With the final places in the new 30-team Primera still yet to be decided AFA have released the fixtures for the forthcoming season. We await to see who from the triangular playoff between Nueva Chivago, Gimnasia de Jujuy or Aldosivi will be joining the already confirmed sides but we now have an idea of how the new look Primera will take shape.
In mid February the championship will begin and AFA tweeted the lineup for the opening weekend. Racing will begin their title defence against Rosario Central in Avellaneda and arch rivals, Independiente travel to Rosario to face Newell’s Old Boys. River Plate start with a trip to newly promoted Sarmiento de Junín while Boca Juniors entertain Olimpo in La Bombonera.
With 30 sides in the Primera, each side plays each other once except for the clásicos, which will be played twice. So River and Boca, for example, will still face each home and away over the course of the season but will play all the other sides just once. Where this gets complicated is that AFA have had to create a number of clásicos that in fact have little or no history – Vélez against Tigre is one such fabricated clásico. This issue highlights the stupidity of the new format given that all 30 teams will in fact have different fixtures and an away match at River or Racing is considerably more difficult than say, a visit to Crucero del Norte.
The fixtures that catch the eye are of course the clásicos so the dates to look out for are: The Superclásico between Boca and River will take place in Round 11 at the beginning of May in La Bombonera and in Round 24 in mid-September in El Monumental.
Round 24 bears witness to several clásicos across Argentina and is set to be a huge weekend of football. In addition to the Superclásico, we also see the clásico de Avellaneda between Independiente and Racing, Huracán host San Lorenzo, Central and Newell’s Old Boys face off, Estudiantes tackle rivals, Gimnasia AND Lanús host Banfield.
If you want to check all of the fixtures then check out the pdf that AFA have produced here.