Round Ten is already underway given Vélez beat Defensa y Justicia over the international break weekend but the remaining fourteen fixtures kick off on Friday evening. Here is when and where everything is happening in the Primera over the next few days with a brief preview and links to all the statistical information and possible starting line ups for each game via WhoScored.
Game of the week
There are a few to choose from with River travelling to Rosario to face Newell’s, Independiente hosting San Lorenzo and Racing making the trip to Huracán but none are likely to have the spice of Rosario Central’s clash with Boca Juniors. There is little love lost between the two sides after Boca edged out Central to the 2015 title and were gifted a victory in the Copa Argentina final thanks to some dubious refereeing. Eduardo Coudet’s side took slight revenge last month in the quarter finals of this year’s competition but they go head to head again on Sunday evening.
Victory over Gimnasia in La Plata ended Boca’s nine-month wait for an away win and now Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side return to La Bombonera, where they have not lost in eleven. Despite their stuttering start, Boca are now up to second and are the Primera’s leading scorers.
The goalless draw away to Independiente before the international break extended Central’s winless streak away from home to ten. Having scored half the number of goals Boca have managed, Eduardo Coudet’s side are yet to rediscover the form that almost pipped Boca to the title in 2015.
Nine games into the season and Arsenal remain the only side yet to win a match. Their failure cost Sergio Rondina his job and now the inexperienced Lucas Bernardi has a huge job on his hands. With the worst defence in the league, the first task is to tighten up at the back and make it difficult for Banfield on Friday. El Taladro remain inconsistent but are certainly weaker away from the Estadio Florencio Solá, where they have three defeats from five games.
The draw with River was only the second time this season that Nelson Vivas’ side dropped points but they remain unbeaten and five points clear at the top of the table. Twenty matches without defeat now and no signs of that ending soon unless Colón can further upset the apple-cart. El Sabelero have somewhat gatecrashed the group of big clubs at the top of the table and that is built purely on their outstanding defensive record. Paolo Montero deserves enormous credit for the fact that El Sabelero have conceded only three goals in nine games.
Jaime Ayoví has been away on international duty the past week and the fitness of the Ecuadorian is crucial given he has scored 56% of Godoy Cruz’s goals and all have come in Mendoza, where El Tomba still manage to look like a half decent side. Dreadful on the road, all 13 league points have been won in the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas. Either Godoy Cruz’s unbeaten home record or Tigre’s impressive recent run comes to an end. Seven unbeaten now for Pedro Troglio’s side, who despite continuing to leak the odd goal are now finding the back of the net on a regular basis, and pose a real threat on the counter.
Lanús chalked up only a third win of the season before the international break but now must seek consecutive victories for the first time. The champions are yet to get going and even their normally impressive home form has eluded them to some extent this season. However, another side failing to live up to the high expectations set from the Transición are Atlético Tucumán, who despite celebrating Copa Libertadores qualification, have won only once in seven matches.
Juan Pumpido remains in charge of Unión following Leonardo Madelón’s resignation and so there is a degree of uncertainty surrounding El Tatengue. Back in Santa Fe, Unión are decent and only Belgrano have won there this season but if Unión’s home record is on the whole good, Temperley’s away record is contrastingly poor. Just the one win away to Huracán broke their otherwise 100% record of losses on the road. The worst attack in the Primera, El Gasolero are simply not scoring enough to stay up.
Despite enjoying cup success in recent seasons, Huracán find themselves in the thick of a relegation fight and after a painful clásico defeat, El Globo’s form doesn’t look good. Yet to win at home, with their one league win coming away to Atlético Tucumán, relegation expert Caruso Lombardi desperately needs to get his team scoring and that won’t be easy with Racing in town on Saturday. La Academia became the first side to beat Newell’s this season in the last game before the international break but their form remains patchy. Their last two away matches ended in defeat and while there was no shame in losing to Estudiantes, the loss to Atletico de Rafaela showed a real defensive vulnerability.
What may have looked on paper like an intriguing match-up is likely to see an Independiente side, who can’t find the net, face a reserve San Lorenzo eleven, who have far more important matters to deal with.
Two goalless draws and now a tricky run of fixtures, Gabi Milito is under pressure to deliver, namely find a system where Independiente can score goals. Still only one defeat this season, El Rojo have scored only seven goals and no matter how good the defensive record is, that isn’t enough. San Lorenzo’s success has created quite the fixture pile-up and this league match is the lowest of those priorites. Elimination from the Copa Argentina on Thursday evening will have stung but keeping players fresh for next Wednesday’s trip to Brazil in the Copa Sudamericana is vital.
In a league where manager’s are changed more often than underwear, Esteban González is in desperate need of a win with his Belgrano side registering just the one all season and having the joint-worst attack in the top flight (four goals scored). Sarmiento have also only won once and that came on the opening weekend so the winless run of eight that followed has led El Verde to bring in a new coach. Can Jorge Burruchaga inspire more goals? Can he keep Sarmiento up? It looks a tall order.
Quilmes are now unbeaten in five and have won three home games on the bounce so despite still being down in the relegation dogfight, Los Cerveceros can see the light. Having not conceded a goal in over 350 minutes, Alfredo Grelak’s side are proving difficult to break down but while they might be looking up, Aldosivi are gradually sliding towards the drop zone and it’s easy to see why – one of the Primera’s lowest scorers, El Tiburón are now 13 away matches without a win.
Still rooted to the foot of the descenso table and with one win in six, things are not looking good for Atlético de Rafaela. Juan Manuel Llop has made La Crema more difficult to break down but they simply don’t score enough to survive and on Sunday host a dangerous Talleres side. Four wins in a row and three consecutive clean sheets mean La T are the form team in the Primera. However, Frank Kudelka is having to contend with a host of injuries ahead of Sunday’s trip to Rafaela.
Newell’s suffered their first defeat of the season two weeks ago in Avellaneda but back on home soil with Nacho Scocco back in the side, La Lepra should be a more dangerous proposition. Diego Osella’s side are well organised, difficult to break down and have dropped only two points in Rosario but that record will be put to the test by River Plate. After slowing Estudiantes’ momentum with a deserved draw, River will now be looking to return to winning ways after picking up three points just once from the last four. Jonathan Maidana’s return is a massive boost but Gallardo’s side haven’t won away in three.
Despite remaining in deep relegation trouble, Olimpo are now unbeaten in three but the single points won from two draws are no real help to a side in the bottom four. Cristian Diaz’s side are far better at home and both their wins this season have come in Bahia Blanca. Gimnasia have won just once in seven and are one of the lowest scorers in the league but will be boosted by their dramatic win over San Lorenzo in the Copa Argentina on Thursday.
After a shaky start, Patronato are beginning to look something like the team they were in the Transición and despite a narrow defeat away to Talleres will be looking for three points on home soil. The two previous home matches were victories so El Patron will be confident. San Martín also endured an indifferent start but are now unbeaten in three. Having previously shipped too many goals, back-to-back clean sheets have helped Pablo Lavellen’s side.