Juan Roman Riquelme

Argentine Primera Division: Banfield Face Off Against Argentinos Juniors

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Banfield Vs. Argentinos Juniors: 0-2 Full Time, Visitors Stellar

Banfield probably expected to get points against their opponents tonight, but apparently they'll get nothing and like it. Argentinos Juniors have shocked the world, or the small percentage of the world's population who keeps up on these things, by coming out in a new formation and playing a new style off football. Argentinos have played 4-4-2 in a very boring way all season, but tonight, they opted to play a really entertaining style of football in a 4-2-1-3 formation. My only explanation is that Pedro Troglio read a Jonathan Wilson column yesterday and thought "Crap, that sounds like a really good idea."

Franco Niell and Mauro Bogado were the scorers for Argentinos, and both goals came off of poor defending. That's not to take anything away from them, though. They were certainly the better team on the night. Despite the fact that they are undefeated through eight games, Argentinos are only up to ninth place. However, with Argentina being so tight during this tournament, they could be anywhere between first and 17th two weeks from now.


Banfield Vs. Argentinos Juniors: Visitors Get 2-0 Lead Through Mauro Bogado Goal

Argentinos Juniors have scored a second goal on Banfield, and their fans are exiting the stadium. Likely, they're feeling a weird combination of surprise and disappointment. They went into this game as favorites, but they have been outplayed for the majority of the game, save for a couple of short spells. Substitute Mauro Bogado is the man who scored for Argentinos, and his goal came off of a combination of great team play and a comedy of defensive errors.

The real meat of the move started with Nicolas Berardo, who made a run to the byline on the left flank. He barely beat his man to get the ball in, but his cross was solid and it found the head of Santiago Salcedo. Salcedo was not well marked by his man and got to the ball, flicking it behind himself instead of towards the goal. Both the goalkeeper and the rest of Banfield's defense were out to lunch as the ball fell to an unmarked Berardo, who had the entire goal at his mercy. He finished easily, and after 79 minutes, Argentinos have a commanding lead.


Banfield Vs. Argentinos Juniors: 0-1 Halftime, Visitors Surprisingly Ambitious

Argentinos Juniors have played all season in a fairly rigid 4-4-2 setup that was more focused on defense than attack. They have impressively only allowed two goals this season through seven games, but they have also only scored five, which explains why they have drawn five times. They're also undefeated, and they appear to be in good shape to continue that trend, thanks to their 1-0 road lead over Banfield at halftime. Franco Niell scored a nice goal off of a low cross and a deflection on the 31st minute, and much to the surprise of everyone, it was well deserved and with the run of play.

Argentinos have abandoned their old setup, and their tactics are probably best and most specifically described as a 4-2-1-3. Or, at least, that's as specifically as they can be described in simple formation notation. Their lineup was called a 4-2-3-1 on television, but the wide players really are forwards, which has made for some really entertaining football. The front three have seriously pressured the Banfield back line, and young Matias Laba is having a very solid game.

Banfield got off to a great start, but the final 30 minutes of the half belonged to their opponents. If they're going to win, they will probably have to make a serious change. They have been forced into one substitution due to injury, bringing on Alejandro Delfino for Victor Ruben Lopez.


Banfield Vs. Argentinos Juniors: Franco Niell Goal Puts Visitors Ahead

Surprisingly, Argentinos Juniors have not been their normal selves against Banfield. Despite playing on the road against a good team, they've come of of their defensive shell a bit and actually played some attacking football. They don't look conservative in any way, whether it be with rigidity or putting men behind the ball. Their ambition has likely surprised Banfield, and after 31 minutes, it has paid off with a goal by Franco Niell.

The goal came thanks to a low cross, then a deflection out to Niell who buried his shot. Drifting out to the left hand side, Santiago Salcedo made a great run down the left, finding space to put in a low cross, his cross was deflected back out towards the edge of the box, where it met Niell who buried it. Surprisingly, this goal did not come against the run of play, but was much deserved for an Argentinos Juniors side who have apparently learned to attack.


Banfield Vs. Argentinos Juniors: Lineups And Analysis

In surprising fashion, if it's true, it looks like Argentinos Juniors could be going away from their regular 4-4-2 formation. don't get your hopes up, though. Their lineup was shown on television as a 4-2-3-1, but for a team that has played a rigid 4-4-2 all season, this seems highly unlikely. Starting fullback Sergio Escudero is out due to suspension, so that has forced one change, with Miguel Angel Torren taking his place at left back. Banfield will be lining up in a 4-4-2 as well, but they should be doing more attacking in addition to being much more fluid. They're at home and they're the more fluid side anyway, so expect them to have plenty of the ball.

Banfield lineup (Projected 4-4-2): Bologna; Bustamonte, Barraza, Lopez, Dos Santos; Bustos, Carrusca, De Souza, Gomez; Achucarro, Garcia

Argentinos Juniors lineup (Projected 4-4-2): Navarro; Torren, Gentiletti, Sabia, Prosperi; Mercier, Berardo, Laba, Ruis; Niell, Salcedo


Argentine Primera Division, Clausura Round 8: Boca Juniors Vs. Estudiantes La Plata Is Must-See TV

This week's Argentine Primera Division fixture list isn't loaded with marquee matchups, but there is one game that is a serious must see fixture. The other one we're covering is decent, but not spectacular. We're just covering it because it's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Tonight, Banfield hosts Argentinos Juniors, while Boca Juniors host Estudiantes La Plata in the marquee matchup of the week.

Banfield Vs. Argentinos Juniors

Friday, 8 pm ET

Every club in Argentina is regularly bitten by the All Of Your Good Players Going To Europe Bug, but Banfield probably take the cake in this regard. Their losses of James Rodriguez and Seba Fernandez, among others, have hit hard and they haven't been able to recover. Still, they're a pretty decent side and it wouldn't be shocking to see them stay in the top half of the table all season. Cristian Andres Garcia is now stepping up after Seba's departure, while their back line is pretty solid. Look for young defender Mauro Dos Santos to be the next Banfield player to get poached by a European side.

While Banfield are usually entertaining, Argentinos Juniors like to make a point of being the Stoke of Argentina. They have five goals on the season, and they have allowed just two. In seven games, they have two wins and five draws. Snooooooore. Hopefully Banfield scores an early goal and makes this game really interesting.

Boca Juniors Vs. Estudiantes La Plata

Sunday, 5 pm ET

Do you like insane crowds? Struggling juggernauts? Expansive 3-4-1-2 formations? Old people battling the forces of nature? Holy crap, do we have a game for you!

Contrary to popular belief, Juan Roman Riquelme and Martin Palermo are not dead. Actually, they both started in Boca's win last week, and Riquelme even scored a goal. This win stopped a terrible skid by Los Xeneizes, though they still sit all the way down in 17th place in the table. Still, as everyone knows, they're much better than that and they should provide a serious challenge for Estudiantes, who are top of the table.

Estudiantes might be a bit tired after a long trip to Colombia in mid-week for Copa Libertadores, but they got the draw they needed to secure a spot in the knockout stages of that competition. That, combined with consecutive shutout wins in the league suggests that they're in great form. Despite the fact that they'll be on the road, they should be slight favorites against Boca.

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