Tuesday, July 28, 2015

History will be made – but by who?

It is time for the Copa Libertadores final. The first leg will be played in the night between Wednesday and Thursday (3:00am CET). If you somehow missed it, the two clubs contesting are River Plate and Tigres UANL. A favorite is hard to predict in the meeting of of those quality teams. Interestingly enough, they already met during the group stages of the tournament. Both games ended in a draw, 1-1 in Argentina and 2-2 in Mexico. Additionally, they remained the only group matches that Tigres did not win.


Who will celebrate after the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final? The Mexicans from Tigres UANL hope it will be them again like after the semifinal win over Internacional.

Everything new nearly four months later? A little at least. Both teams have strengthened their lineups. French striker André-Pierre Gignac showed up already during the semifinals, contributing to the success over Internacional. Still, River is another team with other qualities and especially defensively they got the advantage over the Brazilian slapstick show. Centerback Funes Mori keeps the defense together nicely, protected by the midfield controlled by Matías Kranevitter. Coach Marcelo Gallardo massively builds on those players. It is up to Tigres’ Gignac, Sóbis and Damm to find a way to break down the Argentinian fort.

On the other side, Lucas Alario proved instrumental for River’s semifinal victory over Guaraní. Whether he will get the start again is at least doubtful. Due to the rotation in the league lately, a lot of players have gotten playing time and some have made the best use of it. Example? Fernando Cavenaghi has scored 5 goals in the last 2 games. 20 year old tricky winger Tomás Martínez has also looked tremendous lately, I expect him to get a good look for the starting XI.

The first leg will take place in Mexico so set your alarm for the middle of the night, if you are in Europe and want to see the game.


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