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Primera División de Argentina


andyowls

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Sorry for the late reply pal. You've since "left" the forum' date=' so I hope you still get to read this, although I did just see you posting on the KPM thread, so you clearly check in from time to time! :D

Right, Arsenal. If you've scanned Arsenal's post on the first page, you will see the name of Franco Jara popping up quite often. He is someone who has impressed me quite a lot during the Apertura. He's a good size (in terms of build, not necessarily height), he's comfortable on the ball and he seems to be a pretty good goalscorer. I watched him a few times in the Apertura and was always left me impressed and he seemed like he could be a good outlet for Arsenal in the coming seasons. Well, that was until I read the bombshell that Benfica are on the verge of signing Jara for an astonishing 8 million euros. 8 million! That, at least, is what Arsenal are demanding and Benfica seem to be willing to go there or at least almost match the figure. This is pretty hot of the press, however, and the translation is a little sketchy, so I'll get back to you if and when the deal is confirmed. The deal has Jara remaining in Argentina during the Clausura, but moving to Portugal in the summer.

Alexander Medina is the striker who paired up with Jara most often during the Apertura. A Uruguayan brought in from Nacional last summer, he has failed to score a single goal in his first 13 appearances for the club. At 31, he's hardly a good long-term option, and he has done little to impress upon me that he can score for Arsenal on a regular basis (they struggle for goals at the best of times).

The problem for Medina, and Obolo if he does indeed wind up at Arsenal, is that Luciano Leguizamon has returned from his loan at Al Ittihad. He will likely pair with Jara during the Clausura, but if Jara were to leave in the summer, then another striker would probably be needed.[/quote']

Thanks Andy. :)

Enter Obolo' date=' perhaps? What's he like?[/quote']

Well Obolo is a really good striker. He's got all the attributes he need's to be a good striker. He's quite good in the air, he's really intelligent of the ball (A nightmare for defenders I have to admit), really good at one-and-one situations, he's physically quite good and he's a goal poacher. Some of his goals are scored from long range shots which IMO are unstoppable. He was AIK's target man until Antonio Flavio came where Ivan played a different role where he carried AIK attacks on his shoulder (If you know what I mean ;)) which he did a great job of. He's also equally good at defending as well. You know, his abilities in the air really help at at set-pieces, corner kicks. Some of the fans have been saying that Obolo should be the MVP.

Looking at your post about Jara, it sounds like that Jara (If he stays) and Obolo would be the ideal partnership for Arsenal.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Continuing on my project of updating you on my first batch of talents from my initial thread, Young Argentine Talent, I bring you the following report on Corinthians' Matias Defederico...

Matias Defederico

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Celebrating a goal for his former club, Huracan.

2009 Clausura Stats:

Starts: 19

Sub Apps: 0

Mins: 1654

Goals: 5

Assists: 8

Shots (on target): 46 (23)

Discipline: 3Y, 0R

2009/10 Stats:

Starts: 9

Sub Apps: 4

Mins: 776

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

Discipline: 3Y, 0R

Last Rating Change: 77 –-> 84

Next Rating Change: 84 --> 84

Mat%C3%ADas+de+Federico,+do+Hurac%C3%A1n.jpg

Celebrating a goal scored against Arsenal de Serandi.

Background

Together with Javier Pastore and Mario Bolatti in particular, Matias Defederico was one of the main reasons why Huracan came so close to winning the 2009 Clausura title. Although he first arrived on the scene in 2007, it wasn't until late in 2008 when he really began to announce himself on the Argentinian stage when he attracting everyone's attention with a long-range screamer against Velez Sarsfield, late into the Apertura. That effort, along with an impressive mid-season showing convinced manager Angel Cappa to put him in the first XI, and boy, did it pay off. Defederico began tearing up defences up week after week with his fantastic dribbling and impressive close control. The forward had a direct hand with a third of Huracan's goals (either scored or assisted) in a season where they, undeservedly, fell short of the title on the very last day. But it was clear from his performances that term that he wasn't to be stopping in Huracan for very long.

1012489.jpg

Holding off San Lorenzo's Cristian Raul Ledesma.

Playing Style

Some say that size really does matter in football, but as others have proved before him, Matias Defederico is proving this theory is pure rubbish. Standing at a meagre 5' 7" tall, Defederico is always one of the smallest memebers on the football field. However, he does not let the size advantage he gives his opponents to be any sort of head-start, due to the superior technical abilities that he possesses. Defederico's low centre of gravity gives him outstanding balance and control of the football.

Besides, you can't really apply this initial theory about size if you can't catch the player in question. Defederico is quick, not necessarily lightening quick, but certainly quick all the same and he has the ability to outrun most defenders. What makes him extra special is his ability to retain that speed when running with the ball. Any defender will tell you that the thing that hate most in football is a player running right at you and at speed, and Defederico is very good at taking advantage of this fact. He's also contains a neat box of tricks that allow him to beat his man. In fact, his short stature and his style of play have led to media labelling him as the new Lionel Messi (I'm not sure why, seeing as the current Lionel Messi is just 22...). Defederico also has a good shot on him, and is a decent finisher as well, particularly in one-on-one situations.

matias+de+federico.jpg

Being unveiled as Corinthians new signing.

Summer Transfer

An off-season move was inevitable, but his destination was unsure. Many clubs were linked with his signature, both in Europe and in South America, but it was Brazilian side Corinthians who were the ones to prize him away from his native Argentina. Corinthians payed somewhere in the region of US$4m (depending on what report you read) to acquire his services and he made his debut in the Paulista derby, against Sao Paulo. Since then, Defederico has been in and out of the side as he slowly adjusts to the Brazilian game. Mark (MsF) assures me that he is being ushered into the side slowly and that he will not be rushed, so it may take some time before he truly makes his mark on the league. He did score his first goal, and the winner, for Corinthians in the 1-0 victory over Vitoria during the Brasileiro, a nice, composed finish after being played through on goal (which can be seen at the bottom of this post). But Defederico is sure to be a good signing for Corinthians in the long-term and the place should be a good step up for Defederico to continue his education.

Mat%C3%ADas+de+Federico,+do+Hurac%C3%A1n.jpg

Dashing past River's Paolo Ferrari.

First Argentina Call-up

Earlier this year, Defederico was called up by Diego Maradona for an Argentina "B" international against Panama, alongside Nicolas Otamendi. The match was arranged in the wake of Argentina's humiliating 6-1 defeat to Bolivia and Maradona called up a group of players, mainly youngsters, from the Argentine Primera. Defederico impressed and scored a good goal, which can be seen at the bottom of this page.

argentinadefederico_289379.jpg

Celebrating his goal for Argentina's "B" team.

Future

Due to his rather infrequent appearances for Corinthians so far in his fledging career in Brazil, there's a very good chance that he won't rise in the next Brazilian review. He would need to embed his name in the starting XI pretty quick and impress on a regular basis for him to achieve a rise. However, patience is a virtue and if you have a bit, I'm sure you will reap the rewards. Like I said before, Defederico is being nurtured gently and it will take time before he's flying through the Brazilian defences like he was in Argentina. He has the ability, so I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before this happens. Whilst he stays in Brazil, Defederico has a good chance of hitting the mid-to-high 80's with his SM rating, depending on how influential he becomes. With this in mind, he can genuinely develop into a key component of your squad over the course of the next couple of years.

After that, a call to Europe should beckon (note the word should; this is presuming that he continues his development at Corinthians successfully). Defederico has the technical ability to be a hit in Spain, so he could be a good buy for the big Spanish clubs. This is all speculation however, and is all a long way down the line. Ultimately, he has the ability to do well at Corinthians, hit the high 80's and potentially hit 90 and maybe even more when he moves to Europe. Put simply, don't worry about his inconsistent gametime in Brazil as of today - this boy's a keeper.

Here is a decent report on Defederico by
IMScouting.com
which includes a good video. Below is another good video showcasing Defederico's goals, tricks and skills.

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A selection of Defederico's goals, assists, tricks and skills.

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Scoring on his debut for the Senior Argentina National Team.

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Scoring his first goal for Corinthians against Vitoria.

NB - while most will know Defederico's name to be spelt like so; , he has recently confessed to a Brazilian magazine that his name should not read as such, and should be spelt like so; .

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

The Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent to the Champions League, kicks off this week and there are several Argentine teams in action. Four have qualified directly into the group stage, whereas two will have to go through via a two-legged qualification tie.

To Qualify:

Newell's Old Boys - The Lepers get their ball rolling this Wednesday evening against Ecuadorian side, Emelec. The first leg is to be held in Rosario, with the return leg held on February 10th. If they succeed, they shall be placed in Group 5 alongside Internacional of Brazil, Deportivo Quito of Ecuador and Cerro of Uruguay - Joaquin Boghossian's old team.

Colon de Santa Fe - Los Sabaleros mark their second participation in the tournament tomorrow evening with a tie against Chilean side, Universidad Catolica. The first leg shall be held in Santa Fe, with the return leg on Ferbruary 9th. The victors shall be placed in Group 8 alongside Flamengo of Brazil, Universidad de Chile of Chile (obviously!) and Caracas of Venezuela.

Already Qualified:

Estudiantes la Plata - the reigning champions kick off their title defence in Group 3. There, they will take on Bolivar of Bolivia, Alianza Lima of Peru and the winners of Juan Aurich of Peru and Estudiantes Tecos of Mexico who face off in the qualification tie.

Lanus - El Granate have been placed in Group 4 where they will face Blooming of Bolivia, Universitario of Peru and the winners of Deportivo Tachira of Venezuela and Livertad of Paraguay in the qualification tie.

Banfield - the Apertura champions have been placed in Group 6 where they will face Nacional of Uruguay, Deportivo Cuenca of Ecuador and Morelia of Mexico.

Velez Sarsfield - the Clausura champions have been placed in Group 7 where they will face Colo Colo of Chile, Deportivo Italia of Venezuela and the winners of Real Botosi of Bolivia and Gremio of Brazil in the qualification tie.

For your information, the remaining two groups will shake up like so:

Group 1:

Corinthians (Brazil)

Cerro Porteno (Paraguay)

Independiente Medellin (Colombia)

Juniora (Colombia) OR Racing (Uruguay)

Group 2:

Sao Paolo (Brazil)

Nacional (Paraguay)

Once Caldas (Ecuador)

Monterrey (Mexico)

Meanwhile, the day has (almost) finally come when we can all rejoice - the Clausura is about to begin! This weekend marks round one of fixtures for the second half of the season and here's what action is there to be looked forward to:

Newell’s Old Boys vs Independiente

Lanús vs Huracán

Argentinos Juniors vs Boca Juniors

Tigre vs Chacarita Juniors

River Plate vs Banfield

Racing Club vs Rosario Central

Vélez Sársfield vs Colón

Estudiantes de La Plata vs Arsenal Fútbol Club

Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba vs Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata

Atlético Tucumán vs San Lorenzo de Almagro

Bring it on! B)

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Here's some random bits of news that has been circulating in Argentina during the past couple of days:

It's been a while since we've heard anything regarding Diego Buonanotte and his injuries suffered in that fatal car crash over Christmas time. He has recently spoken to the media for the first time since being hospitalised and he's progressing well with his recovery. He's already aiming to impress enough to persuade Diego Maradona to call him up for international recognition when he returns to playing action, so his frame of mind seems good, considering the traumatic nature of the incident.

Following the departure of Alfio Basile and the subsequent departure of Carlos Bianchi, Boca Juniors have announced Abel Alves as their new coach until the end of the season. Alves is the reserve team coach at Boca and has held the caretaker position on three previous occasions. But with the club in somewhat of a crisis right now, he'll find it tough to turn the club's fortunes around. At the weekend, Boca met River Plate once more in a friendly (don't ask me why - I'm not really sure...) and lost 3-1 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw. Not quite the disaster that they suffered in their first defeat to River last week, but they could really do with some positives heading into their tough trip to Argentinos Juniors this weekend. Here's the action from a second superclasico:

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Goals: Boca - Viatri (0:52); River - Bou (1:44)

Staying at Boca, the club have been dealt more bad news with the return of Fernando Gago seemingly unlikely, due to the financial aspect of the loan deal. They have, however, been boosted by the news that their long pursue of Jesus Mendez, of Rosario Central, seems to be close to success. A deal worth $2.5m has been agreed and the midfielder is set to complete a medical today/tomorrow.

River Plate have sealed the signing of Gustavo Canales from Chilean outfit, Union Espinola. Canales, a striker, joins for a fee of just over $1m which sees River acquire 70% of his economic rights. From watching a short video on the player (having no previous experience of the guy), he seems very much the "fox in the box" type player, which is something that River could possibly do with. River fans had better hope he's not another Fabbiani...

I have delayed informing you all the process of the Santiago Silva situation as it has been so hard to follow - it really has been an epic novel of an off-season story. Basically, to cut a long story short, Silva has left Banfield and, despite having links to several clubs in Europe, South America and Mexico, he has found his way back to Velez Sarsfield. Velez are actually his parent club as he was only on loan to Banfield during the last 12 months. It appears that the Banfield board messed up their chances of signing the Tank and these feeling have been reciprocated by the fans, who gave Silva a hero's welcome during the club's ticker-tape parade to celebrate their Apertura triumph. With no notable departures and the addition of a genuine goal threat, Velez have to be one of the favourites for the Clausura title, which they will, of course, be defending. Meanwhile, Banfield have made up for the retirement of Sebastian Mendez with the signing of Jonatan Maidana of FC Metalist Kharkiv on loan until the end of the season.

Also, with the Clausura approaching, I thought I'd give you a rundown as to how the table is looking regarding relegation. For those who don't know, it's not (necessarily) the bottom three who go down each season, as an average is taken over the course of the past three seasons and the records that have been achieved over that period. Here's how that table looks right now:

Team - 07/08 - 08/09 - 09/10 - Ave.

Lanus........56 - 75 - 31 - 1.705

San Lor......64 - 63 - 32 - 1.674

Velez.........59 - 66 - 34 - 1.674

Boca.........70 - 61 - 27 - 1.663

Estu..........69 - 57 - 31 - 1.653

Newell's.....59 - 52 - 39 - 1.547

Banfield.....54 - 46 - 41 - 1.484

Colon........45 - 57 - 34 - 1.432

Inde..........59 - 39 - 34 - 1.389

Argentinos..61 - 38 - 32 - 1.379

River..........66 - 41 - 21 - 1.347

Tigre..........56 - 62 - 8 - 1.326

Arsenal.......51 - 46 - 27 - 1.305

Huracan......52 - 58 - 11 - 1.274

Rosario.......41 - 40 - 31 - 1.179

Atl. Tucu.... - - - - 22 - 1.158

Racing........40 - 52 - 17 - 1.147

---------------------------------

Godoy........ - - 49 - 16 - 1.140

Gimnasia.....36 - 55 - 13 - 1.095

Chacarita.... - - - - 19 - 1.000

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Colon de Santa Fe 3-2 Universidad Catolica

The 2010 Copa Libertadores kicked off this evening in Santa Fe as Colon met Chilean outfit Universidad Catolica in the first leg of their qualification tie. Colon dominated early on and were rewarded for their early pressure with a goal. Ricardo Gomez swung in a cross from deep following an unsuccessful corner and the Catolica defence could only head it out as far as the edge of the area. There, Facundo Bertoglio was waiting to drive a powerful cross/shot across the box, which Federico Nieto stabbed in for the opener – looks like the striker wants to start 2010 in the same vein that he finished 2009. Colon continued to press for the opening 20 minutes or so, but only had another Bertoglio effort from distance, which was strongly palmed away by the ‘keeper, to account for. Catolica gradually worked their way back into the game and got a goal with their first real opportunity, as Juan Morales nodded in at the back post from close range, following a good passing move. Colon responded well by immediately going up the other end to force another chance. Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi chipped a neat ball over the top to Esteban Fuertes, whose neat footwork allowed him to escape his marker and play the ball across the six-yard box, only for Moreno y Fabianesi to blaze over from close range. Despite this, it was still Catolica who held the upper hand following their equaliser and they could have gone into the lead soon after. After being played into space and with little options ahead of him Morales tried his luck from distance by unleashing a terrific, powerful shot which thundered of the bar – a truly fantastic effort. But they really should have taken the lead just before half-time when Rodrigo Toloza missed a guilt-edged opportunity at the back post after a brilliant cross by Rodrigo Valenzuela.

The opening 15-20 minutes of the second half were very quiet indeed, in stark contrast to the first, and neither side managed to grab control of the game and/or achieve any notable efforts on goal. However, the game flew into life midway through the period as Colon snatched the lead. Substitute Juan Manuel Lucero swung in a deep corner to the back post to fellow substitute Eduardo Coudet. Coudet shifted it left to defender Hernan Garce, and although his effort was saved by Paolo Garces, Fuertes was on hand to prod the ball over the line from a yard out. Soon after the restart, Bertoglio won the ball near the halfway line, danced past one tackle before advancing into the area where he produced a great effort which went in off the post, leaving the goalkeeper stranded. Colon looked home and dry for the win, but with a second leg to come in two weeks time, the onus was on Catolica to take something more than the away goal they already had back to Santiago. Ten minutes from time, they got their wish and it was Morales again who did the damage. A nothing ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by the Colon defence as they allowed Damian Diaz to turn the ball towards Morales, who steered the ball home. Both sides seemed content with the scoreline as neither really pushed hard for another goal, although Federico Nieto really should have scored when Bertoglio’s cross found him in acres of space in the six-yard box. Jorge Ormeno then received his marching orders following a second booking for a rather innocuous looking foul. From the resulting free-kick, German Rivarola hit a spectacular bicycle kick which was well saved by Garces, and the final whistle when soon thereafter.

So, Colon hold the lead going into the return leg, but Catolica hold two valuable away goals which may end up being crucial in deciding who will qualify into Group 8 of the tournament.

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Guest BrandonBurrows

Re: Primera División de Argentina

James Rodriguez "In summer 2010 he will leave Club Atlético Banfield to play for Udinese Calcio" is this true? Either way do you think he has the potenetial to be 90+ rated in the future? I remember someone saying he has been Banfield's best player in numerous matches or something to that effect.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

James Rodriguez "In summer 2010 he will leave Club Atlético Banfield to play for Udinese Calcio" is this true? Either way do you think he has the potenetial to be 90+ rated in the future? I remember someone saying he has been Banfield's best player in numerous matches or something to that effect.

I don't suppose you read that on his Wikipedia page' date=' did you? Well, there were very strong rumours of a move at the beginning of this month, but they've pretty much died a death since then. Somebody obviously took this news to be concrete and altered his Wiki page almost immediately, before the deal was even close to being complete. I'm pretty confident that the two clubs will be in talks still, but I don't think that a deal has been finalised just yet. Either way, I'm pretty certain that he'll be moving to Europe in the summer.

And yes, I'm 95% sure that he will reach 90+, probably within the next 3/4 years. Put it this way, a Spanish magazine, [i']Don Balón[/i], produced a list of ten players that are touted as the "future of football". In there, Rodriguez ranks alongside Alan Dzagoev, Sotiris Ninis, Neven Subotic, Phillippe Coutinho, Romelu Lukaku, Iker Muniain, Aaron Ramsey, Steven Jovetic and Mamadou Sakho. There's some pretty good company for you. B)

P.S. I've added the goals for the Colon vs Catolica game on the above post, while I'll be posting about the Argentina B vs Costa Rica game soon.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Last night, Diego Maradona's home-grown selection played a friendly against Costa Rica in a game which they won by the odd goal in five. I did watch the game but only really had one eye on it, so it would be tough for me to give a fair evaluation of what went on. Jose Sosa got the opener early on, nodding in after a woeful punch by the Costa Rican goalkeeper. Costa Rica equalised through a Michael Barrantes free-kick that was poorly dealt with by Cristian Campestrini. Sosa then turned provider when his free-kick somehow found it's way to Guillermo Burdisso, who bundled the ball across the line for a debut goal. Costa Rica again equalised after a nice ball over the top allowed Luis Madrigal to slot home. However, substitue Franco Jara got the winner with a debut goal of his own, teeing himself up nicely before volleying into the bottom left-hand corner after good Juan Clemente Rodriguez. All the goals can be seen here:

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And here's how the team shaped up:

GK Cristian Campestrini

RB Juan Clemente Rodriguez

CB Nicolas Burdisso

CB Carlos Matheu (Matias Caruzzo)

LB Luciano Monzon

LCM Walter Erviti

CM Juan Mercier

RCM Jose Sosa

AM Nicolas Gaitan (Enzo Perez)

CF Martin Palermo

CF Gabriel Hauche (Franco Jara)

I'm sure there were a couple more substitutions but I can't for the life of me find an accurate review of the match action to check if I'm right.

Also, earlier this evening, Newell's Old Boys were in action against Ecuadorian outfit Emelec in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores qualification tie. The game finished 0-0 and was a rather dull, lifeless affair, most unlike the Colon/Catolica game from the night before. Emelec defended excellently throughout the match and nullified Newell's attacking trio of Joaquin Boghossian, Jorge Achucarro and Mauro Formica very effectively. Going into the return fixture, Emelec have to be favourites, but Newell's will be pleased with the fact that they kept a clean sheet to take with them. A score draw would do them nicely.

In transfer-land, Boca have made a second move in the market in as many days, after sealing the signature of Rosario's Jesus Mendez. Sebastian Prediger, a former Colon player, is joining on loan for a year from FC Porto. Boca really could do with some decent defenders though, especially since the departure of Julio Cesar Caceres is now all but confirmed. An off-season move for the centre back has been touted all summer and he's finally on his way to Brazilian club, Atletico Mineiro.

Meanwhile, the race is on to sign Roberto Ayala after he had his contract terminated at Real Zaragoza. There's been a tonne of rumours surrounding a return back home for the experienced centre-back all summer long, with River, Boca and Racing all clamouring for his signature. However, Independiente are the latest club to be linked with the ex-Argentina captain after a serious injury to Carlos Matheu, suffered just two minutes into making his debut for Argentina in last night's friendly against Costa Rica. Matheu is likely to be out for the entire Clausura after tearing the ligaments in his right knee, and Inde see Ayala as his short-term replacement. However, at this stage, it's anyone's guess which team he shall be choosing to join.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

I think I'm right in saying that the transfer deadline in Argentina has now passed (I'm not 100% sure though, because the translation is sketchy), but free agents can still move until next week - that means you Roberto Ayala. There's been some late shuffling in the transfer market this morning in that former Racing full-back, Jose Shaffer, has joined Banfield from Benfica, who he only joined in the summer and played just four game for. I can't make out whether this is a permanent or a loan deal - I'll have to get back to you on this one. Banfield have also snared Uruguayan midfielder Mathias Cardaccio from Danubio. Cardaccio was once on the books of AC Milan before being released to return back to South America. Huracan have "boosted" their numbers with the signing of veteran striker Gustavo Balvorin from Greek club Levadiakos. In fact, here's a list of each club's signature's over the summer period:

Argentinos: Jose Luis Calderon (86), Emilio Hernandez (85), Luis Ojeda (??), Santiago Gentiletti (84)

Arsenal: Nicolas Domingo (85), Pence (), Luciano Leguizamon (87).

Atl. Tucuman: Ricardo Moreira (86), Claudio David Vargas (82).

Banfield: Jonatan Maidana (88), Ruben Ramirez (86), Mathias Cardaccio (83) and Jose Shaffer (85).

Boca: Matias Gimenez (86), Sebastian Prediger (86) and Jesus Mendez (84).

Colon: Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi (86), Eduardo Coudet (86), Josimar Mosquera (86) and Andres Rios (83)

Chacarita: Fernando Avalos (82), Diego de Souza (87), Franco Mauren (DB) and Jorge Rodriguez (??).

Estu: Gaston Nicolas Fernandez (88), Agustin Orion (88), Jose Sosa (88) and Dario Stefanatto (DB).

Gimnasia LP: Gaston Casas (80), Hernan Encina (85), Alvaro Navarro (84) and Facundo Imboden (85).

Godoy Cruz: Jorge Carranza (78), Jairo Castillo (83), David (Ospina?) Ramirez (83?) and Carlos Sanchez (78?).

Hurican: Andres Franzoia (84), Gaston Machin (86), Adrian Peralta (84) and Gustavo Balvorin (82).

Lanús: Gonzalo Castillejos (76).

Inde: Leandro Gracian (85) and Hernan Fredes (86).

Newell's: Agustin Alayes (88), Marcelo Estigarribia (85) and Santiago Fernandez (84).

Racing: Claudio Bieler (86), Gabriel Hauche (87) and Lucas Licht (88).

River: Gustavo Canales (85), Juan Díaz (86), Alexis Ferrero (86), Gonzalo Luduena (83) and Rodrigo Rojas (83).

Rosario: Luciano Figueroa (86) and Jorge Bava (85).

San Lorenzo: Emiliano Alfaro (83), Nelson Benitez (85) and Rusculleda (85).

Tigre: Pablo Fontanello (83), Gonzalo Choy (84), Ribair Claudio Perez (??) and Bryan Rodriguez (79).

Velez: Santiago Tanque Silva (87) and Santiago Beron (??).

??'s indicate that I'm not sure whether they're on the database and/or there is more than one player with the same name.

Meanwhile, right here in England, Birmingham City have been linked with an 11million euros move for Estudiantes forward Mauro Boselli. Estu and Boca each hold a 50% stake in the player and if a bid in excess of 9million euros was made, then the bid will have to be accepted due to the release clause in the player's contract. If this story has substance, it would be a huge loss for Estu going into the Clausura, as well as the Copa Libertadores.

And yes, the Clausura does kick off today - yahoo! I've already given you a list of the fixtures, but here's how the schedule for this week's games if you feel like watching some action yourself:

Tonight:

22:00 - Godoy v Gimnasia LP

00:10 - Estu v Arsenal

Tomorrow:

20:00 - Tigre v Chacarita

20:00 - Velez v Colon

22:10 - Racing v Rosario

00:15 - Atl. Tucuman v San Lorenzo

Sunday:

20:00 - River v Banfield

22:10 - Newell's v Inde

22:10 - Lanus v Huracan

00:15 - Argentinos v Boca

All times are GMT.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Wow, there are a couple of team that stand out with their signings.

I'm impressed with Racing and Estudiantes. Several quality signings! Jose Sosa is on loan, not permanent, right?

Colon and Banfield also look very interesting with their signings.

Will Castillejos be a regular for Lanus (I understand that it would just be speculating)?

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Wow' date=' there are a couple of team that stand out with their signings.

I'm impressed with Racing and Estudiantes. Several quality signings! Jose Sosa is on loan, not permanent, right?

Colon and Banfield also look very interesting with their signings.

Will Castillejos be a regular for Lanus (I understand that it would just be speculating)?[/quote']

Yeah, Racing and Estu have both made the biggest spashes in the transfer market, although Estu have been hit by the loss of Juan Diaz to River (yes, Sosa is only on loan). I really like Colon and think they could be dark horses for the title, although I know that Tom disagrees with me. Banfield too have strengthened well and should be tough to score past once more, but they won't have the goals that Silva provided in the Apertura this time around, so I don't think they'll be challenging for the title again. For me, it will be one of Velez, Estu, San Lorenzo or Colon for the title, although Racing, Inde, Newell's and Argentinos will have something to say about that.

EDIT: I forgot about Lanus - they'll be in the mix as well.

As for Castillejos, no, I wouldn't expect him to be a regular, but he'll still get plenty of opportunitues. Salcedo and Lagos will start this weekend, with Castillejos and Menendez in reserve, and I expect that to be the pattern that shall emerge throughout the Clausura.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

I agree with the idea that Banfield won't be top of the league once more. Great signing by Velez grabbing Silva. He will be missed by Banfield. Who will replace him?

Well, it wasn't necessarily a signing by Velez, because he was already their player. Banfield just didn't pull their finger out and sign him up like they were going to, so he went back to Velez. They've brought in Ruben Ramirez from Racing to replace him, but he won't score half the goals that Silva got in the Apertura. They still have Fernandez, who's good, but I just can't see them scoring enough, unless Rodriguez and the rest of the midfield really step up to the plate.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Well' date=' it wasn't necessarily a signing by Velez, because he was already their player. Banfield just didn't pull their finger out and sign him up like they were going to, so he went back to Velez. They've brought in Ruben Ramirez from Racing to replace him, but he won't score half the goals that Silva got in the Apertura. They still have Fernandez, who's good, but I just can't see them scoring enough, unless Rodriguez and the rest of the midfield really step up to the plate.[/quote']

Oh, I see. Maybe Velez were asking too much.

Oh yeah, of course. Ramirez seems like an inadequate replacement.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Oh' date=' I see. Maybe Velez were asking too much. [/quote']

No, it wasn't even that. There was some breakdown in communication between the two parties (Banfield and Silva) but it's hard to know which side to believe. Like, there was one article over the New Year period where Banfield claimed they rang Silva about 20 times but he never picked up his phone, but Silva denies all of this. The Banfield fans seem to blame the board for missing out on him though.

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Re: Primera División de Argentina

Ahhh, it's good to have it back. Yes, the Clausura kicked off this weekend and there was plenty of drama across the weekend's ties - no least at Lanus last night. Here's how the action went down:

Friday, 29th January 2010

Godoy 1-0 Gimnasia LP

Estu 3-0 Arsenal

Struggling Gimnasia La Plata kicked off the campaign with the worst possible start, going down 1-0 to fellow strugglers Godoy Cruz. Gaston Sessa made a bit of a mess of Federico Higuain's shot as he let it trickle over the line late into the game. In the late game, in-demand striker Mauro Boselli put himself in the shop window with a brace against Arsenal. Marcelo Carrusca got the ball rolling for Estudiantes just before half-time, before Boselli got his first by coolly rounding the goalkeeper. He then picked himself up to score the penalty after being tripped up by Cristian Campestrini, who received his marching orders late on.

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Friday's goals.

Saturday, 30th January 2010

Tigre 0-2 Chacarita

Velez 1-1 Colon

Racing 3-0 Rosario

Atl. Tucuman 0-1 San Lorenzo

Chacarita Juniors picked up a great win at Tigre, after a headed goal by San Lorenzo target Mariano Echeverria in the early stages of each half. Santiago Silva seemed unperturbed by his controversial summer debacle when he headed Velez into the lead at home to Colon, rising highest at a corner. However, he missed the chance to double his side's lead when he skied his penalty after Juan Manuel Martinez was bundled over in the area. He and Velez were made to pay when Lucas Acosta netted an equaliser 12 minutes from time. Racing comfortably despatched of relegation rivals Rosario by a three-goal scoreline in Avellaneda. Pablo Luguercio got the the first with a deflected effort before Matias Martinez quickly doubled that advantage shortly before half-time, stealing in at the backpost. Claudio Bieler rounded off the comprehensive victory with a simple finish late on. And in the late game, San Lorenzo produced a solid performance to defeat Atletico Tucuman, with Fabian Bordagaray getting the only goal early on, after Alejandro Gomez' shot had rebounded off the woodwork right into his path.

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Saturday's goals.

Sunday, 31st January 2010

River 0-1 Banfield

Newell's 0-0 Inde

Lanus 3-2 Huracan

Argentinos 2-2 Boca

River were brought crashing back down to earth, after their pre-season had given them grounds for optimism, when Banfield comfortably brushed aside the hosts. River never looked like breaking Banfield's stout defence, while Sebastian Fernandez finally netted with a cool finish in the second-half, after twice going close in the previous five minutes. Newell's struggled offensively in their second home game in a week as they and Inde played out a goalless game. Lanus produced the comeback of the weekend as they defeated Huracan in a five-goal thriller. Huracan were on for the shock of the round when they went 2-0 up in the first half. Patricio Toranzo got the first from distance, although he got a huge assist from Agustin Marchesin with some dreadful handling, and then Gaston Machin shocked the home side again when he slammed home at the back post. However, Lanus dominated in the game's entirety and it was only a matter of time before they took one of their countless chances. Huracan's brittle defence finally succumbed to substitute Gonzalo Castillejos, when he couldn't miss with a tap-in at the backpost. Gonzalo Garcia made things worse for Huracan when his innocuous-looking hand-ball in the penalty area rewarded Maximiliano Nicolas Velezquez to grab the equaliser from the penalty spot, as well as plunge his side into big trouble as he picked up his second yellow card. And the turnaround was completed late into injury time when Castillejos steered in a cross from the right to round off a dramatic, 17-minute comeback. Truly remarkable stuff. The late game had more of the same as Argentinos played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Boca Juniors. Martin Palermo put the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time and it took until the 81st minute before Argentinos could salvage an equaliser, as Ezequiel Munoz put through his own net. Juan Riquelme thought he had won the game for Boca soon after with a real golaza but Ismael Sosa had the final word when he equalised in injury-time.

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Sunday's goals.

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