The Primera División returns on Friday evening with the fifth 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
Without any doubt this weekend’s biggest clash is in La Plata where Gimnasia and Estudiantes will do battle (hopefully not literally like last summer’s friendly between the two sides ended). The hosts have a mixed bag of results after a bright start while fierce rivals Estudiantes have enjoyed a flawless start and are yet to concede a goal.
It is almost ten years since El Pincha recorded the biggest win (7-0) in this historic fixture and since then it is a match that the red and white half of La Plata has dominated. Gimnasia have won one of the last nine and two of the last nineteen league meetings and will be desperate to put an end to that run.
Argentine clásicos may not always be the most exciting matches but are compelling viewing and given what is at stake and the needle between these sides it could be a fiery encounter in El Bosque.
Olimpo certainly come into this one in the better form after recording an impressive 3-0 win over Godoy Cruz (the vast majority of which was with ten men) in round four while Quilmes were getting torn apart by Darío Benedetto in La Bombonera. Three clean sheets in a row the visitors but they are not usually so dangerous in front of goal and definitely not as good outside Bahía Blanca so Quilmes may fancy rebounding from their humbling against Boca.
Godoy Cruz are yet to get anywhere near the form of the Transición and are now without a win since the opening weekend. El Tomba were excellent on home soil last season and have won all their total of four points this term at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas so Sebastián Méndez will be demanding another three from the visit of Unión. El Tatengue don’t score many goals and aren’t great on the road but did win away to Lanús on their last travels.
Surprisingly it is Central’s lack of goals that is causing them issues and with Marco Ruben looking off form, El Canalla have now not found the net in three of their four matches. However, Giovani Lo Celso will continue to create chances and you sense that once Ruben and Teo Gutiérrez start scoring, things will look very different for Central. Sergio Rondina meanwhile, will have been thrilled by his side’s comeback against Gimnasia last week but less so about the continued defensive lapses that are dogging them this season. Arsenal are still without a win and will most likely aim to keep things compact and try and snatch something from a set piece.
This is one of those perhaps best filed under avoid – Aldosivi have only scored one goal this season and are are without a win and Talleres are also without a win and have not scored since the opening weekend. La T have been a little unlucky but are still desperate to earn that first three points back in the top flight.
Diego Osella deserves enormous praise for the start Newell’s have made to this season. Solid defensively and a rejuvenated attack built around the new lease of life in Ignacio Scocco, La Lepra look a threat again but how long will it continue? Temperley’s home form (four points from six) is the only thing keeping them afloat at present and it still isn’t enough to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Racing have drawn both matches in the Cilindro this season but have the best player in the league at present in Marcos Acuña and Lisandro López back fit up top. That combination was far too much for Vélez last weekend and against a Patronato side that struggles away from Paraná, surely Ricardo Zielinski will be toasting a first home win on Saturday night.
Vélez are in a real mess at present and last weekend’s defeat to Racing brought violent clashes between the barra and police and the resignation of Cristian Bassedas. Omar de Felippe will be the new man in charge but will not be in the dugout for Sunday’s trip to the Monumental which despite River drawing their last two matches appears daunting. River have been uncharacteristically poor defensively but have the most potent attack in the league and with Alario and Driussi in the goals they could punish a beleagured Velez.
San Lorenzo will understandably be tired and under-strength for the visit of Atlético Rafaela on Sunday afternoon after a gruelling away trip to Venezuela on Thursday. However, while Diego Aguirre’s side remain suspect defensively, they have plenty of options in attack and have scored in every game so far this season but this won’t be as straight-forward as it would have been in the Transición. The improvement to La Crema this season is significant and Llop’s boys have gone from the worst defence in the top flight to a side that has conceded just one goal in their opening four games. It is a foundation that has certainly given La Crema a fighting chance in their battle against relegation.
Both sides come into this having lost cup ties in midweek and are both struggling somewhat in the league. Belgrano went out of the Copa Sudamericana on penalties after losing to Coritiba in Córdoba but did claim their first win of the Primera season last weekend. Lanús were eliminated from the Copa Argentina by Boca on penalties and have only scored once in four league games but Jorge Almirón is getting players back to fitness now so will be hoping for an upturn in form.
Banfield were woeful on the opening weekend against River and uninspired against Colón the following round but perhaps there are signs of improvement in Julio Cesar Falcioni’s side. The trick now is finding a balance to their play between the smart attacking that saw Aldosivi and the dogged defending that earned a point away to Talleres. Three draws from four isn’t the worst start for San Martin but the longer the wait for a first win of the season goes on the more the club will be looking at the averages in the descenso table.
Gabi Milito suddenly finds himself under a degree of pressure at Independiente after this week saw El Rojo crash out of the Copa Sudamericana having already gone out of the Copa Argentina. The league is now the sole focus and Milito needs some strong performances to turn around many of the growing numbers of doubters. That won’t be easy against Sarmiento, who may have only won once this season but have conceded only two goals.
Yet to concede a goal this season, Colón may not be a side that the neutrals want to watch but Paolo Montero is doing a good job so far. El Sabalero don’t score many and have had to ride their luck at times but their defensive discipline is yielding results. Defensa y Justicia are still without a win but have had an awful run of fixtures and in the recent draws with Racing and River Plate they could arguably have snatched more than a point. Ariel Holan is still looking for the balance between defence and attack but there are promising signs for El Halcón.
It’s been a good week for Boca – Darío Benedetto scores a blistering hat-trick in last week’s win over Quilmes and they win midweek in the Copa Argentina against Lanús. However, their away form is awful and so Sunday’s visit to Tigre is a difficult one. Tigre are still without a win but showed signs of improvement against Independiente last weekend. Rincon and Janson provide the outlet to play on the counter and Pedro Troglio will undoubtedly try and utilise this again on Sunday.
Eduardo Dominguez’s resignation has only compounded the messy situation that Huracán have found themselves in this season. Regardless of who comes in to manage the team the issue remains that minus Ramón Abila, El Globo look short of goals. Atlético Tucumán have perhaps not been as impressive as they were last season but remain a long way from relegation and certainly a threat in front of their own rowdy supporters.