Newell’s Old Boys v Unión
Copa de la Liga 2021
19th March 2021
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario
Germán Burgos will make his debut as manager of Newell’s Old Boys on Friday night as Unión visit the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.
Burgos, known affectionately as “El Mono” (The Monkey), will be hoping to inspire The Lepers to a first win in the Copa de la Liga after losing four games and drawing one under previous coach Frank Kudelka.
It will be Burgos’ first game as a manager in Argentina, a country where he made his professional debut as a player for Ferro against Newell’s Old Boys in September 1989. In a press conference on Thursday, Burgos said that he had nothing but positive feelings for the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa because it was the site of his first professional game but also because Ferro saved themselves from relegation despite a 1-0 loss to Newell’s on that day.
The visitors to Rosario are Santa Fé neighbours Unión who are surprisingly unbeaten in the tournament so far, sitting 8 points ahead of Newell’s in 6th position of the Copa de la Liga’s Group A. However, there is a contrast to be drawn between the run of fixtures that each team has had so far. Newell’s have already faced in-form Boca, Vélez and Independiente, all of whom are yet to meet Unión. On the other hand, Unión have beaten struggling Patronato and drawn with the likes of Gimnasia, Huracán and Atlético Tucuman, all of whom Newell’s have yet to meet in the competition.
Burgos has promised to face every game with bravery and energy and Newell’s are expected to embrace a new style, tactical formation and starting line-up under the ex-Atlético Madrid assistant.
After only arriving in Argentina on Tuesday, he didn’t have much time with the squad but did oversee double training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday and has been resident at the Jorge Griffa Training Centre since landing in the country.
One of his main tactical focuses will be attacking play and finishing with Newell’s only hitting the net 3 times (in 5 matches) so far in the Copa. Ignacio Scocco is searching for form, Jonatan Cristaldo has yet to get a chance to make his mark and Justo Giani is raw and untested at this level so far.
Burgos will be hoping that at least one of them steps up and scores against a Unión side who have conceded a goal in all but one of their five previous games.
Newell’s Old Boys v Unión Team News
Facundo Nadalín and Alexís Rodríguez have been dropped from Burgos’ first Newell’s squad. Juan Manuel Freytes, who hasn’t played for Newell’s since early 2019, has been recalled and is expected to provide backup to the defence.
Reports say Burgos will play central defender Manuel Capasso at right-back while handing a start to Juan Sforza and veteran Maxi Rodríguez in midfield. He’s expected to try and combine three forwards in the attack, with Scocco, Cristaldo and Giani all tipped to start together for the first time.
Nicolás Castro is back in the squad but Matías Orihuela, Braian Rivero, Mariano Bíttolo, Franco Escobar, Francisco González and Santiago Gentiletti are all on the injury list.
The predicted Newell’s XI is a 4-3-3 of: Aguerre, Negri, Lema, Cabral, Capasso, Pérez, Sforza, Maxi, Giani, Cristaldo, Scocco.
The big news for Unión is that defensive midfielder Nelson Acevedo is out with a muscle strain. He has played all but 15 minutes of every game for the away side in the 2021 Copa de la Liga.
Their starting XI is expected to be: Sebastián Moyano; Federico Vera, Franco Calderón, Jonathan Galván, Juan Carlos Portillo, Nicolás Peñalillo, Imanol Machuca, Ezequiel Cañete, Mauro Pittón, Kevin Zenón; Juan Manuel Garcia.
📺 Watch Newell’s v Unión on Friday 19th March: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 19.00 ARG | 22.00 UK