Previews: Boca must find hunger in lean times

BUENOS AIRES - Boca Juniors, with one point from three games, need a victory against title favourites Velez Sarsfield on Sunday to make sure they do not go further adrift and coach Claudio Borghi does not walk out.

Borghi has whisked his team away from the spotlight and into a training camp situated amid plush weekend homes and golf courses but he needs to build up a hunger in the players akin to that of the poor masses from where Boca draw their support.

Boca have started this season worse than they ended the last which prompted them to sign Borghi after he steered Argentinos Juniors to the Clausura title in May. However, the laid-back coach has been shocked by the size of the media glare in defeat.

"At times the pressure (at Boca) weighs two tonnes. We all feel that as it's the most popular club in the country," Borghi said after his side's limp performance in a 2-0 defeat by promoted All Boys last weekend.

"To have one point from nine is weak, very weak.

"The result of the match against Velez will be decisive for me," he added, hinting he would have to quit if Boca lost.


Boca, who drew 4-4 at Velez in the team's last meeting in March, need to feed on the support of their fans in La Doce (the 12th man) at their tight Bombonera (chocolate box) ground.

It will not be an easy ride with Velez joint top of the standings with River Plate on a maximum nine points in the Apertura championship, the first of two in the season.

With veteran striker Martin Palermo's powder dry since he scored for Argentina against Greece at the World Cup in June, Borghi is hoping Lucas Viatri passes a late fitness test and can return from injury.

Miracle-man Palermo will not be dropped as this do-or-die match is the kind he thrives on but Viatri is the only scorer for Boca this season with two goals in the two games before pulling a hamstring in the 2-1 home defeat by Racing Club.

Fans of arch-rivals River will be enjoying Boca's troubles as they revel in a fine start they hope to extend when they visit Argentinos, a much changed side since they won the title three months ago.

Teenage striker Rogelio Funes Mori is the talk of the town after scoring three goals in as many matches and veteran forward Ariel Ortega, who has rekindled some of his best form under coach Angel Cappa, returns from suspension.

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