Rojo and Izquierdoz, the pillars of Boca’s defense.
Sebastián Battaglia described his Boca as having “irregular” walking in relation to results (with good percentages) but far from the reliable date of surgery to date. And even if DT doesn’t put the number of injuries as a line of reason, it’s a certainty that the quest to strengthen a team can’t leave the defense undergoing infrequent change.
So far in 2022, Boca has officially played 13 games. And Battaglia had to use 9 different central duos, something that conspires against any attempt to be a solid team. In five of those games they played Rojo-Izquierdoz (the starting duo that propelled him to win the Argentine Cup with almost no acceptable goals) and in the others, Zambrano-Izquierdoz, Zambrano-Rojo, Zambrano-Ávila, Figal-Ávila, Figal- Rojo, Aranda-Rojo, Aranda-Ávila and, against Lanús, Ávila-Rojo.
On Bombonera day, Gastón Ávila joined the list of central markers Boca injured: he felt pain in his left adductor and was replaced in the 27th minute by Marcelo Weigandt, in the game in which José Sand drew. In the change, Luis Advíncula was caught to accompany Marcos Rojo and so the coach had to improvise for 70 minutes with a footballer who was not accustomed to that position but resolved the situation. During the week, in fact, the technician tested Esteban Rolón there.
Gastón Ávila was added to the list of the injured.
Now Battaglia is waiting for Carlos Izquierdoz’s recovery (he underwent surgery for a fracture in his right foot) to see if he can count on it in the last two dates of the Copa Libertadores (he will even hand out a penalty), but they will take care of it the case because it is a fracture that requires surgery. In addition, Carlos Zambrano is facing the final stages of rehabilitation due to his fracture in his right hamstring and aims to be ready to visit Corinthians, although he will come with just enough.
Nicolás Figal has a tear in his right adductor and may just be ready for the final League Cup playoffs, so the only center-back the coach can use is Gabriel Aranda, who has been retained due to a left ankle sprain. Will he bet it against Godoy Cruz or will he take care of it to avoid another injury?
The other alternative he has in the squad is young Alexis Alvariño, from the Reserve, or the possibility of putting Agustín Sandez (left at back) as second central defender, something that was tried last year at the Reserve. Too fair to a major part of the team, with no precautions that can result in goals against.
In addition to that injured defense the coach also had to shoot three goalkeepers in the squad, as Agustín Rossi had a tear in his right adductor that would also sideline him for three weeks. So Leandro Brey saved the Copa Libertadores (and had a chance to do it again against the Corinthians) and Javier García in the League Cup. In all of that, the famous phrase “teams are grouped together from back to front” is something that Battaglia costs more than necessary.