Newell’s Old Boys v Estudiantes
Copa Diego Armando Maradona
12th December 2020
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario
The Copa Diego Armando Maradona moves onto the next phase this weekend with all of the 3rd and 4th placed teams facing off for a place in the 2022 Copa Sudamericana.
Newell’s Old Boys have been drawn in Group B of the “Complement” (Losers) phase and while they have avoided rivals Rosario Central, the ‘B’ group looks to be the more difficult one to navigate with Estudiantes, Racing Club, Vélez Sarsfield, Godoy Cruz and Central Córdoba de Santiago del Estero our opponents.
Estudiantes travel to Rosario on Saturday evening and Newell’s go into it as favourites. Apart from signs that Kudelka’s side are experiencing a resurgance after beating Lanús 3-1 last week, Estudiantes have been nothing short of atrocious since football returned in Argentina.
In the initial phase of the Copa Diego Maradona, they lost four and drew two and failed to score a single goal.
That’s right, they last scored a goal on the 10th of March 2020 in a 1-2 home defeat to Racing Club.
Despite that, they will be acutely aware that Newell’s Old Boys have conceded a goal in every game so far in the competition. It’s no secret that the Newell’s defence has a vulnerability and a lack of cohesion that stems from the loss of Cristian Lema who decided to sign for Damac in Saudi Arabia in October. Indeed, Estudiantes were one of the clubs, along with Newell’s, who decided to sign him but their problems are evidently further up the field.
Newell’s v Estudiantes Team News
Frank Kudelka confirmed in his press conference on Thursday that he is likely to field the same eleven that started the game against Lanús. That means a second start for Jerónimo Cacciabue who had recently lost his way after two brilliant debut seasons but he was back to his best and impressed hugely last Sunday playing in the centre of the park.
Newell’s continue to miss key forward Ignacio Scocco (broken collarbone).
Estudiantes have recalled Carlo Lattanzio and are also counting on injury doubts Leo Godoy and David Ayala who have both been named in the 23-man squad. Mauro Díaz is out after a muscle injury.
One of Argentina’s next great hopes, Dario Sarmiento, is likely to start in the attack. He has already been linked with a move to Manchester City.
📺 Watch Newell’s v Estudiantes on Saturday 12 December: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 17.10 ARG | 20.10 UK