After Sunday’s unexpected 2-1 loss to Sarmiento, River He will return to practice this Tuesday at his Ezeiza complex with the idea of raising individual performances and finding a regularity that the team has not had until now. And that has paid with the early elimination in the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores at the hands of Vélez and with a campaign in the local tournament that has been below the expectations of coach Marcelo Gallardo, the players and the fans.
With 15 points achieved out of 33 at stake, River has been ten points behind Atlético Tucumán and, being fourth in the annual table, is not yet entering the 2023 Copa Libertadores. To achieve this, they must enter the top three of that classification or win the current championship or the Copa Argentina, whose round of 16 they will play at the end of August against Defensa y Justicia in Resistencia (Chaco) or La Rioja.
For next Sunday’s game at 8:30 p.m. against Independiente at the Libertadores de América stadium, Gallardo will once again have Pablo Solari and Esequiel Barco available, who were not available due to flu symptoms (Solari) and muscular fatigue (Barco). Furthermore, the Chilean Paul Diazwho played half an hour against Sarmiento after recovering from hip synovitis, could regain ownership in place of Hector David Martineza weak match against the Juninenses. There would also be some variants between the flyers since Gallardo was not satisfied with the benefits of Santiago Simón, Agustín Palavecino and Rodrigo Aliendro.
Of the 14 games he has played so far in the championship, Gallardo could never repeat the same team on consecutive dates, he lost three players for sale (Julián Álvarez, Enzo Fernández and Braian Romero) and reinforcements such as Solari and the Colombian Miguel Borja joined with more than a dozen games played. The most salient fact of the irregularity is marked by the defense that, until the match with Aldosivi, had never been repeated and added eleven different formations.
Left-back Elías Gómez, who came out at halftime on Sunday, is the one who, after goalkeeper Franco Armani, added the most minutes and the one who was part of the team’s starting line-up the most times. In the midfielder area, Gallardo has already used ten players. The one who played the least is Tomás Pochettino, with just five presentations, and the one who accumulated the most minutes was Agustín Palavecino, with 663 in 11 games.
With Solari and Barco, Gallardo will try to find some offensive explosion. The recently joined player from Colo Colo has barely played two games so far (half an hour in the 1-0 against Gimnasia and another 30 minutes in the 3-0 against Aldosivi), but against Mar del Plata his entry was very good. For his part, Barco is having an irregular semester (13 games, no goals) but his indecipherable dribbles are always a tempting option. The former Independiente was better in the first part of the year (17 games, four goals) and is another one that Gallardo is trying to recover.