December 12, 2013
Superderby previewSaturday, October 5, 2013
River-Boca clash high risk
Hundreds of police officers will be on duty at tomorrow’s River Plate v Boca Juniors classic to stop any possible violence inside or outside the Monumental stadium while both teams approach the match after good recent performances.
The spectre of hooligan violence has overshadowed the build-up to the “Superderby”, the biggest club match on the Argentine calendar, when River Plate host Boca Juniors at the Monumental tomorrow.
Despite a government order this season banning away supporters in an effort to curb hooligan violence, there will be 1,000 police officers on duty for fears there could be trouble outside the stadium.
“We’re not prepared to take a step back (in dealing) with the violent ones in soccer,” said Security Secretary Sergio Berni.
The ban on away fans was implemented after an Estudiantes supporter was killed in a clash with police at the end of last season and two men died after fighting between rival Boca hooligan factions before an off-season friendly that was then cancelled.
River have been ordered to return the money paid by fans who are not members of the club after the unauthorised sale of 1,700 tickets for one of the stands to all comers, which included Boca supporters as revealed on television.
The home side’s coach Ramón Díaz heated up the atmosphere earlier in the week saying he was upset that Germán Delfino, one of Argentina’s most promising younger referees who sent him to the stands for dissent twice last season, would officiate the match.
The two main strikers, River’s Colombian Teófilo Gutiérrez and Emmanuel Gigliotti of Boca, joined their clubs this season. Gutiérrez is approaching his best form after a slow start to the season while Gigliotti gave himself an ideal appetiser with both goals in Boca’s 2-0 win over Quilmes last weekend.
Boca have the classier midfield with current Argentina playmaker Fernando Gago and predecessor Juan Román Riquelme creating the chances.
“It’s easy to play with Román, he puts the ball exactly where you want it and you just have to push it in,” Gigliotti said.
Boca coach Carlos Bianchi will be waiting until the last minute for fitness reports on several first-choice players. However, former Atlético Madrid centre back Daniel “Cata” Díaz is ready to return from injury as Boca look to go a fourth league match without conceding a goal, while River will be hoping to extend an unbeaten run to five.
Boca is four points behind leaders and title holders Newell’s Old Boys in fourth place and River is six adrift in fifth at the halfway stage in the Inicial Championship, first of two championships in the season.