Argentinos Juniors x Defensa y Justicia
Defensa y Justicia is in sterling form, coming off the back of three straight wins (a feat they've never achieved in the Primera Division before). Not only that but the team was extremely convincing in those matches, winning 4-1 and 4-0 at home, 2-0 away.
In the last few matches Defensa has played a very attacking lineup. They normally play a kind of 4-2-3-1 formation, with a lone target man Nicolas Stefanelli supported by three attacking midfielders (usually Fabian Bordagaray, Tomas Martinez and one other), and two holding midfielders. Defensa coach Ariel Holan actually has quite a few good options in attack though, and he isn't afraid to rotate his players in order to keep them fresh. Saying that though, Stefanelli and Bordagaray, with four goals each, are in exceptional form and certainly key players for Defensa, hence they start today.
Defensa does has some problems, though. 20-year old defender Alexander Barboza, an ever-present so far, is out injured. So to are midfielders Hernan Fredes and Eugenio Isnaldo, so Holan will be forced to reconfigure his defense and midfield for this match.
Luckily for Defensa, Argentinos Juniors also has its problems. There are rumors that first choice keeper Camilo Vargas, a Colombian, wants to leave, and he won't be playing today. Instead, 23-year old Federico Lanzillota looks set to make his debut in goal. Veteran midfielder Cristian Ledesma is also likely to be rested.
Likely line ups:
Argentinos Juniors: Federico Lanzillota; Kevin Mac Allister, Matías Martínez, Nicolás Freire, Guillermo Benítez; Cristian Ledesma, Juan Manuel Cobo; Braian Romero, Luciano Cabral o Federico Insúa; Emilio Zelaya y Lautaro Rinaldi.
Defensa y Justicia: Gabriel Arias; Damián Martínez, Lisandro Magallán,Tomás Cardona, Rafael Delgado; Guido Rodríguez, Maximiliano Calzada, Tomás Martínez; Agustín Bouzan, Fabián Bordagaray y Nicolás Stefanelli.
So far this season Argentinos have been crap. They drew 1-1 with an awful Tigre team that is probably the worst side in the league right now, followed by three straight defeats. The last two were particularly embarrassing, 3-0 at home to Velez and 4-1 away to Estudiantes. Saying that, Argentinos does at least know how to score goals, four in four games is proof of that.
Defensa of course knows how to score, and with its flying start to the season will be thinking they can get something out of this game and perhaps make a surprise push for Libertadores qualification. Why not? With such a short season it's certainly possible they can keep this run going.
I am sure Defensa will try to score and grab a win against an out of sorts opponent today. But Argentinos also wants to stop the rot, and won't sit back either. What with the defensive absences on both sides as well, I think this match is a clear candidate for over two goals.