The unprecedented defense Battaglia plans to stage Boca Juniors’ visit against Vélez Sarsfield

The Argentine took over as technical director in 2021. Photo: Diary Olé.
The Argentine took over as technical director in 2021. Photo: Diary Olé.

Sebastián Battaglia will have an alternative team from Boca Juniors to visit Vélez Sarsfield this Saturday in the meeting corresponding to the 9th date of Professional League Cup. As happened last week against Arsenal in La Bombonera, the DT will rotate due to the suspensions and injuries that the team has, especially considering next Tuesday’s duel against Always Ready for the second round of the Liberators Cup group stage.

In the soccer training held this morning at the Ezeiza property, the coach stopped at: Augustin Rossi; Marcelo Weigandt, Gabriel Aranda, Marcos Rojo, Agustín Sández; Diego González, Guillermo Pol Fernandez, Gabriel Vega; Aaron Molinas; Sebastian Villa and Luis Vazquez. This eleven, with the entry of Alan Varela of Fernández, has great chances of being the one playing the weekend at Liniers. In training on Friday, at the Pedro Pompilio complex, it will be defined whether there will be other variants or whether the formation used today will be confirmed.

The good news is that Pol Fernandez and Octopus González overcame their respective muscle injuries and will be available to the DT on Saturday, while the young people Aranda would be positioned as the first central scorer by Nicolás Figal, which will be reserved for the next Copa Libertadores match due to the tear of the Peruvian Carlos Zambrano, who has been stopped for two weeks.

Fernandez missed his Cup debut last Tuesday against Deportivo Cali (0-2) in Colombia and will be called up to occupy a place among the substitutes against Velez. His return to ownership will take place the following Tuesday against Always Ready from Bolivia, for the second date of Group E of the Libertadores. The Octopus González is now available after suffering a tear in his right hamstring before the Copa Argentina game against Central Córdoba de Rosario on 28 February.

His last match was against Independiente on the fourth round (February 26) when he entered a few minutes to replace Juan Ramírez. The experienced 34-year-old midfielder, although he hasn’t played in a long time, played football today for the first time in 38 matches and has a lot of chances to be there from the start against Strong. He is not available for the Copa Libertadores as he has yet to serve two of the three disqualification dates received by Conmebol due to incidents after last year’s elimination against Atlético Mineiro from Brazil.

Vélez will also act with a team of substitutes as he will play with Estudiantes in La Plata for the Libertadores tonight and will play at home against Nacional de Montevideo on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Group C - Boca Juniors v The Strongest - Estadio la Bombonera, Buenos Aires - Argentina - May 26, 2021 Agustin Almendra of Boca Juniors celebrates his first goal Pool via REUTERS / Juan Mabromata
Soccer Football – Copa Libertadores – Group C – Boca Juniors v The Strongest – Estadio la Bombonera, Buenos Aires – Argentina – May 26, 2021 Agustin Almendra of Boca Juniors celebrates his first goal Pool via REUTERS / Juan Mabromata

Another of today’s news in Boca was related to the situation of Agustín Almendra, marginalized in the Reserve for an act of indiscipline and whose case was considered “a closed matter” by Battaglia at a recent press conference. The 22-year-old midfielder tomorrow he will be called up for the first time in the Reserve from 9 am against Vélez at the Olympic Village and will occupy the substitutes’ bench with the possibility of adding minutes. The version, denied by those close to leadershipindicates an informal dialogue between Almendra and Juan Román Riquelme in which the player told him he wants to play and apologized to the coaching staff and his teammates for what happened.

Battaglia separated him from the pro squad on February 28 after arguing during training. This new situation with the midfielder generates unease in the Boca coach, who does not want to know anything about his possible return to the squad and also in some referents who support the decision to sanction the player. The possible return of Almendra could be an element of pressure from the Football Council against a manager who, after the bad matches against Arsenal and Deportivo Cali, is once again “in the crosshairs” of the fans.

In another order, active members and adherents can register on the site from this afternoon I am a partner to be able to enter for free to see the match against Always Ready which will be played next Tuesday starting at 19:30. It will be the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that Boca will be local with a hearing for the Copa Libertadores. The last fight was on 10 March 2020 in the 3-0 win against Independiente Medellín from Colombia.

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With information from Telam.

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