Newell’s Old Boys v Rosario Central
22nd August 2021
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario
Newell’s manager Fernando Gamboa knows more than anyone what it’s like to win a Clásico Rosarino and he’s pledged to use that experience to prepare his team for Sunday’s derby game.
In Thursday’s pre-match press conference, Gamboa said he’d give “anything except his life” to win the game, such is the importance of beating the club’s city rivals not just this season, but every season. As a player, he won a number of Clásico matches, most notably under the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa who once told Gamboa that he’d cut his own finger if it meant Newell’s won the game.
Newell’s fans feel that having a manager in the dugout that has experienced the filth and the fury of the Clásico can only be an advantage. Previous Newell’s manager Germán Burgos’ fate was sealed when he lost the last derby game 3-0 and many supporters felt that ultimately, he underestimated what the game means to the club.
Newell’s last won the Clásico in 2016 but there’s a feeling, despite the heavy defeat in May, that there may not be a better time to play Central. They’ve had an awful start to the season, losing four league games in a row as well as being knocked out of the Copa Sudamericana by Red Bull Bragantino of Brazil. According to the media in Argentina, their head coach Kily González could be out the door if they end up as the losing side on Sunday evening at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.
The Clásico Rosarino is not really the Clásico Rosarino without fans and with pandemic restrictions still preventing spectators at Liga AFA games in Argentina, the city of Rosario will have to make do with watching the game on television. Despite that, the game has been given an early kick-off time and 250 police officers will be on duty around the stadium on Sunday to stop any potential trouble.
A win for a rejuvenated Newell’s could see them jump back into the top five in the Liga AFA while Central could start the match as the league’s bottom team if Vélez get a result against Lanús on Saturday night. However, league positions and permutations rarely matter ahead of a game that completely divides one of Argentina’s largest cities in two: Newell’s v Central, Red and Black v Yellow and Blue, Lepers v Scoundrels…. there’s no derby like it.
Newell’s Old Boys v Rosario Central Team News
There are only two players in Fernando Gamboa’s squad who will definitely miss the Clásico; experienced duo Maxi Rodríguez and Franco Escobar.
Veteran tough-tackling midfielder Pablo Pérez, who missed most of the campaign so far due to injury, is likely to start in place of Jerónimo Cacciabue while Julián Fernández will return to the squad but may not start the game.
After a promising performance as a substitute in the 2-0 defeat to Racing, new signing Maxi Comba could be handed a starting place in the Newell’s attack.
For Rosario Central, the Venezuelan Michael Covea may be restored to the team alongside Lucas Gamba who was only a substitute in their midweek defeat to Red Bull Bragantino. Otherwise, Kily González is expected to retain the majority of players who started the tie in Brazil.
📺 Watch the Clásico Rosarino – Newell’s v Rosario Central on Sunday 22nd August: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 15.45 ARG | 19.45 UK