Kudelka plays down importance of tournament ahead of Lanús game

Kudelka plays down importance of tournament ahead of Lanús game

Lanús v Newell’s Old Boys

Copa Liga Profesional de Fútbol
14th November 2020
🏟️ Estadio Ciudad de Lanús (La Fortaleza), Buenos Aires

Newell’s Old Boys are still searching for their first point in the Copa Liga Profesional de Fútbol as Matchday 3 sees them face Lanús in the capital.

Manager Frank Kudelka tried to play down the importance of the new tournament in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, reminding the media that every team will play in the next stage, regardless of performance in the current round.

“What happens in this tournament is not crucial. In 6 games, the results will determine what teams we are playing with in the next round. You have to face things as they are”

Frank Kudelka

The pragmatic Newell’s manager must do without two key players for the Saturday afternoon kick-off. 

Goalkeeper Alan Aguerre is facing months out after suffering a dislocated elbow in a clash with Carlos Tévez in Sunday’s defeat to Boca Juniors. Ramiro Macagno will start in his place.

Kudelka confirmed on Thursday that the club is going to try and bring in another goalkeeper to add depth to the squad, if transfer window regulations allow. Ex-Newell’s keeper Rodrigo Rey, currently out-of-favour at PAOK in Greece, is the target according to reports.

Julián Fernández is the other Newell’s casualty, having tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Jerónimo Cacciabue is a natural replacement for Fernández but Kudelka refrained from confirming his team on Thursday so it remains to be seen how La Lepra will line out.

On a positive note, Fabricio Fontanini will reclaim his position at centre-back having served a one-match ban.

Opponents Lanús are not without injury problems of their own with first choice defenders Guillermo Burdisso and Nicolás Thaller ruled out. Their reserve team captain Ousmane Ndong is tipped to make his debut against Newell’s, becoming the first Senegalese player to play in the Argentine First Division.

Although they have only picked up one point from their opening two games, they were a better match for the other two teams in Group 4, Boca and Talleres. The Córdoba side needed an injury-time equaliser last week to stop Lanús returning to Buenos Aires with all three points. Arguably, Lanús’ primary focus is on the Copa Sudamericana, where they recently eliminated Brazilian giants São Paulo over two legs. 

Like Newell’s, Lanús still rely on the experience of players in their twilight years with 40-year-old José Sand still leading the line for El Granate. However, their attack is nicely blended with the explosive youth of hotly tipped Pedro de la Vega who surely has a huge future ahead of him in Europe and is undoubtedly the player to watch for Newell’s.

📺 Watch Lanús v Newell’s on Saturday 14 November: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 16.15 ARG | 19.15 UK