Colombian rivals all clash in midweek round

Tolima’s Wilder Medina given 12 month ban

COLOMBIA’S Liga Postobon continues over Wednesday and Thursday night, in a dramatic round featuring no less than six major derbies.

Third placed Atlético Huila are just one of several sides who could finish the round at the top of the table, in a championship that has struggled for consistency, with only three points separate the top ten sides. Their hosts, Desportes Tolima were dealt a major setback on Monday with the news that top goalscorer, Wilder Medina, had received a twelve month ban and fine after testing positive for marijuana.

In Medellín, Atlético Nacional are hoping a fifth successive win against Independiente Medellín, in the 267th edition of the ‘Clásico Montañero’, will put them at the top of the table, in a match which will have 1350 police personnel present.

Medellin had topped the table in the opening rounds of the championship but have since taken just one point from a possible nine. But Medellín’s Felipe Pardo is once again feeling confident after ending a seven game goal drought in last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Pereira. “Thank god I went back to scoring goals – we need to work hard and have the
desire to score in the derby to get the points to continue to push where the team wants to be,” he said.

Both Deportivo Cali and America are needy of points in the Cali derby, with just three victories between them so far. The two teams, 14th and 18th respectively, both lost on the weekend and newly appointed Deportivo coach, Rubén Darío Inzúa will be in the stands prior to taking charge next weekend. “We know both teams are in a bad position but there is more at stake in a derby than three points,” affirmed Diego Peralta, who is expected to play his first Cali derby since joining Deportivo in July.

América coach Wilson Piedrahita is hoping for a vast improvement after witnessing his lose at home to Junior on the weekend. “The performance of the team against Junior was disturbing. It is something that we have talked about and hope will not happen again. It is important that we start to win to move away from last place in the standings and to stop this decline”.

9th round fixtures: Real Cartagena v Junior, Millonarios v Santa Fe, Deportivo Cali v América, Atlético Nacional v Medellín, Deportivo Pereira v Once Caldas, Tolima v Atlético Huila

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