Gimnasia v Newell’s Old Boys
Copa de la Liga 2021
26th April 2021
🏟️ Estadio Juan Carmelo Zerillo, La Plata
With a crucial week ahead, the first of potentially 3 games in 6 days for Newell’s sees La Lepra make the journey to La Plata to play Gimnasia in the Copa de la Liga on Monday evening. Three days later, they’ll be in action in the Copa Sudamericana, at home to Libertad, before the biggest game of the season, the Clásico Rosarino against rivals Rosario Central, tentatively pencilled in for Sunday 2 May.
In his weekly press conference last week, manager Germán Burgos admitted that he’d have to use his full squad over the coming days and weeks to contend with burnout and tiredness, suggesting that some uncapped youth academy players had already been warned that they may be needed to help the senior team.
A small sign of Burgos’ policy for team selection is clear in the squad he has chosen for the Gimnasia game with Pablo Pérez, already on four yellow cards for the season, left out of the squad in case he gets a fifth that would rule him out of the Clásico.
Gimnasia started the Copa well, only losing once in the first six games, but they now haven’t won in the last four, drawing twice and losing twice. Interestingly, those previous two defeats came against the only teams that Newell’s have won against – Lanús and Patronato.
They currently sit in 10th in Group B, just one point ahead of Newell’s in 11th. If La Lepra were to record a third win in a row, they could move as high as 7th in the group, which would be an astonishing turnaround since the appointment of Germán Burgos, who is yet to lose a game as Newell’s manager and who took over the team when they languished at the bottom of the group, without a win in 2021.
The Gimnasia game has been called another “final” by Burgos, but undoubtedly if it was to be ranked in terms of importance, it’s the least important game of the week considering Newell’s play at home in the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday and face Rosario Central next weekend, which is always a must-win game for the club no matter the circumstances.
Gimnasia v Newell’s Team News
As mentioned, Germán Burgos has left Pablo Pérez out of the squad to face Gimnasia to mitigate the risk of him being suspended for the Clásico Rosarino. Jonatan Cristaldo, who missed the opening game of the Copa Sudamericana in Brazil last Tuesday, is also still struggling with a muscle problem.
Matteo Maccari, yet to feature this season, is back from injury and Manuel Capasso has recovered from COVID-19 and also returns to the squad.
Ramiro Macagno, Julián Fernández, Matías Orihuela, Braian Rivero, Mariano Bíttolo, Franco Escobar, Francisco González and Santiago Gentiletti are all on the long-term injury list although González did return to training this week. Fernando Belluschi has also been left out of the squad.
Harrinson Mancilla is out of the game for Gimnasia after receiving his marching orders in the derby against Estudiantes last weekend with Emanuel Cecchini expected to replace him.
After a recent COVID-19 outbreak that saw 19 Gimnasia players infected, the whole squad received negative swabs before the Newell’s game meaning co-managers Leandro Martini and Mariano Messera have a fit squad to choose from.
📺 Watch Gimnasia v Newell’s on Monday 26th April: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 18.00 ARG | 22.00 UK