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.
Games of the week
Breaking from tradition, I have needed to select two games of the week given that round seven has thrown up one of Argentine football’s biggest derbies and immediately after in a tantalising double-header, a clash between the early season pace-setters.
Arguably the most fierce clásico in Argentine football takes place on Sunday afternoon and while the action on the pitch on derby days across the country is often lacking, there is no shortage of drama, colour, noise and passion from the stands.
Two of the last three clásico rosarinos have ended goalless but in recent years the fixture has been dominated by Central with Newell’s not claiming the city bragging rights in ten attempts. However, for the first time in years it is the visitors arriving in better form as Diego Osella has led La Lepra to an unbeaten start built on defensive solidity. Only two goals conceded gives Newell’s the best defence in the top flight and if they can eke out another 1-0 win it will be job done.
Central on the other hand had a frustrating start to the season but appear to have at least found their cutting edge again after the 5-0 demolition of Arsenal and scoring twice against Estudiantes previously impenetrable defence. Unfortunately for Eduardo Coudet that last game still ended in defeat and came at the cost of having Giovani Lo Celso sent off – his absence on Sunday will be keenly felt.
Estudiantes came through one of their first real examinations of the season by defeating Rosario Central in La Plata last week and as a result held off the chasing pack to remain top. Perhaps the side biting at their heels most vorociously is San Lorenzo and so Sunday’s meeting in Bajo Flores is of real interest.
San Lorenzo being in action on Thursday night in the Copa Sudamericana is a real hindrance to Diego Aguirre’s preparation but Los Cuervos appear to be improving with every passing week and their attractive brand of football continues to please the eye. In Belluschi, Blandi, Blanco and Cauteruccio it’s difficult to find a more dynamic attacking line-up and in better form.
No side has yet kept San Lorenzo out but perhaps the best defence in the league will be able to manage it – Estudiantes conceded their first goals of the season last weekend but still managed to beat Rosario Central and remain two points clear at the top. El Pincha are a well organised unit but attack well too and in Solari, Auzqui and Viatri pose a threat of their own.
An early season relegation six-pointer after both sides suffered defeats last weekend and slipped into the bottom four of the descenso table. Sarmiento haven’t won since the opening weekend and although Gabriel Schürrer keeps them quite tight at the back, they have scored only twice all season while Olimpo have won only once and that victory over Godoy Cruz in Bahia Blanca is looking increasingly freakish when placed alongside the Aurinegros other results.
With the wait for a first win back in the top flight now over after the impressive win away to San Martín, Talleres must now follow it up and give their home fans something to cheer. Goals have been hard to come by and after scoring more in the win than they managed in the four matches prior, La T must look to continue this attacking approach. Just like Tallares, Defensa y Justicia scored a first win of the season last weekend after some decent earlier performances went unrewarded. Ariel Holan’s side also don’t score enough, but are at least now showing a little more defensive solidity to build on.
Was Lanus’ performance against Godoy Cruz a sign that the champions are back or a false dawn? If it’s the former then El Granate should have little problem in seeing off Quilmes but Almirón’s boys have to prove themselves. If Acosta, Almirón, Moreno and Sand are in the mood, Quilmes’ leaky defence could be in trouble.
Sebastián Méndez was rightly upset by his side’s performance against Lanús last weekend but while El Tomba have lost every away fixture, they have won two and drawn one from their three matches in Mendoza. Belgrano also suffered an off night in their goalless draw with Olimpo but despite a third draw in four games are at least unbeaten in that time.
Despite hovering one place above the drop zone, Temperley come into this one in decent shape after a surprise win away to Huracán and a home record that hasn’t seen them lose in six. Coversely, Independiente are under a little bit of pressure after cup exits and last weekend’s first league defeat of the season at home to Atlético Tucumán. Gabi Milito desperately needs to find the winning formula and will hope that bringing Germán Denis into the side will add some much needed goals.
Colón tasted defeat for the first time this season and conceded their first goals in the process and so Paolo Montero’s side will be looking to bounce back in Santa Fe on Saturday. Following a first win of the season and it coming over River Plate, Patronato will be hoping that it will serve as a kickstart to their season. However, all three away matches this term have ended in defeats and including last season, El Patrón are now 15 without victory on the road.
Defeat away to Atlético de Rafaela was an early wake-up call for Ricardo Zielinski as a number of his players were guilty of under-performing but with it being followed up by a deeply disappointing Copa Argentina exit in midweek, La Academia need three points. Eleven unbeaten in the Cilindro, Arsenal don’t look primed to threaten that. Without a win, bottom of the table and the worst defence in the top flight – it’s been a dreadful start for Arsenal after such a promising Transición.
Despite suffering a first defeat of the season last weekend, River Plate will rightly come into Saturday’s clash as overwhelming favourites. The Primera’s leading scorers have a front two that look like finding the net in every game and despite a number of recent draws, River are unbeaten in nine at the Monumental. Atletico Rafaela remain firmly in the relegation zone but are making a fist of their survival bid with three wins already this season. The defence is notably more organised than in the Transición and La Crema are making the most of their chances at the other end.
Gimnasia were dealt an enormous boost on Wednesday night when they beat Racing to reach the Copa Argentina quarter finals having not won in four matches prior. Normally very strong in La Plata, El Lobo have lost to Atletico de Rafaela and drawn the clásico in their last two games but it isn’t clear what you will get from visitors Huracán at the moment. Caruso Lombardi is still getting to grips with his new side following an impressive away win and a poor home defeat. With only five goals scored in their six matches it is clear where the problems lie.
Despite losing Lucas Janson to a knee injury for months, Tigre recorded their first win of the season in impressive fashion away to Olimpo last weekend and will be full of confidence back in Victoria. Unión are now three without a win after their decent start to the season and with only four goals scored, El Tatengue are one of the lowest scorers in the league.
Such a difficult side to predict, Banfield’s form seems to depend on whether Walter Erviti is prominent or not. When the veteran midfielder pulls the strings, El Taladro find the net and when he goes missing, they fire blanks. Which will it be on Sunday? Omar De Felippe’s first game in charge halted the run of three straight defeats for Vélez and earned El Fortin a second win of the season. However, both have come in Liniers while all three away matches have ended in defeat.
Atltico Tucuman’s win away to Independiente last week came somewhat out of the blue after a poor start to the season but El Decano must now look to reproduce their impressive home form of the Transición. No one won in the Monumental last season but they’ve already been beaten twice and Boca will be desperate to make it three having gone nine away matches without victory.
As predictably dull and defensive as Aldosivi are on the road, El Tiburón are slightly more difficult to read in Mar del Plata where they are unable to sit back quite as much. Victory over Talleres in their last home match ended the run of two defeats and now Fernando Quiroz must maintain that. San Martín are one of only two sides still without a win and although their opening fixtures were tough, successive defeats to Talleres and Banfield in recent weeks are worrying.