The Slimfast Weekend Preview Ã¢ÂÂ Round Five
Get some exercise, detox, cut out the carbs, avoid mindless eating, eat slower, eat less, try old favourites like stapling your stomach, or steal a trick from (Brazilian) Ronaldo and get some liposuction...
Whatever stratagem Diego Maradona is employing to bring his waistline back under control, it promises to be a body-changing experience. The Argentina coach is currently enjoying the delights of a luxury spa in Italy, with the intention of returning to the patria on Tuesday five kilos lighter.
The timing of DiegoÃ¢ÂÂs mini-break in Italy hasnÃ¢ÂÂt exactly thrilled his employers in light of recent problems on the pitch. But before working out just how heÃ¢ÂÂs going to turn the seleccionÃ¢ÂÂs problems around, Maradona has a friendly just around the corner.
A team of locally-based players will take on Ghana at the end of the month. Why? Good question.
With Maradona away, the national team Ã¢ÂÂcoordinatorÃ¢ÂÂ Carlos Bilardo will name the squad. The extra workload of deciding who is paying well wonÃ¢ÂÂt require too much leg-work for Bilardo, given that every single minute of top flight football is shown live on national TV.
For the average viewer, watching 10 games a weekend would turn your brain into mush. It is also a problem for Maradona and fellow dieters Ã¢ÂÂ it seriously limits potential exercise time. To avoid cerebral and muscular atrophy, here's the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs best and rest.
Friday's best: Central (1st) vs Banfield (3rd)
Back in the old days, i.e. last season, this would be your classic Friday match - low attendance, low TV audience rating, low expectations and, basically, not the best way to kickstart your weekend. Central and Banfield would also be ideal candidates to play Argentine footballÃ¢ÂÂs graveyard shift.
ThatÃ¢ÂÂs all changed. Central are the kings of the hill, two points ahead of the chasing trio, which includes this weekendÃ¢ÂÂs opponents, Banfield.
"DonÃ¢ÂÂt tell the grandes weÃ¢ÂÂre doing well in case they wake up," said Banfield boss Falcioni earlier in the week. What other teams do is irrelevant - if his side beat Central, Banfield with leapfrog the kids from Rosario and go top of the table.
Saturday's best: Independiente (6th) vs VÃÂ©lez (4th)
Fresh from knocking Boca out of the Sudamericana, VÃÂ©lez are firing on all cylinders. "The way they're playing now, IÃ¢ÂÂm not sure I want to turn up," admitted Independiente coach Tolo Gallego, in a quote that could easily refer to how he feels every day of the week before going to training.
Still without a stadium, El Rojo are at least showing signs of improvement under Gallego this term. VÃÂ©lez, meanwhile, are current league champions and have only conceded one goal in the first four games of the season. Pick of the Saturday games.
Sunday's best: San Lorenzo (7th) vs Racing (16th)
This week, RacingÃ¢ÂÂs coach Ricardo Caruso Lombardi was given the chance to talk about non-sporting conquests. "I was a bit of a smooth talker," he said of his younger self. So how do you look after yourself, Ricardo? "I donÃ¢ÂÂt worry about what I eat and I donÃ¢ÂÂt go jogging. IÃ¢ÂÂve had beautiful skin since I was born," he declared before admitting, "...even if it is a little stretched now Ã¢ÂÂcos IÃ¢ÂÂm fat."
If the clÃÂ¡sico goes San LorenzoÃ¢ÂÂs way, which it has every chance of doing, the impeccably groomed, sharp-suited Diego Simeone may well suggest to Caruso that he takes a leaf out of MaradonaÃ¢ÂÂs book and gets himself in shape.
HuracÃÂ¡n (18th) vs Estudiantes (2nd)
Lanus (13th) vs NewellÃ¢ÂÂs (5th)
Boca (12th) vs Godoy Cruz (11th)
Arsenal (15th) vs River (14th)
ColÃÂ³n (10th) vs Chacarita (20th)
Gimnasia (19th) vs Tigre (17th)
Argentinos (8th) vs Atletico Tucuman (9th)
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