The Primera División returns on Friday evening from a week off due to the international break with the sixth 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
Fear of defeat led to a pretty dire clásico Platense before the international break but the goalless draw did at least meant that Estudiantes remained top, are still unbeaten and have yet to concede a goal. Back on their own patch, Nelson Vivas will be aiming for three points to ensure that El Pincha remain ahead of the six teams that sit only two points behind.
Have Estudiantes benefitted from a relatively simple fixture list or are they genuine title contenders? Well perhaps Rosario Central will test that on Saturday.
Eduardo Coudet’s side made a very slow start to the season with Marco Ruben struggling for form but the 29-year-old appeared to hit his stride just before the break and his brace helped El Canalla destroy Arsenal 5-0. They haven’t won away from Rosario in eight Primera matches but will be looking to end that run on Saturday and announce themselves back in the race.
One of those that could go either way depending on which side actually turn up. Defensa y Justicia are still without a win but have had a run of difficult games and been perhaps a little unfortunate while Banfield seem to swing from looking very good to being down right dreadful. Both could do with the points but if Ariel Holán could just find the balance between attacking without reckless abandon and defending without completely shutting up shop then El Halcón could edge this.
After a slow start Belgrano appear to be finding their feet under Esteban González now and as long as Claudio Bieler continues his current goal scoring form, El Pirata will be a threat. Yet to win in Córdoba in the league this season, Belgrano will be keen to put an end to that. Aldosivi notched their first win of the season before the international break against another side from Córdoba, but away from Mar del Plata, El Tiburón are a very different side. Without a win in 11 away games, Fernando Quiroz has at least managed to keep things tight this season with two goalless draws on their travels.
Omar De Felippe certainly has a job on his hands, but will be hoping to make an immediate impact as the new boss when Colón visit Liniers on Saturday. Three defeats on the bounce with eight goals conceded and just the one scored makes for bleak reading for El Fortín but at least their visitors don’t appear to be a side that will stretch them too much. El Sabalero won’t be winning any neutrals over anytime soon with their defensive approach but as long as they remain unbeaten Paolo Montero, won’t care less.
Edgardo Bauza has reportedly booked himself a seat on Saturday to take a closer look at Marcos Acuña and based on his form this season it seems a decent bet that the 24-year-old will help Racing to another victory. Racing are yet to put together a really solid 90 minutes under Ricardo Zielinski but in patches look very good and certainly have the talent to defeat an Atlético de Rafaela side, who despite making improvements remain in deep relegation trouble.
The Caruso Lombardi effect saw Huracán pick up their first win of the season before the international break and now things look a lot brighter in Parque Patricios. Four without a win at home, El Globo will be hopeful of back-to-back league wins on Saturday. If Diego Mendoza can start scoring regularly, Huracán’s results should improve fast. The visit of Temperley would be a good start given the predicament that El Gasolero find themselves in and the fact that they have picked up just a point from their last eight away matches.
Difficult fixture list or not, San Martín are still winless this season and need to rectify that as soon as possible to avoid being sucked into the relegation dogfight. After throwing away a two-goal lead against Banfield, and keeping just one clean sheet this season, it’s clear where Pablo Lavallen’s side need to sharpen up. The same can be said of Talleres, whose brave and plucky performances against the big boys will not ensure survival.
Given CONMEBOL’s decision to award Atlético Tucumán a spot in the 2017 Copa Libertadores as a result of being the best third-placed side from the Transición over Independiente there is an added spice to this one. Gabi Milito is seeing almost all possible doors to the Copa Libertadores close after elimination from the Copa Argentina and the Copa Sudamericana but El Rojo remain undefeated in the league and must ease the pressure on themselves with victory over El Decano.
The meeting of two sides so far struggling to reproduce their form of the Transición – champions Lanús are without a win since the opening day and while Jose Sand’s midas touch in front of eludes him El Granate are finding goals hard to come by. Godoy Cruz pushed San Lorenzo close for a spot in the final but have been poor so far and were second best in midweek as Los Cuervos dumped them out of the Copa Argentina.
Carlos Tevez returns from his three-match suspension to boost Boca but the truth is that Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s issues lie away from La Bombonera. Nine matches without a win is in stark contrast to at home where Boca are nine without defeat. Sarmiento sit a point above the drop zone and haven’t won since the opening weekend so it seems doubtful that Boca’s record will end on Sunday. Gabriel Schurrer ensures his side remain tight and have conceded only three goals but they just don’t do enough to win matches – two goals in five matches.
The news that Lucas Janson will be out for six months with a torn cruciate ligament will have rocked Tigre, who are already struggling this term. However, Olimpo are also not in the best shape and aside from the surprising 3-0 win over Godoy Cruz in their last home game, look as toothless as they have for the past year.
Newell’s remain unbeaten and have won both matches in Rosario this season and for that Diego Osella deserves great credit, but Sunday’s visit of Gimnasia may prove difficult if La Lepra are missing IgnacionScocco, Maxi Rodríguez and and Germán Voboril as reported. If missing it will come as a huge boost to the visitors, who have really hit the brakes since winning their opening two matches.
Diego Aguirre’s San Lorenzo are not quite putting together 90 minute performances but when they turn it on they look very very good. Still unbeaten, playing some scintillating stuff and almost a constant goal threat, no side has yet managed to keep Blandi, Belluschi and Blanco at bay. Arsenal certainly don’t look like the side to do that after shipping five against Central last time out. So solid last season, Arsenal are yet to keep a clean sheet in the opening five rounds and look in trouble.
River were Patronato’s biggest scalp in Paraná last season but the home side are no where near that form and have slid down into the relegation zone. Despite four of River’s starting XI being away on international aside it is impossible to look beyond Marcelo Gallardo’s side on Sunday evening. The defence is at times looking a little vulnerable, but in Driussi and Alario, Los Millonarios have one of the most promising strike pairs in the league.
Back-to-back defeats have somewhat undone the decent start that El Tatengue made to the season so back in Santa Fe against a struggling Quilmes side appears the perfect opportunity to get back on track. The visitors picked up a first league win of the season before the international break with a 2-1 home win over Olimpo. However, Los Cerveceros are six without victory on the road and haven’t kept a clean sheet in their opening five fixtures.