Rosario Central v Newell’s Old Boys
Copa de la Liga 2021
2nd May 2021
🏟️ Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario
Sunday’s Clásico Rosarino marks the first time that Newell’s Old Boys’ Germán Burgos and Rosario Central’s Kily González have come up against each other as coaches but they’ve shared the pitch many times before.
In the 1996 Superclásico, González’s Boca Juniors, with Diego Maradona in tow, put 4 goals past Burgos, who was River Plate’s number one at the time, in a 4-1 victory for the Bosteros at La Bombonera. Although on opposite sides then, Marcelo Bielsa would bring them together as teammates three years later in 1999 and both became two of El Loco’s most trusted players in his six year stint as Argentina manager.
Sunday 4 July 1999 is an infamous date in that period of Bielsa’s reign. The unfortunate Martín Palermo missed three missed penalties in the one game as Argentina fell to a 3-0 defeat to Colombia at the 1999 Copa América. Kily González, starting on the left flank for Argentina, and Germán Burgos, starting in goal, played the full game for the Albiceleste with Burgos managing to save a penalty from Hamilton Ricard.
The influence of Bielsa has rubbed off on both men. Kily González has been criticized by his own fans for praising Bielsa, a Newell’s icon and hate figure for many Central fanatics, while Germán Burgos, now the main man at Bielsa’s club, has named El Loco as one of his managerial inspirations.
The Clásico Rosarino is a game that Bielsa thrived on. Some of his finest days as Newell’s Old Boys manager were victories against Central and Newell’s fans never give up an opportunity to remind the “Canallas” that Bielsa defeated them three times, including a 4-0 win in 1991 and a 1-0 win in 1992 with a team of mainly youth players.
Sunday’s edition of one of the fiercest rivalries in will grant a small legacy to whichever manager comes out on top. The fans of both Rosario clubs never forget the coaches who manage to win the derby, even if the rest of their reign is forgettable.
Forgettable might be the word that Central fans use about Kily’s reign unless performances improve soon. Since being appointed in June 2020, the man who started and ended his career as a player at Central has won 9 games, drawn 5 and lost 12 of his 26 games in charge. Among those defeats are a 0-3 home loss to lowly Boca Unidos in the Copa Argentina and more recently, a 1-0 defeat to 12 de Octubre of Paraguay in the Copa Sudamericana.
Unlike Newell’s, Central do come into the Clásico off the back of a victory however, and last Tuesday’s 2-0 win over San Lorenzo in the Copa Sudamericana will give their fans reason to believe they can follow it up with another home win against Newell’s.
While Newell’s suffered disappointing defeats to Gimnasia and Libertad this week, they played well in both games, if a little hesitant in the knowledge that Sunday’s game is the big one.
Key players like Cristian Lema and Maxi Rodríguez, both who have experience scoring in the Clásico Rosarino, were rested mid-week in the Copa Sudamericana as Burgos looks to play his strongest team.
Those in Rosario will tell you that the Clásico is not the Clásico without fans but the pride of the city is always at stake when these two teams meet. Sometimes, the will of the players not to lose this game, rather than to win it, can be strong and the last two Clásicos have ended in draws.
In fact, it’s been nearly 3 years now since either side claimed a victory in this match since Central won a Copa Argentina match 2-1 back in 2018. That tie, in which 3 players saw red cards, was also played behind closed doors at a neutral venue due to the potential for crowd trouble.
Sunday’s game has already been moved to mitigate the risk of fans gathering on the streets in Rosario while the city is under pandemic restrictions. It will now take place at 21.00 Argentina time (01.00 UK time). It’s the latest a Clásico Rosarino has been played for over 15 years.
Central v Newell’s Team News
Pablo Pérez, Maxi Rodríguez, Jerónimo Cacciabue and Cristian Lema are all likely to be restored to the starting lineup having missed the defeat to Libertad in the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday. Jonatan Cristaldo, who has missed the last three games, has failed to recover from injury and is officially out of the Clásico .
Julián Fernández and Matías Orihuela are back in contention having recovered from injuries but Mariano Bíttolo, Franco Escobar, Francisco González and Santiago Gentiletti are all on the long-term injury list.
Central’s major doubt is over the fitness of Marco Ruben, who first played in a Clásico Rosarino in 2005. As of Friday, Ruben had yet to train with the team after a calf injury. Rodrigo Villagra is suspended for the game. The predicted Central lineup is: Jorge Broun, Fernando Torrent, Joaquín Laso, Nicolás Ferreyra, Gastón Ávila, Diego Zabala, Emmanuel Ojeda, Emiliano Vecchio, Luciano Ferreyra, Lucas Gamba and Luca Martínez Dupuy or Marco Ruben.
📺 Watch the Clásico Rosarino on Sunday 2nd May: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 21.00 ARG | 01.00 UK