Vélez Sarsfield will be Flamengo’s opponent in the Libertadores semifinal. The Argentine team eliminated Talleres in the quarterfinals, winning 1-0 away from home on Wednesday. Before, he had overthrown the traditional River Plate in the round of 16.
After all, what to expect from Vélez? Below, ge brings an overview of the Argentine team.
Alexander “Cacique” Medina took over at Vélez in May after being sacked by Internacional. Back in Argentina, he managed to assemble a safe team in defense, which knows how to take advantage of the talent of its attack to convert the chances created.
Medina was sent off in the return game against Talleres and should not be on the bench in the first leg against Flamengo. Recently, the coach also starred in an expulsion in the Argentine Championship, when he invaded the field and knocked down an opposing player in the duel with Godoy Cruz.
Alexander Medina, coach of Vélez Sarsfield — Photo: Getty Images
Janson is the biggest highlight of Vélez in Libertadores. He is the competition’s runner-up, with seven goals, and has been decisive in the playoffs. Against River Plate, he scored the winning goal 1-0 in the first leg, which was enough to secure qualification. Against Talleres, he scored twice in the first match and gave the pass to Julián Fernández’s goal that declared victory on the return.
Shortly, Janson showed good anticipation and good use in the air game. He usually plays open on the left wing, entering the area a lot to finish and also prepare plays for his teammates.
Janson celebrates a goal over River Plate – Photo: Disclosure / Vélez Sarsfield
Medina set up Vélez in a 4-2-3-1, with a variation to 4-4-2. The defense is firm, commanded by defender De los Santos – the veteran Godín, one of the new reinforcements, is on the bench.
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The full-backs Jara and Ortega are strong in the marking, but they venture little in the attack. Security at the rear was demonstrated both in the qualifiers against River and Talleres, when Vélez knew how to defend the advantage in the away games.
In midfield, midfielders Perrone and Garayalde show quality in marking, but they also know how to start attacks, although they also don’t appear so much ahead.
Pratto, from Vélez, disputes the ball with Enzo Díaz, from Talleres – Photo: Getty Images
The main variation of Vélez concerns the forwards Bou and Pratto. It is common to see one of the two pull back a lot to help set up plays, turning the 4-4-2 into a 4-2-3-1 at certain times. Pratto, more veteran, has a little more cadence, while Bou is strong on set pieces and knows how to move.
On the sides, play the two names with the highest technical quality of Vélez. Shirt 10 Orellano is a southpaw who plays on the right. He has a lot of talent, but he didn’t participate in the games against Talleres. On the other hand, Janson has been instrumental, not only in the creation but also in the finishing.
Julián Fernández is another fruit of the base of Vélez, as well as the most popular Orellano and Perrone. At 18, the striker was decisive in both matches against Talleres, scoring the winning goal in both duels. He is left-handed and also plays wide on the right – not for nothing, he replaced Orellano in both games.
Vélez reserves celebrate Julián Fernández’s goal – Photo: Getty Images
Vélez came in second in Group C of Libertadores, which had Estudiantes, Nacional and Bragantino. The team added eight points, with two wins, two draws and two defeats.
In the round of 16, Vélez eliminated the mighty River Plate. In the first leg, at home, he dominated the match, but left with a slim victory by 1-0. On the return, he showed his defensive strength, holding the tie at 0-0, despite the controversy of the disallowed goal of Suárez at the end of departure.
Against Talleres, Vélez made their technical superiority prevail. At home, it opened 2-0, saw the opponent react and draw, but secured the victory in the end with Julián Fernández. On the way back, in Cordoba, he knew how to hold the opponent and killed the game on the counterattack.