Fecha 18 Clausura 2011 - Preview and predictions

Preview and predictions for the 18th round of games in the Clausura 2011 tournament.


Last week I broke my long run of not predicting any correct scores with a remarkable 5 correct scores out of 9 games, with another correct result my score of 16 points is by far my best attempt yet.

The first game of the round will be bottom of the table Newell's Old Boys visit to Olimpo. The outcome could have huge consequences in the relegation table, especially if Olimpo manage to win. The stats seem to support the case for a home win with Newell's having only won 1 of their last 18 away games in all competitions and their record in Bahía Blanca is nothing to write home about either having recorded just one victory in their six previous attempts.

The first of Saturday's games features the team with the worst home record in the division facing the team with the 3rd worst away record. Arsenal have only won one of their 8 previous Primera División games against Colón in Santa Fe but Colón have only managed one win and one draw in their last 8 home games. I have a gut feeling that Colón's legendary striker Esteban Fuertes to bag the decisive goal in this game.

The next game is the decisive encounter for Quilmes, without an away win against San Lorenzo they will be relegated from the Primera División. Although Quilmes have lost their last 2 away games the omens are actually quite good for the visitors; San Lorenzo have not won in four games and Quilmes have a surprisingly good recent record at "el nuevo gasométro" having won 2 of their last 4 Primera División games there. It seems foolish to back a side that are so close to relegation but I just feel that they have everything to play for and their manager Ricardo Caruso Lombardi has instilled some discipline in the side while San Lorenzo are in turmoil and have nothing to play for apart from a mid-table finish. I imagine that a late winner for Quilmes is on the cards.

The next game will also have implications for the relegation zone. All Boys could already be safe from relegation if Olimpo fail to win their game but assuming that they don't All Boys will still need another point to secure their survival. their visitors Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata are stuck in the automatic relegation places  a single point behind Huracán. A draw in this game could actually suit both sides assuming that Huracán don't get anything from their game against the league leaders later in the weekend.

The last game on Saturday features Tigre and Independiente, two sides that still face the possibility of finishing in the relegation playoff positions. A draw for visitors Independiente would secure their safety and they have a good record in Victoria having won two of their three Primera División games there since Tigre's return to the top flight in 2007. Neither of these sides have had problems scoring goals however they find themselves in mid-table positions due to their often shambolic defending. I fancy this one to be a high scoring game.

The early kick-off on Sunday features relegation threatened Huracán and league leaders Vélez Sársfield. It is remarkable to think that these two teams played an incredible final game title decider less than two years ago which Vélez won courtesy of a highly dubious goal. Since then Vélez have remained one of the strongest sides in the Primera División while Huracán have struggled badly failing to average a point a game since that dramatic game in July 2009. I can only see one winner in this encounter and the only question for Huracán is whether Javier Cámpora can find a goal to improve his chances of finishing as the league's top scorer.

Last time Estudiantes played River Plate they humped them 0-4 at El Monumental on their way to winning the Apertura 2010 championship. That game seems a long time ago now, especially as Estudiantes have only won 1 of their last 14 games and have not experienced a win at home since March. River Plate are without a win in five games and have not scored more than one away goal since a 1-4 win at Lanús back in 2010 11 games ago and they have not won away against Estudiantes since an astonishing 0-6 result back in 2002. River could be starting this game in the relegation zone depending on whether Olimpo had managed to beat bottom of the table Newell's on Friday. Both sides have struggled to score goals in recent months so I fancy this one to be a low scoring game.

Lanús will almost certainly need to win their game against Argentinos Juniors in order to keep their championship hopes alive. This fixture has provided a couple of cracking games in the last few years, the last time it was played Argentinos recorded an astonishing 3-6 away win to avenge their 4-2 defeat the time before. I reckon there is no way they are going to record a hat-trick of high scoring games, especially given that Argentinos Juniors games have featured the fewest goals so far in the Clausura tournament with only 24 goals (for & against) in their 17 games.

Last time Banfield visited the Bombonera to play Boca Juniors they came away with a 2-3 win however their manager in that game; Julio Cesár Falcioni is now the Boca Juniors boss and he has really begun to turn things around after their poor start to the season. Boca have become one of the league's form teams with a run of 8 games without defeat ans their veteran striker Martín Palermo has bagged 6 goals in his last 7 games prompting the Boca faithful to beg him not to retire at the end of the season, but as things stand this could be his last competitive home game for the club. Banfield Have been one of the most inconsistent sides in the Clausura having experienced 3 runs of 4 games or more without a win so far but they have won both of their previous games.

The last game of the round on Monday night features two of the leagues most entertaining sides. The hosts Racing Club have played some quality football in the Clausura but have also been the most inconsistent side since their promising start to the season imploded in unexpected defeats and training ground bust-ups. In all probability their visitors Godoy Cruz will already be out of the title race by the time they take to the field, they have been one of the best away teams in the league and could close in on their second ever 3rd place finish with a decent result in this game however they have not won any of their four previous Primera División games against Racing at "el cilindro".


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.

10-06-11 Prediction
Olimpo 1-1 Newell's Old Boys 2-0
Colón 0-1Arsenal 1-0
San Lorenzo 0-2 Quilmes 2-3
All Boys 1-0 Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP) 1-1
Tigre 0-0 Independiente 2-2
Huracán 0-2 Vélez Sársfield 0-4
Estudiantes 1-1 River Plate 0-0
Lanús 0-1 Argentinos Juniors 1-0
Boca Juniors 1-1 Banfield 2-0
Racing Club 3-2 Godoy Cruz 1-1

Score:4 Points

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