The following previee was written by Mundo’s very own Jack Tilghman. You can follow Jack on Twitter @JackTilghman.
Argentina weekend preview: River looks to remain perfect; Boca travel to Mendoza without suspended Tevez
This Friday the massive Argentina Primera Division is back for another weekend of matches with the big two River Plate and Boca Juniors as usual taking center stage.
Boca travels to the beautiful city of Mendoza on Sunday afternoon to take on Godoy Cruz, without the suspended Carlos Tevez. The former Juventus star has been involved in his fair share of controversies since his return to his boyhood club and this time it was tongue that was out of line. After being booked in Sunday’s match against Belgrano in La Bombonera, Tevez had some choice words with referee German Delfino about his sister who did not think twice about showing Tevez a red card.
The AFA disciplinary committee handed Tevez a three match ban and Boca will have to make do without their biggest star. They were fine without him as they vanquished Belgrano 3-0 even with ten men Sunday with a brilliant free kick goal by Argentina Under 23 International Cristian Pavon. Things may not have worked out in Rio for the 20 year old, but back at Boca he has been spectacular. If he continues his current form, there is no question his future looks very European and perhaps in a call up to the full national team.
Later on Sunday, the other giant of the Argentine game River Plate will host San Martin de San Juan in El Monumental. Fresh off a 1-0 last week against Talleres in the Mario Alberto Kempes Sunday, River is one of six teams to have a perfect six points from six.
The main man to get River the goals is full Argentina international Lucas Alario, still riding high after his debut for the Albiceleste earlier this month. Alario, still just 23, arrived at River a little over a year ago in a move that had many River fans scratching their heads. Yet right away el Pipa quickly proved to be the man for the big occasion, netting goals in both the semi and final of the Copa Libertadores and then in the Semifinal of the Club World Cup against Sanfrecce Hirosima to give River their dream match up with Barcelona.
The man providing the lanky Alario with his passes is the 35 year old Andres D’Alessandro. Once pegged to be a mega star, D’Alessandro is now winding down his career, but still has a bit of magic left in his left foot.
At the back, River fans have planned a tribute for Jonathan Maidana, who was part of the Argentina squad in the Copa America Centenario.
A player for the future will be in goal for River, Agusto Battalla. A mainstay in the Argentina youth team, Battalla is just 20 and already been thrust into a position with intense pressure. River fans know that with a young goalkeeper there are always bound to be some growing pains, but the key will be how he reacts to a big mistake.
Some of the other key matches include Gabrial Milito’s Independiente short trip to Quilmes where they look to maintain their momentum after eliminating Lanus from the Copa Sudamericana this week. The former Barcelona defender was involved in a altercation with Lanus boss Jorge Almiron following the match. Almiron ominously declared after the match he and Milito would have their chance to “cross each other face to face.”
The big match Sunday night pits Independiente’s cross town rivals Racing hosting Defensa y Justicia. New boss Ricardo Zielinski was not a popular choice by many Racing fans siting his notoriously defensive style he used at Belgrano, but as long as the results are the fans will be on board. The big miss for Racing is captain for Lyon and Porto striker Lisandro Lopez who was unable to train with the group all week.
In told, there will be 15 more matches this week in what is by far the most bloated domestic league in the world, yet all ways seems to deliver moments of madness and drama. What does this week have in store?