to a disrespectful action taken against a person). So the banner in the stands said: “De Tomaso: if everyone else is touching our butt, then what you did to it was rape”.

    OK. Breaking news: Bastia will miss the derby against Independiente. I think, no matter if he was champion in 2001 with Racing and no matter if he has a lot of matches with us, this is good news. He is nowhere near the top of his game. He is frankly horrible and also a liability. A player that could leave you with ten men in the first half.

    I don’t like the idea of having a player making his full debut (José Luis Fernández), but he’s got my full support.

    Again…we are bound for disaster but we will give it a go. VAMOS RACING!

    Oh…and by the way. Sergio Agüero (former Independiente star) has just said: “I want Racing to be relegated” “If they are relegated, screw them” and “I’ll never played for a team that starts with the letter R”.

    What a stupid thing to say, this last one. Never play for a team that starts with the letter R? I’ll remember that one and I’ll wait to say it to your face when you sign for Real Madrid in the future.

    I’ll take it as a comment from a 20-year-old that just doesn’t know how to handle a press conference and says things of which he’ll regret in the future.

  2. Hmmm. Kun leaves the door open for a transfer to Barca or Inter . . . .

    De Tomasso sounds like one of the few club presidents with a worse relationship with the hardcore support than Lotito of Lazio. Perhaps they could share horror stories over the phone. Maybe it’s the colours . . .

    Can anyone think of other local derbies that weren’t played at either club’s home ground?

  3. ursus arctos. I would have to think if there is another derby that was ever played in a neutral ground. This is not the first time Racing v Independiente will play outside Avellaneda. I remember one 4-0 win by Independiente that was played at River. And a 3-1 win by Racing and a 1-1 draw played at Lanús.

    These were all in this decade.

    San Lorenzo v Huracán is another. San Lorenzo had no ground for a long long time. Since the early 80s until the mid-90s they played most of their home matches at Velez.

    Rosario Central v Newell’s played a famous National Championship semifinal match at River Plate in 1971. Rosario Central won 1-0 with a goal scored by Aldo Pedro Poy and there’s a group of fans of Central that invite Poy to the most incredible places to reproduce that goal and to celebrate it every year. They used to sing a song for Poy that went like this: “Aldo Poy, Aldo Poy, el papá de Newell’s Old Boys!” Very funny!

  4. This Aldo Poy story is so funny! I looked him up on Wikipedia, and saw that one of the recreations of the goal was in Cuba, and Che Guevara’s son took part!!! :)
    Is Aldo Poy any relation to Mauro Poy, who was in Llop’s Godoy Cruz side that was in La Primera last season? I notice that Mauro was born in Rosario.

  5. I’d forgotten about Poy, Seba. I saw him on TV during one of my visits to Argentina. The funniest thing of all is, it’s not as if it’s an utterly incredible goal or anything. He doesn’t skin five men before rifling it into the top corner from 30 yards out, nor does he lob the ‘keeper from inside his own penalty area… it’s a diving header on the edge of the six-yard box.

    Here’s a link to a few of the celebrations, though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZUDnMJUIFk&feature=related

  6. Dear friends, I’m off to play a football match myself. Kick-off time is noon. So as soon as I finish playing, I’ll take a quick shower and stay in the cafeteria to watch Independiente v. Racing on TV.

    Unfortunately, I won’t be online to follow it with you.

    I can’t believe I’m playing with a temperature of only 2 degrees (celsius)!

    I hope I’m in a good mood after 4 PM!

  7. Although I am not a Racing fan, best of luck to la Academia today. I think next season would be a lot less colorful if they were to go down to the second division.

    Switch out Arsenal for Racing in the relegation table, that’s what I say. If only it weren’t for Grondona…

  8. Switch Boca out for Racing. They have played reserve sides for the last several weeks anyway, obviously they only care about the Libertadores, so why not make it official and be a full-time cup team, like Liverpool? :)

  9. On a TYC Sports stream right now… hope it lasts, and hope I enjoy what’s on it…


  10. I’ve got to say I’m gutted with the result. But more than the result, what really makes me sad is to see an incredibly horrible Racing team time-wasting for most of the second half (when we had the best chances).

    I can’t believe how Facundo Sava (former Fulham player) missed that chance with the keeper totally beaten and he hit the crossbar.

    One minute later he had his revenge and he missed it too, heading wide from very close range and unmarked.

    He is to blame for us not taking the 3 points (even though we didn’t have a shot on target in the entire first half).

    This results means that we are now entirely in Colón’s hands. But what’s worst is that even if Colón get no points from their two upcoming fixtures (River at home and Estudiantes away) we are now forced to beat Huracán next ween and then beat Colón in Santa Fé if we want to avoid the Promoción or a play-off match with Colón to decide who goes to the Promoción.

    I’m absolutely gutted to see we didn’t really go for it and this was just another performance that goes to prove my point. Which is: This is the worst Racing Club squad in our entire history.

    (by the way…my team called: “Namberwan” won 2-0 and I played a few minutes in the second half. Came in with the score still 0-0 and helped the team to win it. Too bad that a general fight broke near the end of the match and it was very nasty. I didn’t get involved but it was a horrible thing to witness).

  11. Firstly, many thanks to Seba for pointing me in the direction of the streams to watch the match… I had an excellent view of it from one of the streams on the P2P site, it would’ve been very frustrating not to have seen it.
    As for the game, well Facundo Sava is hardly Lisandro Lopez or Gonzalo Bergessio is he? It shows how far Racing have fallen down the pecking order to rely on an ageing striker whose best days are behind him. I think he tries hard, but no longer has the finishing power Racing need. As for the other so-called strikers, Avalos and Navia, I think they are terrible, almost as embarrassing as Abreu. And Chanchi Estevez was great in 2001, but there’s no way he should even be on the bench now. Malano doesn’t seem to have developed either, so it’s a chronic lack of striking power that has put Racing in this position. Who is responsible for signing these players? Costas? Mico? Blanquiceleste? Do you feel sorry for Llop, he seems to have even less to work with than he did at Godoy Cruz, so you could hardly blame him for being so negative in a match like this. I think a defeat would have been a crushing blow from which Racing could not have recovered, maybe Llop will spin it as a moral victory as *everyone* (including myself) expected Independiente to win. There’s always a chance, I really do think Colon will lose their next two games, so it is still a little in Racing’s hands.

    But I see your point, Seba, it’s hard to pick out a player who’s playing well right now. Chatruc still shows flashes mainly in home games, but he isn’t a regular scorer. What did you think of the new ‘pibe’, JL Fernandez? Full of enthusiasm, but it’s hard to put him into a match like this.
    I like Zuculini, better than Bastia or Sanchez right now, and was surprised he didn’t start. There wasn’t much he could do coming on except hold on to the draw.
    Your so right about Bastia, when Racing won the title I thought he was a tremendous player, and he was good in Merlo’s Estudiantes too, but he really seems to be finished now. Is it a physical problem, a lot of injuries playing for years in a tough position, or has he lost his motivation? He certainly wouldn’t have done anything out there today.

    So yes, a very poor game – Independiente were poor too, the thought that they could win the title or even qualify for a Copa is laughable – but I’m taking an optimistic view, I expected a defeat and it’s one point I didn’t expect Racing to get. I just hope that Colon are demoralised by heavy defeats in the next two matches so AKD can still turn it round.
    But for all the talk of the worst squad in Racing’s history – I don’t know what the 1983 squad was like, they must have been pretty poor? – they must also be the unluckiest side in history… the Boca handball incident, Lanus’s ‘goals’, a disallowed Sava goal against Newell’s that should have stood, all things mentioned on here before along with others, even a sprinkling of better luck would have brought enough points to overhaul Colon…
    AND IT STILL CAN BE DONE! Mucha suerte Seba y todos los Racinguistas!

  12. I’m so glad you got to watch it! I’m very happy I was able to help you. Anything for a fellow Racing fan!

    Mate, I’m so happy to see your post and to notice such an enthusiasm and care for Racing. It means a lot.

    I think we had a similar view of the match, despite the fact that you are a little bit “happier” with the point than I am.

    Talking to a friend tonight, he said something that made perfect sense. I said: “Why would you settle for a draw that is of no help and you time-waste from such an early stage?”.

    He replied: “Seba, they surely didn’t want to be remembered as the Racing squad that was sent to the promoción by Independiente. So a draw meant a lot to them, even if it makes no difference and if it leaves Racing still very complicated. They just didn’t want to lose the derby match”.

    It makes sense. I’m still not a 100% convinced that was the way we should have approached the game, but I’m a little bit cooler than I was when I first posted my reactions.

    As for youngster JL Fernandez, I quite liked his composure. I can’t imagine a worst possible scenario to make your full debut than that. And he was calm and looked in control most of the times. I’m certainly happy with his performance and I hope he can take that position and make it his from now on, because he’ll surely improve.

    Zuculini is great. He was called up to the U20’s of Argentina. I’m also puzzled by Llop decision to keep him on the bench and picking both Yacob and Sanchez before him (even though they are more experienced). He didn’t have a great game today but he is very valuable.

    Bastia, Chatruc and Estevez are retired players still enjoying an incredible priviledge of playing for Racing. They are not even Primera B standard.

    Bastia was sold to a Greek club and he is surely trying not to risk any injury before the deal is finalised.

    Chatruc can’t run for a full 90-minute match. Actually, he can’t even run for 50 minutes!

    Estevez has a belly larger than mine and his desire and work-rate is surely not even close to what I’d show if I had the priviledge of playing for Racing. When I say “I”, I could also be saying “my grandmother” and it’d make no difference.

    I was very young in 1983 (6 years old). But that team was nowhere near as bad as this.

    And finally (before going on forever), our attack.

    Oh god! What a sorry state! When this season started we had: Sava, Bergessio and Piojo Lopez. Even though I think Lopez is done, I’d take him back any day of the week if that means we won’t see Avalos and Navia anymore.

    With Bergessio alone, we would have 10 or 15 points more than what we have now.

    Sava is done. Navia and Avalos, not up to the task. Manicero? The thickest footballer alive. The only player I know that takes EVERY decision wrong!

    I think we will definitely play the Promoción. Oh…I’ll suffer. I’ll suffer big time!

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