After last week's utterly pathetic tally of only one point I am expecting some improvement here. It could hardly get worse.
Both of Friday night's games feature sides battling against relegation. First up are Gimnasia y Esgrima who face by far the worst team in the Clausura so far in Newell's Old Boys. Gimnasia are running out of games to save themselves from the threat of automatic relegation, but they must take confidence from the fact that Newell's have not won in nine games and have failed to win an away game in their last 15 attempts. One fact that may give Newell's some confidence going into the game is that they have won all of their last six games against Gimnasia home and away.
After their amazing away win against league leaders Vélez last weekend relegation favourites Quilmes face another away game against Banfield. Quilmes lost their home tie against Banfield 0-2 back in October but last time they visited Banfield back in May 2007 they came away with a 2-3 win. I fancy this to be a highly competitive game between two sides with a lot to play for. Quilmes are battling for survival and Banfield are only three points behind the league leaders. The two teams are also the form teams in the Primera being the only ones to have managed to string two wins together in their last two games.
Argentinos Juniors face a trip to All Boys without any away support. the last time this fixture was played in the Primera División way back in 1980 the game ended in a 0-0 draw and I'm predicting a draw in this one too since Argentinos are the division's draw specialists with six in eleven games and All Boys have remained unbeaten in their last four games.
The big clásico between San Lorenzo and Huracán has a lot riding on it for both teams. San Lorenzo have to recover from the resignation of manager Ramón Diaz and put an end to their five game winless streak. Huracán look set to end the season in the relegation playoff places without a dramatic improvement in form however acontinuation of their four game winless run could drop them into the automatic relegation places. Huracán have had some decent results at El Nuevo Gasómetro in recent years however they have not scored more than one goal there since 1992 and have suffered a 3-0 mauling in their last game there in April 2010.
The next Clásico between Racing and River Plate looks like a potentially brilliant game. Both sides have played some excellent football in the Clausura but have lost unexpectedly too. Racing are probably the most unpredictable side in the league with five wins and five defeats in their eleven games.
Godoy Cruz secured another famous away win at El Monumental last weekend and this week face a struggling Arsenal side on Saturday evening. I fancy the league's joint top scorers to bag a few goals in this one against a side that have never won a Primera División game in Mendoza.
The late game on Sunday is the reverse fixture of the pivotal and decisive game of the Apertura. Estudiantes who have now failed to win in seven games host free scoring league leaders Vélez Sársfield. This should be a much more entertaining game than the 0-0 draw that Estudiantes ground out in October. Vélez have scored at least twice in nine of their last eleven games and Estudiantes seem to have forgotten how to defend.
The fecha continues on Monday with Olimpo hosting Tigre. Olimpo are the leagues top scoring side and in Denis Straqualursi Tigre have the most effective striker in the league.Even though these are two of the leagues more unfashionable teams I fancy this to be a cracking game.
Colón vs Lanús games always have a great atmosphere because of the friendly relationship between the supporters of the two clubs. Lanús are unbeaten in five matches and Colón have not won a home game in their last five attempts.
The last game of the round is another clásico between Boca Juniors and Independiente. Both sides have been struggling for form however Boca's impressive 0-3 win at Huracán may have been the turning point in their season. Independiente have traditionally had a pathetic record at the Bombonera but they broke their 17 game winless streak with a surprise 0-1 win last time they played a league game there back in 2009.
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.
|Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP)||1-2||Newell's Old Boys||1-0|
|All Boys||0-0||Argentinos Juniors||0-0|
|Racing Club||0-1||River Plate||1-2|
Score: 8 Points After last week's dismal effort 8 points does not look bad at all.