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):
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