With the need not to lose track of the leaders of the championship and – mainly – to stay in the fight for the top places in the annual table with the intention of competing internationally again, Gimnasia will visit River Plate tonight at the Monumental stadium.
The match, corresponding to the ninth date of the contest, will be refereed by Yael Falcón Perez, with Facundo Rodriguez and Gerardo Lencina on the flags. Fernando Echenique will be the fourth referee and at the Ezeiza venue the VAR will be in charge of Héctor Paletta, with Pablo González in attendance.
Gimnasia will have two variants in its starting line-up in relation to the team that equaled 0-0 against Colón in El Bosque on Saturday. Nicolás Colazo will be left back for the injured Matías Melluso (who will be out for at least 3 games due to a tear) while Néstor Gorosito decided to strengthen the midfield with Emanuel Cecchini instead of Manuel Insaurralde, in a tactical variant.
Lobo’s streak of 12 dates without losing was cut short with a 2-0 defeat against Atlético Tucumán – today one of the leaders of the championship – and then tied against the Sabalero without opening the scoring. Therefore, he needs to add to the Monumental and cut the mini streak of two games without scoring goals.
In any case, Pipo Gorosito decided to ratify the attackers of his team, Eric Ramírez and Franco Soldano, the latter who has the difficult task ahead of him to replace Cristian Tarragona, scorer and best albiazul player throughout the year. The coach decided to put his hand in the middle of the field, since he decided to repeat the central midfielders from Lobo’s last visit to the Monumental, that’s why he confirmed Emanuel Cecchini alongside Agustín Cardozo. That duo had worked well in the first stage of that match against River beyond the fact that the final result was a lapidary 4-0 for those led by Marcelo Gallardo.
For its part, River comes from a painful elimination from the Copa Libertadores de América at the hands of Vélez Sarsfield and does not finish raising its head in the local championship, since it has only added one point from the last nine. He comes from equaling 2 to 2 against Fortín himself, but before that he had lost consecutively against Huracán and against Godoy Cruz at the Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium itself.
It’s been 10 games and more than 16 years since Gimnasia couldn’t beat River Plate as a visitor
“We are at a moment in which after many years, of situations in squad building and team conformity with the best possible performance, we have not been able to meet the objectives of this semester. We are far from believing that by not achieving the objectives, false comments begin to be made with issues that have to do with the extra football. There is no crisis here, they are not going to find it”, the “Muñeco” Gallardo shot last Tuesday at a press conference in the face of rumors that link the lack of sports performance with differences between the leaders of the squad and the coach for some ways in the daily deal.
Although the Monumental stadium has not been a particularly adverse stadium for healthy men – since without going any further in the analysis, in the fields of Boca and Racing it has achieved fewer victories throughout history – the Tripero goes through an extensive series of games without beating River as a visitor: there are 16 games since 3-1 (with goals from Lucas Lobos and two from Gonzalo Vargas) on November 27, 2005, when the team led by Pedro Troglio fought for the Apertura of that year hand in hand with Boca del “Coco” Basile.
“Matches are always a different story. If we go back to the history of the club, they have won very few times in the Monumental and on the Boca field. When we went to the Bombonera we told the boys that the idea was not to go out and defend themselves but to try to attack, taking logical precautions. But he hasn’t done well throughout history just defending himself. So the idea is to try to attack, not playing in the open field because River, where it cuts, attacks directly and has a very good foot, ”said Gorosito in a mixture of historical analysis and tactical premises so that his footballers take into account in tonight’s game .
The truth is that Gimnasia is going to the Monumental to face a Marcelo Gallardo team that for the first time in a long time seems not to have superpowers. One hundred percent concentrated and attentive to his own limitations, faithful to his idea of the game, he will be able to add doubts to a River that is not used to locals and strangers doubting his power and strength.