It is not just any casualty. Jhon Arias misses, due to an accumulation of yellow cards, the long-awaited match that the Colombian National Team hopes to win, at whatever price, against Brazil, a rival that it has not been able to overcome in the Qualifiers.
“It’s obligatory, I wanted to be against Brazil, it was special for me, but I don’t regret it, I take advantage of these days to be available against Paraguay and in the best possible position,” the Copa Libertadores champion consoled himself with Fluminense, a very difficult man to replace coach Néstor Lorenzo.
And his absence was not in the script: “(Arias) has always gone from less to more, he gives us versatility in different sectors of the field that not everyone can do, let’s hope that whoever replaces him is up to the task,” he acknowledged. the national coach. Therefore, in the face of an absence that could force retouching of different lines, the question arises: Is Arias replaced by a man or a system?
Suppose it is the latter and the manager does not want complications and hopes to replace one token with another. What alternatives do you have? It depends on how risky the day of the match dawns: if he wants to reinforce the brand against a Brazil that will be full of injuries but is still Brazil, he would replace him with brand-name midfielders.
Who is it? Two options that offer similar virtues but differ in details: Kevin Castaño and Richard Ríos have youth and physical display, recovery and quality passes at the start and mid-distance. The first comes from being a figure against Ecuador and always took advantage of his option when Lorenzo chose him; The second plays with several of the visiting stars and knows them perfectly, and also has a good aerial game.
But what if you want to take a risk and add a clearly offensive card to break the spell of not being able to beat the five-time champion? It would require a tweak to the classic 4-3-3: it could happen that they bet on only two leading men in the middle, Uribe and Lerma, and that the third man is won with a creative like Carrascal or with a pure right winger like Sinisterra .
If the Cartagena player goes, it would be an interior on the right, which is the position that Arias has been occupying, moving away from the goal but adding a man with a pass and medium distance to solve. If the chosen one is the Bournemouth man, it would be to place James behind the center forward, which would be Borré, and with Díaz to complete a 4-2-3-1.
One more option could be to even renew the defense, playing with three center backs (which would explain the large number of those called up in that position), two men on the sides more projected to attack when Colombia has the ball and with an accumulation of men in the half when lost, trying to get the super population of markers to disconnect Vinicius and Rodrygo above.
And all these options are being considered because Arias is missing, which makes clear the importance of this fundamental loss, at a sensitive moment in the Qualifiers, in which we must add at any price. He helps as an insider, revealing the secrets of Diniz, his coach at Fluminense, and several of the players who replace the injured ones in Brazil, but he will undoubtedly be missed in Barranquilla. Hopefully, as both said at the press conference, a suitable replacement appears in that universe of options.