Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Independiente v Racing

If possible I'd back both Independiente and Racing to lose in this weekend's looming clásico de Avellaneda. To say these two giants are out of form doesn't really describe their current predicaments and they can't buy a win (no pun intended). Admittedly we're only 2 games old but the Apertura finished with a whimper and combined Clasura stats are:

P: 4, W :0, L: 3, D: 1 For: 2, Against: 10.

The league's oldest manager 66 year old Pepé Santoro of Independiente could be this campaign's first casualty. Following the 3-0 mauling at San Martín courtesy of Cristián Canío hat-trick Santoro has decided to stay on for at least one more game, Saturday's clash with Racing. In bullish mood he sees the game as the great opportunity to get their season back on track 'the game against Racing is something different, something special to change our current situation and the players know this'. A negative result against la Academia could see him walk or get pushed. The gravity of the situation has been highlighted by club president Julio Comparada who's even had to interrupt his holidays to return to the club insisting 'we're all in this together' etc; the usual phrases before a coach gets the boot. Security has been beefed up around the team in light of recent encounters with the Barras - a banner at the club's Villa Dominico training ground pulled no punches: 'Comparada+Board+Santoro+Players. Go! Stop robbing us!'.

One point worse off, and in a permanent state of turmoil are Racing who were thumped 4-1 at home to Huracán last Friday night. In a similar fashion to the situation at Independiente the future of coach Llop will be decided by what happens on Saturday. Possible replacements include Diego Simeone should things continue to go downhill in the derby. According to president Rodolfo Molina relations between Llop and the players aren't the best, perhaps 'he's lost the dressing room' as the pundits say. One thing is certain whenever this problem is alluded to it's not the players who get kicked out. Boca Juniors misfit Lucas Castromán got his first run out against Huracán but whether or not he'll be in the team on Saturday is in the balance. Maxi Moralez was able to win a match with one piece of skill. Hard luck for Racing he's now at Velez.

Currently Avellaneda's most in form team are Arsenal, who are also one of the worst supported clubs in the league. Can't they all go and watch them instead???!!

Racing 1 - 4 Huracán

San Martin 3- 0 Independiente

Hasta luego!