South American Football - Veron lines up another La Plata derby after comeback

Juan Sebastian Veron thought he had played his last La Plata "clasico" in March 2011 when Estudiantes beat Gimnasia 2-0, a win that contributed to their city rivals' relegation three months later.

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South American Football - Veron lines up another La Plata derby after comeback
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Juan Sebastian Veron (AFP)

The former Argentina captain retired last year but at 38 he has made a comeback this season which has coincided with Gimnasia's promotion and the revival of one of the big derbies in Argentine soccer.

The rivals meet at the Estadio Unico in La Plata, capital of Buenos Aires province, on Sunday (1915 GMT).

Estudiantes, four points behind "Inicial" championship leaders Newell's Old Boys after seven matches, face a galvanised Gimnasia who are one point off the pace after Tuesday's 1-0 home win over Colon.

Positions and points matter little, though, according to Gimnasia coach Pedro Troglio who echoed the sentiments of fans around the world when it comes to a derby.

"The clasico is the championship within the championship, an extremely important match," former Argentina midfielder Troglio said on Wednesday.

"We have in our hands the responsibility of the feelings of all the (Gimnasia) people and we'll try to respond to them in a way they deserve," he told the local newsagency DYN.

"I hope on Sunday we can give them what they are all hoping for."

He added it was vital Gimnasia won Tuesday's match, a very tight contest that could have gone either way, to get to Sunday's clash on a high. Estudiantes, in contrast, lost 1-0 at Atletico Rafaela on Sunday.

Another clasico that has returned to the calendar this season is the Rosario derby between Newell's and Rosario Central, who were promoted after three years in the Primera B Nacional second tier championship.

They clash at Central on October 20, a fortnight after the "superclasico" between River Plate and Boca Juniors at the Monumental in Buenos Aires.

Argentina's second biggest derby between Independiente and Racing Club in the Buenos Aires suburb of Avellaneda is in the freezer after Independiente's shock relegation in June.

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