The Primera División returns on Friday evening with the third round of fixtures. Here are a look at all fifteen matches 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
Carlos Tevez has dominated the headlines this week after his foul-mouthed tirade during the win over Belgrano in the direction of referee Germán Delfino earned him a red card and a subsequent three-match ban. Despite the iconic striker opening the scoring, Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side improved after his dismissal and so the tricky away trip to Godoy Cruz is not as daunting as it may have been perceived before.
It was the performance that Barros Schelotto needed after beginning to come under pressure and on Sunday the visitors will be well supported with a reported 10,000 Boca fans taking advantage of the away ban being partially reneged.
Godoy Cruz will be desperate to spoil the party after losing to Independiente last weekend and with Jaime Ayoví back available to partner Santiago Garcia in attack, El Tomba will be a threat. During the Transición, Sebastián Méndez’s side were very strong and this should be one to watch over the weekend.
The 50,000 or so Córdobeses that crammed into the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes may not have got the result they were after but they certainly enjoyed Talleres’ return to the big time. The 36-match unbeaten run is over and now the hard work begins with a trip to Colón without two key players after being sent off in the defeat to River. El Sabalero have started the season well and Paolo Montero appears to have got them well drilled. No goals conceded, four points and now a first home match.
Jorge Almirón’s are not yet back up to speed and will be looking to put their Copa Sudamericana defeat to Independiente on Wednesday evening behind them. Both sides have kept two clean sheets this season resulting in four points apiece but Unión have had the benefit of playing both in front of their own supporters. El Granate might be tired but on home soil will be a stern test for Leonardo Madelón’s side.
What a match on Tuesday night! San Lorenzo overcame Banfield in the Copa Sudamericana with some beautiful attacking football at times and yet they remain so fragile defensively. Diego Aguirre still needs to address this as last weekend’s win over Defensa y Justicia could have been very different if their hosts could finish. Vélez and Mariano Pavone will be hoping to take advantage and they too will come into this in good spirits after beating Rosario Central.
It isn’t quite clear yet if the bubble has burst around Rosario Central but without a goal this season, Eduardo Coudet’s side have been a million miles off where they were one year ago. Certainly the visit of Patronato is a golden opportunity for the likes of Marco Ruben, Teo Gutiérrez and Giovani Lo Celso to rediscover a bit of form and chalk up a first win of the season.
Banfield will be hurting after their Copa Sudamericana exit but when you look at Julio César Falcioni’s side it’s difficult to see it getting better anytime soon. El Taladro and their hosts on Saturday, Aldosivi struggle in front of goal and this one looks like it could be one to avoid.
It was a case of job well done for Gabi Milito’s Independiente this week as they saw off the challenge of Lanús to reach the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana. As a result, it could be a heavily rotated Rojo eleven that makes the short trip to Quilmes but one that should still be capable of maintaining their 100% start to the season. The hosts still look a little short in attack and with one goal from their opening two matches it is easy to see why they are waiting for a win.
Newell’s Old Boys’ 100% start to the season comes as a something of a surprise and while it has needed a little bit of luck, Diego Osella is showing the organisation he did while at Olimpo. Sarmiento are also keeping things tight under Gabriel Schürrer in their efforts to beat the drop and so don’t expect this one to be a classic.
Just when you thought the Transición may have been an anomaly, Atlético Tucumán start the new season with two straight wins: Last week’s win away to Arsenal was impressive given El Decano have struggled on the road but on Sunday Azconzabal’s side are back at the Monumental where they are currently 32 matches unbeaten. Estudiantes also have a 100% record but were eliminated in the Copa Sudamericana by Belgrano on Thursday evening and with a lack of preparation and some tired legs, the last place Nelson Vivas would want to go is Tucumán.
Temperley are in desperate need of a win after suffering the body blow to their relegation fight, that was defeat to Atlético Rafaela last Monday. El Gasolero are far better at home and haven’t lost on their own patch in four so the visit of an Arsenal side, who have started the season poorly, is an opportunity to claw back three points.
New coach Esteban González needed a result after two difficult league defeats to Independiente and Boca and my did he get that on Thursday night. Belgrano came from behind against Estudiantes to reach the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana and while the players maybe tired it will have come as a huge confidence boost. Olimpo are woeful outside Bahía Blanca so tired or not, El Pirata should be winning.
Talleres certainly made things very difficult for River last Sunday but Marcelo Gallardo’s side are starting to show the confidence and belief they had when they were the best team in the country. They are not back to that level yet but in Mina and Moreira have two new players that have made an instant impact and the they are plenty of goal threats at the other end.
A third game and a third of the grandes for San Martin. Pablo Lavallen admitted after last weekend’s defeat that Racing were too good and had international class players and the bad news is that the same can be said of River. With only one away win last season too, this is a huge ask.
Racing Club v Defensa y Justicia – Sunday 8pm
Ricardo Zielinski enjoyed a satisfying first game in charge of Racing thanks in no small part to an outstanding performance from Marcos Acuña in the win over San Martín. The midfielder might miss the visit of Defensa y Justicia with a slight injury but La Academia should still have enough to see off the challenge of El Halcón, who so far look somewhat toothless in attack and against San Lorenzo disorganised defensively.
Tigre v Huracán – Monday 7pm
Pedro Troglio is yet to find his best team and his best system at Tigre but with no goals scored and two defeats, he needs to discover it soon. Much like their hosts, Huracán are still finding their feet and coming to terms with the losses of Ramón Abila and Cristian Espinoza. One goal so far this season coming from a defender shows just how much Eduardo Dominguez needs his Wanchope replacements to start scoring.
Gimnasia v Atlético de Rafaela – Monday 9:15pm
Two wins from two and no goals conceded (against albeit weaker oppostion) couldn’t have been more than Gustavo Alfaro asked for. Atletico Rafaela is another relegation threatened side and so anything less than a third win will be viewed as a disappointment. La Crema’s win over Temperley could have huge implications in the relegation battle come May but it is vital that Juan Manuel Llop’s side start picking up points elsewhere.