The coach is considering whether he will use the five line against Athletico Paranaense, amid some insecurities that appeared in the background after the departure of Martínez Quarta.
Marcelo Gallardo is a versatile coach, who has known how to reinvent his team on many occasions and who has also adapted to the circumstances and characteristics of his players and that of his rivals. That is why he has used various tactical systems in the six and a half years he has been a River manager, with good results overall.
When it seemed that the 4-3-3 came to prevail after the stoppage due to the pandemic, the last games with that scheme (Liga de Quito, Banfield and Rosario Central) sounded the alarms. Against Godoy Cruz, with a few regular substitutes because several starters were with their national teams, the 4-1-3-2 reappeared. And on Friday, before Banfield, the Doll he surprised with a line of five defenders. Was it just for that match or was it a test bed for the match against Athlético Paranaense for the Copa Libertadores? That is the question…
River will play on Tuesday at 7.15pm for the first leg of the Copa Libertadores round of 16, its great goal. And it would not be unreasonable for him Doll repeat the initial scheme you used in the Florencio Sola. He will face a dynamic team, which is on the rise (they won four games in a row at the Brasileirao) and which plays on a very fast court (synthetic grass).
River already suffered it. Just remember the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana 2019. He suffered a lot for the bands. In the first leg he could have lost by several goals, but finally the result was only by a minimal difference (0-1) and then he turned it around with a 3-0 at the Monumental to achieve the -so far- last international title. Anyway, Paranaense no longer has Renan Lodi (now at Atlético de Madrid) or Ron (in Palmeiras), who made a very good tandem on the left wing.
If River plays with three central markers, one of the top markers would have to come out (Julián Álvarez?), While the defense would add Paulo Díaz oa Santiago Sosa. On the other hand, if he does not play with five defenders, the line of four would be made up of Gonzalo Montiel, Robert Rojas, Javier Pinola and Milton Helmet. Whether four or five, it seems, the Paraguayan Rojas earned a place after his very good performance against Banfield.
If today we talk about this scheme that was used in the last dates of the 2019/2020 Super League and that seemed archived after River could not obtain the title, it is because after the sale of Lucas Martínez Quarta to Fiorentina, the team lost security defensive.
The other names are clearer. Franco Armani in the arc and from the middle forward Ignacio Fernández, Enzo Pérez, Nicolás De La Cruz, Rafael Borré and Matías Suárez. De La Cruz (like the rest of the squad) gave the new swab negative. There was concern because there were no less than 17 infections last week in the Uruguayan national team, but the dark midfielder is fine and will start on Tuesday.
So far there were no indications on what scheme Gallardo will use to face Athlético Paranaense. This Monday there will be a tactical work in training at the Ezeiza site. Perhaps it is the coach himself who unravels the mystery when he speaks through a virtual press conference that he will give from 2:00 p.m. A while later, at 6:30 p.m., the delegation will travel by charter flight to Curitiba.