Primera Round Two preview: River look to build on impressive start against league newcomers

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After the international break brought an early break in the Argentine top flight, the Primera División returns on Friday evening with the second round of fixtures. Here are a look at the fixtures over the next few days, links to all the previews and stats for each game via WhoScored and our pick of game of the week.

Game of the week

Talleres v River Plate – Sunday 8pm

It’s been a long route back to the Primera for Club Atlético Talleres since their relegation out of the top flight at the end of the 2003-04 season but the good times are back in Córdoba. Frank Kudelka’s boys romped to the Nacional B title without losing a game and despite a daunting away trip to Racing on the opening weekend are still 36 matches without defeat.

Sunday evening brings another of the grandes as River Plate come to visit the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes and it looks like another big test for La T. Marcelo Gallardo’s side have been stuttering even since lifting the Copa Libertadores in 2015 but looked full of confidence in their opening weekend win over Banfield.

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Patronato v Gimnasia – Friday 7pm

An intriguing early season match-up as Patronato try to prove that their impressive home form of the Transición was no flash in the pan and Gustavo Alfaro attempts to build on El Lobo’s decent victory over Vélez two weeks ago. Gimnasia were pretty dreadful outside La Plata last season but will have been bouyed by Independiente’s failure to poach Maxi Meza from them this week.

Huracán v Quilmes – Friday 9:15pm

If either of Huracán’s recent signings Julio Angulo or Ignacio Pussetto had brought their shooting boots with them on the opening weekend, El Globo would probably not have come away from Mendoza with nothing. The visit of Quilmes to Parque Patricios represents a golden opportunity to put that right and get some points on the board.

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Olimpo v Lanús – Saturday 2pm

Jorge Almiron’s side were far from their best against Boca but still earned three points on the opening weekend and against the most goal-shy team in the top flight, odds are the Transición champs will chalk up another win on Saturday. El Granate have a big Copa Sudamericana tie in midweek which will be their priority, Lautaro Acosta will likely miss the trip through injury and Miguel Almirón has been away with Paraguay but the visitors will be favourites.

Banfield v Colón – Saturday 2:45pm

Paolo Montero appears to have had an instant impact on Colón if there victory away to Aldosivi was anything to go by and they might fancy getting a result against Banfield on Saturday. El Taladro looked pretty ropey at the back against River and have their eyes on a Copa Sudamericana second leg against San Lorenzo next Tuesday.

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San Martín v Racing Club – Saturday 4pm

Ricardo Zielinski begins his tenure at Racing with a tricky away trip to San Juan where San Martín have proved difficult to beat and showed no signs of struggle in their draw away to San Lorenzo. With Lisandro López out injured and Oscar Romero arriving back in Avellaneda after a gruelling week of World Cup qualifiers with Paraguay, it isn’t an ideal debut for big Ruso.

Unión v Aldosivi – Saturday 5pm

Back-to-back home matches for Unión has been a kind start to the season and after opening weekend victory over Olimpo, El Tatengue will be hopeful of adding another three points against an Aldosivi side that don’t travel well.

Defensa y Justicia v San Lorenzo – Saturday 6pm

It’s still early days but Diego Aguirre could do with a result as San Lorenzo coach after losing a Copa Sudamericana first leg to Banfield and then failing to beat San Martín at home on the opening weekend. Defeat here and failure to turnaround the Banfield tie on Tuesday could see things get ugly fast. Hosts on Saturday, Defensa y Justicia are certainly capable of upsetting Los Cuervos after displaying plenty of defensive resolve to hold Rosario Central to a goalless draw. Following the sale of Fabián Bordagaray, El Halcón must now show they have other sources for goals but this could be a game to keep an eye on.

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Independiente v Godoy Cruz – Saturday 8pm

Independiente boss Gabi Milito bemoaned the club’s activity in the transfer market this week but there is no time to dwell ahead of a first home game of the season. Victory over Belgrano was slighted by the terrible knee injury suffered by Leandro Fernández but El Rojo’s first eleven at least remains strong. And it will need to be as Godoy Cruz proved in the Transición that they are a real threat. Certainly one of the more attractive looking games this weekend.

Newell’s Old Boys v Tigre – Sunday 2pm

Unrest off the pitch with the barra bravas continues to trouble Newell’s but following an away win against Quilmes there is reason to be a little more positive. Tigre visit Rosario on Sunday and aside from not being the best travellers could thumped 3-0 on their own patch by Estudiantes.

Vélez Sarsfield v Rosario Central – Sunday 4pm

If there was any doubt over whether Vélez are in a relegation fight the manner of their defeat to Gimnasia put an end to it. Cristian Bassedas needs a response on Sunday and will be hoping the experienced heads of Canteros, Barcos and Pavone can drag them over the line. However, the visit of Rosario Central is certainly not the easiest of fixtures and after failing to find the net against Defensa y Justicia, Marco Ruben and Giovani Lo Celso will be hungry for goals.

Estudiantes v Sarmiento – Sunday 4:15pm

Despite having a Copa Sudamericana second leg against Belgrano next Thursday it will interesting to see if Nelson Vivás’ side can build on their 3-0 win away to Tigre and if young centre forward Ignacio Bailone can impress again. Sarmiento earned a valuable three points in the relegation fight two weeks but this might be a step too far.

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Boca Juniors v Belgrano – Sunday 6pm

Pressure is growing on Guillermo Barros Schelotto after heavy investment in the squad has yet to see the side play with any real fluidity. Visiting Lanús wasn’t an easy first game and so perhaps the narrow defeat can be excused, however a first home game of the season with Belgrano visiting La Bombonera demands only one result. The visitors have eyes on the Copa Sudamericana next week and only appointed a new mananger in the close season so failure for Boca to earn three points will be felt by Barros Schelotto.

Arsenal de Sarandí v Atlético Tucumán – Monday 7pm

Two sides that probably overachieved in the Transición meet in Sarandí – Arsenal’s success built on defensive organisation and El Decano’s on a superb home record. Outside Tucumán they aren’t too impressive and so Sergio Rondina’s side will be hoping to put the defeat to Sarmiento behind them.

Atlético Rafaela v Temperley – Monday 9:15pm

A real relegation six-pointer as Temperley visit the Monumental. Atlético Rafaela were woeful last season but El Gasolero are not the best travellers and so La Crema will be hoping to snatch a massive three points here.

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