Preview and predictions for the tenth round of games in the Clausura 2011 tournament.
Last week's effort was rubbish. I made several bad predictions because I had very little time to do any research due to internet problems and then ignored my good gut instincts on a couple of occasions. Hopefully I can improve on four points this time around.
The first game of the weekend pits the two bottom clubs against each other. Quilmes have not won a game yet in the Clausura and Newell's Old Boys have not won on the road in their last fourteen attempts. The stats suggest a draw but I'm going for a home win for Quilmes.
San Lorenzo are far from out of the title race as they are only four points behind the leaders with game in hand. This weekend they host Lanús who are unbeaten in three matches, have won on their last two visits to the nuevo gasómetro and have won five in a row against San Lorenzo home and away. I fancy San Lorenzo to avoid the hat-trick of home defeats in thios fixture with a win to put them back in the title race.
The big game on Saturday is the world famous Avellaneda derby. Racing Club have fallen out of the title race with a four game winless streak. They would love to get one over on their fierce local rivals Independiente however a backdrop of disappointing results and infighting amongst the players is not a great foundation for success. Independiente were knocked out of Copa Libertadores in midweek but recorded only their second away win in a year in the process. They should be reasonably confident going into this game especially since they have not lost a league game at El Cilindro since April 2005.
Another week another vital relegation six pointer for All Boys, this time against Huracán. Both sides will be desperate for a win and I cannot see it being a pretty game, especially with All Boys professional bruiser Hugo Barrientos and Huracán's gastón Machín (an Argentine version of Robbie Savage) on the field. I fancy All Boys to rediscover their good home form from the Apertura with a win in this one and a bet on at least one red card is probably worth a punt too.
Saturday's late kick off gives us a chance to find out what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Godoy Cruz are the highest scorers overall in 2010-11 season, the joint highest scorers in the Cluasura and their games have featured more goals than any other team's with 32. The visitors Argentinos Juniors have the tightest defence in the Clausura having only conceded 3 goals in nine games, they are the only side to remain unbeaten and their games have featured less goals than any other team's with only 11.I fancy the unstoppable force to win out in this one.
After their midweek mauling by Cruzeiro in the Copa Libertadores Estudiantes face a difficult trip to Bahía Blanca to face Olimpo. The hosts have struggled at home in the Clausura but I fancy former Estudiantes striker Ezequiel Maggiolo to put in a strong performance in this encounter against his former team who have now gone four games without a win.
Boca Juniors host Tigre on Sunday afternoon. Both sides are in the bottom half of the table and are struggling to find any kind of good form. This fixture has a history of high scoring games and both sides have leaky defences. I fancy Denis Straqualursi to find a goal or two and Martín Palermo to put an end to his long goal drought in a high scoring Boca Juniors win or a score draw.
There is no reason I can think of to bet against Vélez Sársfield adding to their five consecutive league wins when they visit Colón on Sunday. The hosts have lost four consecutive home games and last time they faced Vélez they were battered 6-0.
Gimnasia y Esgrima manager Angel Cappa faces River Plate for the first time since he was sacked after in the middle of the Clausura and he will be wanting to prove a point. Games between these two sides have produced five consecutive draws and I would normally bet against the continuation of such an unusual run of results however after last week I'm going to stick with my gut insticts which say nil nil bore draw. if you do want to bet against the draw then a River Plate win is more likely given that they are top of the table and unbeaten in their last ten league games against Gimnasia since November 2005.
The last game of round ten on monday night is between Arsenal and Banfield. Both teams are in the bottom half of the table without having looked like bad sides. My instincts are saying draw again so that's what I'll go with.
As the results come in I will fill in the actual scores and colour code the predicted scores, green for exact score, yellow for correct result and red for completely wrong. Each green score gets three points, each yellow score gets one point and red scores get nothing. If you fancy playing along fill out your predictions in the comments below to see if you can beat mine.
|Quilmes||3-1||Newell's Old Boys||1-0|
|Godoy Cruz||1-0||Argentinos Juniors||0-2|
|Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP)||0-0||River Plate||0-0|
Score: 11 points. My highest score yet, things were not looking good until an excellent run of three correct scorelines out of four games on Sunday. I was especially pleased to have predicted Boca's 3-3 draw with Tigre and that Denis Straqualursi would be the star of the show, although Martín Palermo didn't score in the game as predicted.