Newell’s Old Boys v Huracán
Copa de la Liga 2021
4th April 2021
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario
Newell’s Old Boys have another chance to secure an elusive first victory of 2021 on Sunday when they face Frank Kudelka’s Huracán at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.
Manager Germán Burgos will be hoping it’s third time lucky after his first two games in charge of La Lepra ended in ties.
Burgos replaced Kudelka as manager of Newell’s in March but he won’t get a chance to meet his predecessor after Kudelka was diagnosed with COVID-19 and went into self-isolation. Instead, Huracán will be led by Martín Cicotello and Mariano Echeverría, two assistant coaches.
Kudelka’s reign at Huracán, whom he took over just a couple of weeks after leaving in Newell’s, started with a 1-1 draw against Gimnasia last weekend.
El Globo’s form has been similar to the form of Newell’s Old Boys this year, albeit with the benefit of more draws, but they have won a game – just the one against Patronato on 20 March. Patronato’s surprising win over Aldosivi on Friday 2 April means Newell’s go into Sunday’s game rock bottom of Group B in the Copa de la Superliga.
Burgos will be aware what a win could do for team morale. He’s reported to have held double training sessions every day since the 2-2 draw with Atlético Tucumán on Monday night, a game Newell’s could have easily lost.
The manager says he’s happy with the team’s physical condition and is pleased that never-give-up attitude that helped them salvage a point in the last game means that the players are ready to play every game “as a final”.
Home advantage added to the absence of the opposing manager should give Newell’s a boost but scoring goals is still proving challenging for the Leper attackers. In the previous game, El Mono had to rely on two defenders to hit the net (Franco Negri and Cristian Lema).
Although Jonatan Cristaldo is still looking to get off the mark in the rojinegro and Ignacio Scocco has had a frustrating time since his return to the club, a lack of midfield creativity coupled with defensive tactics has limited their opportunities in front of goal. Burgos will be hoping for more on Sunday.
Newell’s Old Boys v Huracán Team News
Although doubts were cast over the fitness of Cristian Lema and Franco Negri mid-week, Germán Burgos confirmed in his press conference on Friday would both be recovered in time for the game.
Pablo Pérez will miss the game due to an achilles tendon injury. Substitute keeper Ramiro Macagno continues his recovery from illness and misses out on inclusion in the squad.
Matías Orihuela, Braian Rivero, Mariano Bíttolo, Franco Escobar, Francisco González and Santiago Gentiletti are all on the long-term injury list.
The expected Newell’s XI is: Aguerre, Capasso, Lema, Cabral, Llano, Cacciabue, Sforza, Fernández, Negri, Maxi Rodríguez and Cristaldo.
Huracán will be without keyman Norberto Briasco, who is stranded in Europe after representing Armenia in the latest World Cup qualifiers.
Diego Mendoza and Andrés Chávez are both set to return from injury while Santiago Hezze returns after playing with the Argentina U23s in Japan.
The expected Huracán XI is: Sebastián Meza, Ezequiel Bonifacio, José Moya, Lucas Merolla, Walter Pérez, Esteban Rolón, Claudio Yacob, Sebastián Ramírez, Franco Cristaldo, Nicolás Silva and Andrés Chávez.
📺 Watch Newell’s Old Boys v Huracán on Sunday 4th April: Live on Fanatiz
⏰ Kick-off: 14.00 ARG | 18.00 UK