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Possible alignment Bolivia vs Colombia: how to accommodate Quintero or Andrade? Playoffs | Colombia selection

The never ending discussion: to play with 10 or without 10 in the Colombian National Team? When James Rodríguez has been there, deliberations are saved. But this Thursday, against Bolivia in La Paz for the Qatar 2022 Qualifiers he will not be there and that opens the doubt again.

You don’t have to go that far to find a first answer: July 2021, Copa América in Brazil. There an undeniable reality was evidenced and that is that Colombia had plenty of sacrifice but it lacked spark, a pinch of talent that broke the mold, a dose of ingenuity so that the forwards did not die of boredom in the rival area.

A couple of times the solution was Edwin Cardona, but in the end it was not enough for him to stay in the squad due to his intermittence and his inability to keep up the 90-minute rhythm. There was no shortage of people who missed … Juan Fernando Quintero! And this time he is there and that is good news but also a concern for coach Reinaldo Rueda. How to locate it now that it is available?

You have to win the game against Bolivia yes or yes and for that you have to line up the best possible team, without losing sight of the fact that in three days it will be necessary to visit the tough Paraguay and that in 8 days the difficult team from Chile will come to Barranquilla. What does it mean? That it would be necessary to dose the effort of the usual headlines but without giving up offensive power. And there, a guy with a desire for revenge -even if he doesn’t recognize it- like Quintero becomes key.

To open space for him, in an ideal world, is to use a 4-4-1-1 module, with the left-hander behind the 9. There he can have a connection with the definer and, more than anything, freed to try the definition of medium distance, which It is a lethal weapon at an altitude of 3,800 meters. But … a man is lost on the mark.

It would be naive to think that, after the break that comes with Shenzhen of China and with less than 20 games in the year, he will be able to endure for a long time the brutal physical challenge that is playing in La Paz, so it would be ideal to use it just one time and give way, for example, to Andrés Andrade, the man from Nacional who does have a high mark and who could be a formula if you have to face an adverse score or if you have to expand an advantage. It means that yes, it is possible to make space for a number 10.

But the calculation of the coach Rueda also goes through other considerations: sacrifice is vital in a game as physically demanding as La Paz and by running both at 10, its effectiveness is slightly lost; In the past it worked to project the attack by the bands and not to put a mandatory toll on an interior to generate offensive actions and there would be no reason to change the plan; It could be more effective to use two forwards to fill the Bolivian area with centers and cause the error from the first minutes. All is true. But there was never an excess of talent and knowing that he is, even if it were on the bench, is a temptation that should not be denied.

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