Friday, 5 October 2007

A classic weekend

This weekend looms as a classic couple of days in terms of football. Not only does the Victory take on SydneyFC on Saturday night, but one of my other favourite teams Boca Juniors takes on River Plate or "las gallinas" in the superclásico in Buenos Aires on Sunday afternoon (early Monday our time). I would like to think that the clash between Melbourne and Sydney would someday reach the hype of the superclásico. I always look forward to these clashes as both teams see the importance of getting one over other, much like Boca and River. It is always very satisfying to triumph over Sydney. It is probably satisfying than beating any other team in the A-League (except maybe for Adelaide). Much to the chagrin of our northern neighbours over the first two seasons we have had the better of them in head to head competition with three wins to Melbourne, one win to Sydney and two draws. Who could forget the first season encounter when a packed Olympic Park was delirous as the Victory put five past the eventual champions. We never miss the chance to remind them It will be interesting to see how this game pans out and whether our number of wins can be doubled. Will Merrick bite the bullet and drop Brebner to the bench and replace him with Hernandez so he can go head to head with Juninho in the midfield? Probably not, as one thinks that Merrick as a soft spot for his fellow Scotsman. It would be great to see us play more fluent attacking football and outplay our opposition. Fellow Victory supporter and blogger, Cecilia has branded a lot of players as hackers and would like to see the creative players of the league more protected and I would have to agree. We should be encouraging the skill based players such as Burns, Juninho and Hernandez to shine and crack down on those mistimed tackles and deliberate fouling.

A quick word about the superclasico. This season it will be played at the Estadio Monumental, home of River Plate. Boca have not won the superclasico in four encounters, although there have been three draws in there. It will be Boca's best chance as they currently sit in second position on the table and River in tenth. I was in Buenos Aires for the superclásico in April 2006 It was a great experience and sets the whole city abuzz. Unfortunately I couldn't get tickets (our friends did and stood in the La Doce section fearing for their safety) but did manage to go to a small restaurant to watch the game with mostly Boca fans. Here's hoping Boca can finally rack up a win against the old enemy and it would be even more satisfying to come in the Estadio Monumental. In fact, here's hoping that both teams can win their respective superclásicos in the home of the enemy.

¡Dale Victory!
¡Dale Boca!


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