Capital punishment as rivalries flourish

7Jun 2013

Argentina - Torneo Inicial

Independiente travel from the south side of the capital up to play title-chasing River in the weekend's blockbuster, while Newell's need to beat already-relegated Unión to pull ever-closer to a first title in over 20 years and Godoy Cruz look to cap their season in style...

Godoy Cruz v Tigre - Saturday 22:10

Godoy Cruz were not expected to do anything this season, so their fifth place under rookie manager Martín Palermo is to be applauded.

In their western outpost of Mendoza they have picked up plenty of points and then, in turn, they have been difficult to beat on the road and their early-season run of results has simply never tapered off.

Tigre's Copa Libertadores exploits were always going to affect their season, but given the size of the club and the 2012 that they had, it is remarkable that they continue to fight away in the Primera.

This weekend though, the second-worst away defence in the league visits the tightest home backline, and while it will probably be low-scoring, we are behind the hosts to prevail in an ultimately meaningless game.

Recommended bet: Back Godoy Cruz at 1.93


River Plate v Independiente - Sunday 18:15

Indisputably one of Buenos Aires' clasicos, there is so much riding on River Plate v Independiente this weekend that they moved the game to the daytime in the vain hope that it will reduce the amount of 'incidents' surrounding the fixture.

River are fighting it out at the top, although their inexplicable and unforgivable defeat at bottom-placed Argentinos last weekend could prove fatal to their title chances after Newell's slipped up on Monday night.

The gap is still three points to the leaders, but with games running out and now no Copa Liberadores action to distract the Rosario club until after the domestic season has finished, it is looking more likely than ever that they will return to the top of Argentine football after 20 years.

Nonetheless, they will be going all out for victory in front of a packed-out Monumental and the bragging rights of helping send rivals Independiente down are an added bonus on Sunday.
The Rojo are - along with Boca Juniors - the only team* to have never been relegated from the Argentine top flight, but this run is seemingly destined to come to an end this season.

Their case wasn't helped when archrivals Racing lost a controversial game to relegation candidates Quilmes last weekend, with the Racing Barra Brava threatening their own players with bullets if they didn't lose to Quilmes and help condemn their hated neighbours to the drop.

While there will be no lack of desperation from the Rojo, what they've lacked all season is quality with previously proven performers like Ernesto Farías and Fabián Vargas failing to live up to their reputations. Recently, young striker Adrián Fernandez has looked handy but throwing all their hopes behind a 20-year-old is unwise at this crucial stage.

In reality, nothing but a win will be enough for the visitors, but that is the sort of game that plays into River's hands with pace in abundance up front. Independiente's sluggish backline will be tested to breaking point by the likes of Juan Manuel Iturbe, Manuel Lanzini and Rodrigo Mora, and we're backing River to edge this - although the margin may not reflect the club's respective league positions.

*Arsenal de Sarandí have never been relegated either but they're a very new club and only recently found their way into the top division.

Recommended bet: Back River to win at 1.94


Newell's Old Boys v Unión de Santa Fe - Tuesday 00:15

This is a fairly simple one.

Unión are already relegated with three games to go, and are away to the team that is top of the league and in the last four of the continent's premier club competition.

Add into that that Newell's no longer have to worry about the Copa Libertadores (that doesn't restart for a month while the Confederations Cup happens) and you've got a home win, and with the way Newell's have played for the last year it'll probably be by a few.

Recommended bet: Back Newell's -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 2.1


San Lorenzo v Argentinos Juniors - Tuesday 01:15

After shocking everybody against River Plate last week we should probably be a bit careful of Argentinos, and their desperate need for points to help them survive is a plus point against a San Lorenzo side who are left with no realistic chance of winning the Torneo Final.

The hosts are the form team in the division and boast an excellent side. Despite their recent upsurge in fortunes though, their home results have been far from spectacular and the Cuervo have won just two of their last six at the Nuevo Gasometro.

With that in mind, as well as coming up against a battling side threatened by the drop and notorious firefighter and man manager Ricardo Caruso Lombardi, you feel 1.57 is far too short for San Lorenzo to win.

Their midfielder Gonzalo Verón is the man to watch with five goals in his last six, but we're laying the hosts at such a skinny price.

Recommended bet: Lay San Lorenzo at 1.6

Bet HERE

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Keywords: Independiente, Godoy Cruz, San Lorenzo, Argentinos Juniors

Source: Betfair

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