Superliga review part 3: Lanus struggle and do or die for River Plate

Superliga Argentina

Lanus

Lanus had a great campaign in the Copa Libertadores where they reached the final. They unfortunately lost the biggest game on the continent and have struggled ever since. Their coach Jorge Almiron left the club after the final and has joined Colombian side Atletico Nacional. He’s clearly keen on working with some of the Lanus players as CB Diego Braghieri has already made the switch to Colombia. Goalkeeper Fernando Monetti is the next player in line to replace Franco Armani, who moved to River Plate. It’s all part of the inevitable future of doing well on the continental stage. Lanus currently sit in 23rd, in what has been a disappointing start to the Superliga, even when they rotated their squad quite often. Cult hero José Pepe Sand is still rumoured to leave the club and it will be a tough second half of the season for Lanus’ fans.

Newell’s Old Boys

Newell’s haven’t had the best of starts to the season either as they find themselves in 20th position. Brian Sarmiento has been one of Newell’s bright spots this season, scoring 3 goals and assisting another 3. Newell’s are well-known for their academy which featured no other than Lionel Messi. The next exciting youngster looks to be Argentine forward Enzo Cabrera, who assisted two goals in the 178 minutes he has played so far. Los Leprosos can always rely on their youth and will surely be back fighting for continental football next season.

Olimpo Bahia Blanca

They barely avoided relegation last season and it looks like Olimpo will be battling for relegation come the end of the season. They currently sit one spot out of safety in the Promedios, the Argentine relegation table. An improved second half of the season is required if they want to stay up. They lost Coniglio at the start of the season to Huracan and have struggled with his absence up front. They’ve only scored 7 goals of which 3 have been scored by David Depetris. They will have to pick up some points soon if they want to stay up. They’ve brought in some new players and hopefully, they will improve under Christian Bassedas, who is has been announced as Olimpo’s new head coach.

Patronato

Another side that aims to avoid the relegation battle. They’ve done surprisingly well so far, picking up 15 points in their opening 12 games. They sit in 18th in the Superliga table and are two spots clear of relegation. They have to be wary though, a rough patch will see them slide back into a relegation spot. Uruguayan forward Sebastián Ribas has been excellent this season, scoring 6 goals and assisting another two. He’ll play a key part in the second half of the season in which Patronato are looking to retain their spot in safety.

Racing Club

Racing were somewhat disappointingly knocked out of the Copa Sudamericana against Paraguayan outfit Libertad. Add that to their struggles in the league and you’ve got yourself another coach fired. Well, Diego Cocca resigned himself but it was only a matter of time. His replacement is Eduardo Coudet, who got sacked at Xolos Tijuana. Coudet did really well with Rosario Central a few years back and will look to build on his success in Argentina. He has to do it without Andres Ibarguen though, the tricky Colombian winger moved to Club America in Mexico. Coudet has a couple of targets in mind to strengthen his squad and will look to improve on Racing’s start to the season. Racing currently sits 14th in the league but are expected to compete for continental football. Lautaro Martinez has increased his image even more by extending his contract with La Academia, raising his release clause up to 20M. It should only be a matter of time until a European club triggers it but Racing fans will still be able to enjoy their diamond for the near future.

River Plate

River Plate were defeated in the Copa Libertadores by Lanus and have struggled so far in the Superliga. Their future looks a lot brighter though. Marcelo Gallardo renewed his contract in which the board promised new signings. Argentine striker Lucas Pratto joined the club and became River’s most expensive transfer ever. Franco Armani also joined to improve their quality in goal and it looks like River aren’t done yet. Lucas Zelarayan, Silvio Romero and Damian Musto are all possible targets for Los Millonarios. River should improve over the next couple of games but they’ve got to pick up wins soon. They currently sit in 17th place but did already qualify for the Copa Libertadores as they won the Copa Argentina final over Atletico Tucumán.

Rosario Central

The other side from Rosario started the season with Paolo Montero in charge but they departed ways after a disappointing start to the season. They’ve struggled up front scoring just 8 goals in their opening 12 games. 4 of those have been made my Franco Zampedri, who looks to be a decent addition to their squad. Captain and fan favourite Marco Ruben has been slightly disappointing this season, mainly due to an injury. The league is tight in Argentina and they are just 5 points separated from continental football but they will have to improve in the next bit in order to make a chance. A peculiar detail: Central have picked up the most red cards this season (4) and the third most yellows (36).

About the Author

Vincent van Raam
South American football enthusiast covering Argentina for @ByFarBlog.