Final tournamentSaturday, March 8, 2014
Riquelme angry with the media amid internal problems
Boca Juniors’ Juan Román Riquelme held a press conference at the club last night, angry at internal problems which have leaked to the media. He asked — some called it threatened — journalists to not talk any more about it until the end of the championship.
“We will speak to the journalists who published these things to present proof and if none turns up until Sunday, the players will not talk any more to journalists,“ he said.
Beleaguered Boca Juniors coach Carlos Bianchi got a bit of breathing space after their victory over Olimpo in the 5th round of the Final Tournament.
Now he hopes to start fighting for the title, starting when they face bottom club Racing Club on Sunday whose coach Reinaldo Merlo saud he will resign if his team loses again.
Bianchi had also been thinking of leaving if Boca Juniors before the win against Olimpo. Against Racing, Riquelme will start for the second match running, following his lengthy injury, and goalkeeper Orion is also likely to be back from the national team. Yet the problem is in front, having only scored five goals in six games so far.
River Plate has a similar problem. On Thursday night River completed the 5th round with a 0-0 draw against Tigre.
It was River Plate’s 5th match running without an away victory, but on Sunday it will face Arsenal at home and a victory would leave it least five points behind surprise leaders Colón.
River Plate will have striker Teófilo Gutiérrez and defender Eder Alvaro Balanta back from international duty with Colombia.
Vélez Sarsfield, one of the title challengers, is at home to Córdoba’s Belgrano this evening, but is likely to rest a few key players for a midweek Libertadores Cup match.
Second-placed San Lorenzo visits Godoy Cruz, who is in the relegation zone, but the Initial Tournament winners are also likely to rest some players for next week’s Libertadores Cup midweek game.
Colón also plays this evening, at home in Santa Fe against erratic Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata and should, going by previous performances, stay top.
The sixth round begins today with these games: Colón v Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata (5pm), Estudiantes de la Plata v Atlético Rafaela (6pm), Vélez Sarsfield v Belgrano (9.30pm).
Other sixth round matches on Sunday and Monday are Argentinos Juniors v Lanús, Olimpo v Newell’s Old Boys, Quilmes v All Boys and Rosario Central v Tigre.