River: Demichelis analyzes including Barco instead of De la Cruz

The River Plate coach, Martín Demichelis, can choose Esequiel Barco to replace the injured Nicolás de la Cruz next Sunday, when he faces Sarmiento de Junín in the Professional League.

Barco, who was in all the official matches of the current season, like Ignacio “Nacho” Fernández, is one of the coach’s favorite players and that is why he takes advantage of Santiago Simón, Agustín Palavecino, Miguel Borja and Salomón Rondón.

The former Independiente and North American MLS player, who has just scored a penalty goal against Godoy Cruz after entering the second half, started four games and came on from the substitute bench five times: he has played 426 minutes and two penalty goals.

Precisely, Barco was the one who replaced the Uruguayan De la Cruz last Sunday in the second half, when DT Demichelis took him out to take care of him, already with the game 2-0 in favor of River.

The statistics and praise from Demichelis in various press conferences give Barco the chance to take the place of De la Cruz, who was to start but suffered knee pain and was diagnosed with synovitis.

The Uruguayan midfielder, who underwent an arthroscopy on his right knee, will be with differentiated work for about two weeks and could only be considered again against Unión on April 2, when the tournament resumes after the FIFA date.

River’s coaching staff will, in any case, take precautions for the return of the Uruguayan midfielder, because they consider him a key player for the start of the group stage of the Copa Libertadores, scheduled for the first week of April.

De la Cruz, one of the figures last Sunday against Tomba, had returned to the competition after nearly three months of special work and managed to play four games, half starting, with 200 minutes of play.

Thus, the team to visit Sarmiento in Junín would form with: Franco Armani; Milton Casco, Leandro González Pírez, Paulo Díaz, Enzo Díaz; Rodrigo Aliendro, Enzo Perez; “Nacho” Fernández, Boat, José Paradela; Lucas Beltran.

The other alternatives that the “millo” coach has to replace De la Cruz, with the same tactical system he used against Godoy Cruz, are midfielders Agustín Palavecino and Santiago Simón, who replaced him against Lanús towards the end of the game.

The other possibility would be to change the tactical system to play a 4-4-2, and add a striker to the offense to accompany Lucas Beltrán: the candidates are Rondón and Borja.

Demichelis will define the team when he performs the last two training sessions before traveling to Junín on the same Sunday morning by bus, to play the match corresponding to date 8 at 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, this Thursday the winger Elías Gómez was reinstated after absence due to fever, while both Simón and the Colombian Borja -who had lowered their workloads on Wednesday- moved along with the rest of the squad.

The squad will train this Friday at the River Camp in Ezeiza and will meet on Saturday afternoon at the Monumental, after training.

Due to the FIFA double date that is played between March 21 and 28, the local tournament will have a break that River will take advantage of to play a friendly against the University of Chile, on Saturday, March 25 in Salta.

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