Last week I got a poor score of 2/10 correct results and 0/10 exact scores, my second worst effort to date. Hopefully I can return to form with this week's predictions.
The first game of the weekend kicks off on Friday night in Rosario where bottom of the table Newell's Old Boys host an All Boys side who are on the brink of securing Primera División survival. It doesn't seem like a wise bet to back Newell's in this game as they have only managed 2 wins in 14 games however they do have a historical 100% home league record against All Boys and they are running out of chances to pick up the points they need in order to avoid the embarassment of a bottom of the table finish.
The next game involves second place Godoy Cruz who face a tough looking trip to Banfield. The Mendoza outfit need a win in order to overtake leaders Vélez and their excellent away record suggests that they could get it however I get the feeling that Banfield will put up a good fight. My gut instinct says draw but most of the stats point to an away win for El Tomba so I'll say Godoy Cruz to win and we'll see what happens.
The first game on Saturday features the Primera División's form team, 3rd placed Lanús against Tigre, who are still battling to avoid finishing in one of the dreaded relegation playoff positions. This fixture has only been played three times since the 1950s in the Primera División and Lanús have had the best of it winning on both of their previous two visits to El Monumental de Victoria. This should be a cracking game as both sides still have a lot to play for.
the next game should provide an answer to the old unstoppable force vs immovable object question. The hosts Argentinos Juniors have the best defensive record in the division while visitors Olimpo have more goals than any teams but the top two with 25. Both sides need the win for a couple of reasons, both sides need 3 points to keep their faint title ambitions alive, Argentinos need the win in order to keep up their chase for a Copa Sudamericana 2012 qualification place and Olimpo need the win in order to clamber out of the Primera Division relegation zone.
The next game features two sides trapped in terrible runs of form, defending champions Estudiantes have now gon 11 games without a win while hosts Huracán have plummeted into the automatic relegation zone after 5 consecutive defeats and only 1 point from their last 7 games. The only bright spot for Huracán has been the goalscoring form of their new striker Javier Cámpora but they will not want to be reminded that the last time he played Argentine domestic football he finished the Apertura 2005 season as top scorer for a Tiro Federal side that ended up getting relegated at the end of the season. I fancy Estudiantes to break their winless run with a convincing win especially since they have only lost one of their last 8 league visits to Parque Patricios.
The last game on Saturday features Independiente and Colón. The hosts have recovered well from their pathetic bottom of the table finish in the Apertura and after a 4 game unbeaten run they look like they could potentially finish the Clausura in a comfortable mid-table position. Colón lost their last away game against Tigre but recovered with a 3-0 home demolition of Huracán in fecha 14. I fancy Colón to get one over on former manger Antonio Mohamed who deserted them for the Independiente job midway through the Apertura 2010 tournament.
Sunday kicks off with a do-or-die game for Quilmes, if they fail to win against the division's most inconsistent side; Racing Club their chances of avoiding automatic relegation will end up relying on a highly improbable run of results and their fate will fall into the hands of the teams above them. Occupying 5th position gives Racing the boasting rights as the highest placed team amongst the so-called big five however defeat would allow all of the other so-called-big-five to overtake them should they manage to win themselves.
Championship leaders Velez should cruise to a comfortable win against relegation threatened Gimnasia in the next game but the have been prone to the occasional slipup, most notably a home defeat against relegation threatened Quilmes in fecha 11.
After only one win in their last five games River Plate are in danger of falling back into the relegation places without a win against San Lorenzo. They have a strong home record against Los Cuervos having won four of their last five home league games in this fixture however all River fans will have painful memories of their embarrasing defeat in Copa Libertadores 2008 where they let a comfortable two goal lead slip away while playing against a San Lorenzo team that had been reduced to nine players.
I fancy Boca Juniors to win the last game of the weekend at Arsenal, a gut feeling. I may give some more detail and statistical analysis later. As it is I'm going out now so it'll have to wait.
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.
|Newell's Old Boys||1-0||All Boys||2-0|
|Vélez Sársfield||2-0||Gimnais y Esgrima (LP)||3-0|
|River Plate||1-1||San Lorenzo||2-1|
Score: 5 points (after the completion of the suspended Huracán-Estudiantes game