Pressure mounts for Kudelka as he faces former club

Pressure mounts for Kudelka as he faces former club

Talleres v Newell’s Old Boys

Copa de la Liga 2021
27th February 2021
🏟️ Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, Córdoba

Frank Kudelka admitted in a press conference on Thursday that only he had the ability to change the fortunes of a team who have yet to pick up a point in the Copa de la Liga. With rumours circulating during the week that he had resigned his post as Newell’s manager, he was defiant when he met the press, claiming that he knew there were people who wanted to see him go but that he was determined to turn things around.

If he is to turn things around, it must start with a good performance against Talleres, a club where he is still revered after taking them from the lower divisions to the top half of the Argentine Primera División before departing in 2018 for the Universidad de Chile job.

Talleres have a record of one win and one defeat so far in the Copa. They kicked things off with a routine 1-0 win over Patronato before they were well-beaten by rising stars Gimnasia last week; a game in which they finished with just 9 men after Fragapane and Enzo Díaz were dismissed.

The teams have met frequently over the last few years and Newell’s have never had it easy at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes in Córdoba. In fact, Newell’s haven’t beaten Talleres away since 2001, although the Córdoba club were in the lower divisions for a long time after that. Since then, they have met 5 times in Córdoba with Talleres winning four times and a draw occurring once in 2016. Additionally, Newell’s lost as the away team in the 2013 Copa Argentina but the game was at the neutral Estadio Centenario de Resistencia. It took place just hours after Newell’s had been crowned champions of Argentina after Lanús failed to beat Estudiantes that day so the players were already in party mode.

Talleres v Newell’s Team News

Pablo Pérez returns for Newell’s after serving a suspension last week.

Apart from that, the Newell’s backline has been fairly decimated with Mariano Bíttolo out with an ankle injury suffered last weekend, Facundo Nadalín absent with a minor injury and long-term absentees Franco Escobar and Santiago Gentiletti continuing their recovery. Midfielder Nicolás Castro is also out.

Manager Frank Kudelka confirmed on Thursday that Orihuela would fill in for the injured Bíttolo but he left reporters guessing as to whether Cristian Lema was fit enough to start. Kudelka claimed that Lema did not have adequate training while playing in Saudi Arabia for Damac FC and therefore needed to time to reach the levels of the rest of the squad. He also called Maxi a “good option”, refusing to confirm that he would start after being left on the bench for the first two games.

New signings Franco Negri and Justo Giani have been named in Kudelka’s squad for the first time and could be in-line to make their debuts.

Talleres coach Alexander Medina has already confirmed that he will have to rotate his squad due to La T having three matches in the next eight days.

Fragapane and Díaz are both suspended after receiving red cards last week against Gimnasia and it appears the Uruguayan Michael Santos and Agutsto Schott will come in for them on the left-flank.

Scorer of Talleres’ only goal in the competition, Carlos Auzqui, will lead the attack.

It’s not clear who will start in goal for Talleres as they used two different keepers in both of their Copa de la Liga games so far: Guido Herrera and Marcos Díaz. The Colombian Diego Valoyes is still out with an injury.

📺 Watch Talleres v Newell’s on Saturday 27th February: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 17.10 ARG | 20.10 UK

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