The Superliga finally announced the fixture list for the upcoming season and with it shed light on the Copa de la Liga that will be played once the league season comes to an end in March.
Running from August until March, the Superliga will once more be a straight-forward league format with the 26 clubs playing each other once.
With those 25 rounds complete by March 2019, a new Copa de la Liga will be played between April 14 and May 26. The ties for this knockout tournament will be determined by league position but the executive committee have not yet decided if there will be any international qualification from this competition.
The Superliga season will start on Friday August 10th and over that opening weekend of fixtures champions Boca Juniors will host Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s Talleres.
River Plate begin with a potentially tricky trip to Huracán, Racing travel to Tucumán for a clash with El Decano, San Lorenzo face Tigre and Independiente will have their opener against newly promoted San Martín de Tucumán postponed due to El Rojo challenging for the Suruga Bank title in Japan some days earlier.
According to reports, the fixtures were calculated by a computer program that took into account the mumber of kilometers teams must travel, the potential for supporters to cross paths, dates when stadiums would host other events, the location of fixtures during the recent tournaments and the club’s commitments to international competition.
Regardless, with only 25 matches to schedule and it being determined whether a side played at home or away against certain opponents, the system is open to criticism.
With four sides relegated last season and only San Martín de Tucumán and Aldosivi promoted, the Superliga continue to cut the number of top flight clubs to the eventual number of 22.
President Mariano Elizondo said, “The day we have 22 clubs we will play matches home and away.”
Four sides will be relegated again at the end of this season based off the promiedos with two once more being promoted to reduce further to 24 in 2019.
Naturally with 25 rounds of fixtures all eyes are on the big games, the clásicos, and none more so than the Superclásico, which will be played during round six at La Bombonera on September 23rd.
A list of the big fixtures with the dates of the round will give an idea of when all the matches are to be played.
Colón v Unión (Round 4) – August 31-September 3 San Lorenzo v River Plate (Round 4) – August 31-September 3 Boca v River (Round 6) – September 23 Talleres v Belgrano (Round 8) – October 5-8 Racing v Boca (Round 8) – October 5-8 Racing v San Lorenzo (Round 10) – October 26-29 Banfield v Lanús (Round 12) – November 9-12 San Lorenzo v Huracán (Round 13) – November 23-26 Atlético Tucumán v San Martín de Tucumán (Round 14) – November 30-December 3 Independiente v Boca (Round 14) – November 30-December 3 San Lorenzo v Independiente (Round 17) – February 1-4 Newell’s v Rosario Central (Round 18) – February 8-11 River v Racing (Round 18) – February 8-11 Independiente v Racing (Round 20) – February 22-25 San Martín de San Juan v Godoy Cruz (Round 21) – March 1-4 Estudiantes v Gimnasia (Round 22) – March 8-11 Boca v San Lorenzo (Round 22) – March 8-11 River v Independiente (Round 23) – March 15-18
When the Superliga season ends in March 2019 a new Copa de la Liga will be played.
This will be contested by all 26 Superliga clubs – the top six from the league season will progress straight to the next round leaving the remaining 20 to be paired based on final league position. A one-off game will be played and the winning will progress to the last 16.
These ten first round winners plus the top six from the league season make up the last 16 and from this point on the ties will be home and away.
Until the final which will be a one-off game at a neutral venue.
The Copa de la Liga will begin on April 14th and the final will be held on May 26, just under a month before the start of the 2019 Copa América in Brazil.