by J.P. Devetori
Universitario heads to Arequipa to play 1st place team Melgar. With a slim 15% chance to win the Apertura, Universitario has no other choice than to win today. A win can help our Apertura chances in a way by cutting the 6 point deficit to only 3. But the downside to that is that the ‘U’ has a bye at the next match day 17 (June 18-20) and a Melgar win on match day 17 ends our Apertura chances. Should the ‘U’ not win the Apertura, it’s important for the cremas to win as many remaining matches to be 2nd or 3rd place in the aggregate table heading into the Clausura, which will beginning in August or September.
The ‘U’ are coming into this match without our national team stars such as Jose Carvallo, Aldo Corzo, and Alex Valera due to international duty. With their absences, Diego Romero is set to take the starting role at goalkeeper and Andy Polo might move from winger to forward. hernan Novick and Rodrigo Vilca are the big name players on the roster that weren’t called up for this match for injury reasons.
Our opponent today, Melgar, is one of the most dangerous opponents we have to face and with our few key absences today, will make winning a big hurdle to jump. Having won 6 matches in a row, Melgar also made headlines earlier this week by winning their respective Copa Sudamericana group, winning over Argentinian giant Racing Club in the process.
Kickoff is set at 3:30 Peru time (4:30 Atlantic, 1:30 Pacific) at Arequipa. Y dale U!