Newell’s Old Boys v Vélez Sarsfield
Copa Diego Armando Maradona
3rd January 2021
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario
Newell’s Old Boys’ five-game winning streak is on the line on Sunday night when Mauricio Pellegrino’s Vélez visit Rosario.
It’s likely to be the biggest test for Frank Kudelka’s men since the Copa Diego Armando split into a “Winners” and “Losers” phase and Vélez could go level on points with Newell’s at the top of Group B if they manage to put a dent in La Lepra‘s impeccable record so far (3 games, 3 wins).
Newell’s manager Kudelka is expected to give more playing time to the bright young talents who impressed in the 3-1 victory over Central Córdoba, like Juan Sforza and Luciano Cingolani, but that will be blended with experience.
As of Saturday, Newell’s are now a team who have a captain in his fifth decade after Maxi Rodríguez turned 40 years old.
Vélez manager Pellegrino will want his team to bounce back from a 2-3 home defeat to Estudiantes on 28 December but they have picked up an impressive 6 points from 9 despite also juggling a Copa Sudamericana campaign. It’ll be interesting to see if the Fortín manager uses a strong eleven of if he chooses to rest his key players ahead of the semi-final of that competition which takes place on 7 January (an all-Argentina clash vs Lanús).
In the Copa Sudamericana Quarter-Final round, he used a second-string in the domestic league but they still managed to beat group rivals Racing (2-1 on 12 December).
Newell’s v Vélez Team News
Sebastián Palacios and Ramiro Macagno are both available for Newell’s after their parent clubs, Independiente and Atlético Rafaela respectively, allowed their loans to be extended until the end of the Copa Diego Maradona.
Fabricio Fontanini will miss the game after being diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. Pablo Pérez is likely to return after missing the Central Córdoba win due to suspension.
Ignacio Scocco, Alan Aguerre, Nicolás Castro, Facundo Nadalín, Aníbal Moreno, Francisco González, Matías Orihuela, Matteo Maccari and Denis Rodríguez are all still on the injury list.
As mentioned, Vélez are likely to rest a number of first-team players due to their Copa Sudamericana semi-final with Lanús.
Two players who are definitely out are goalkeepers Borgogno (COVID-19) and Domínguez (finger) with Lucas Hoyos the only fit stopper available.
📺 Watch Newell’s Old Boys v Vélez on Sunday 3 January: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 19.20 ARG | 22.20 UK