Estudiantes de la Plata v Gimnasia de la Plata
Surprisingly, the Argentinian Liga Profesional starts with quite a juicy derby, as Estudiantes takes on Gimnasia in their own stadium. Usually, those important games are planned a bit further into the season, but somehow they decided to schedule it as the opening game.
Last season, Estudiantes were one of the best teams in the league, finishing top of the group. It came as a shock that they were immediately eliminated by Argentinos Juniors. In the Copa Sudamericana they didn’t share that same faith and comfortably made it through to the round of 16. So far Estudiantes managed to keep the team together and again they are expected to battle for the top spots this season.
Gimnasia were pretty bad for most of last season, but they picked up their game towards the end and with six victories from the last seven games they challenged for the play-offs until the last moment. They finally were a point short to go into the season decider, but showed that they are a team to be taken into account. There are strong rumours about several Gimnasia players leaving the side in the coming weeks, and that is likely to affect their preparation for this game. With Estudiantes being so dominant last season, I see them as the favourites to claim the victory in this local derby.
Defensa y Justicia v River Plate
River Plate were one of the favourites to win the title last season, but one bad game against Tigre in the semi-finals cost them dearly. It will make them extra motivated to start this season well, but they will be without several of their key players. Striker Julian Álvarez and goalkeeper Franco Armani are away with the Argentinian national team and won’t feature in this game. Nicolas de la Cruz, Paulo Diaz and David Martinez are away with different national teams and Juan Fernando Quintero, Milton Casco and Robert Rojas are still injured. In other words, River are far from complete.
With Defensa y Justicia they face one of the most exciting teams from last year. Defensa were always involved in lots of goals whether it was goals scored or conceded and they were mostly a pleasure to watch. But that came at a cost, several of their best players from last season (e.g. Rotondi and Merentiel) have sparked strong interest from the bigger clubs in Argentina and may leave the side, so their preparation isn’t ideal either.
Manager Sebastián Beccacece doesn’t really step away from his idea of trying to play a dominant game and doesn’t like hanging back and defend. It does mean they tend to give away space at the back. Against this River, with the goalkeeper and four regular defenders missing, that could mean goals on both sides.
Rosario Central v Lanús
Halfway through last season, Rosario Central sacked manager Kily González and replaced him with Leandro Somoza, but it is hard to see why they keep backing the inexperienced manager. They never really improved during the season and finished bottom of their group. At 36 years old, Marco Ruben was probably their best player, but he decided to hang up his boots and retired from professional football. They haven’t really found anyone to replace him either, so Rosario might even be a bit weaker still.
Amazingly, Lanús are still heavily relying on 41-year-old striker José ‘Pepe’ Sand. Sand doesn’t play everything, but was again important with three goals in the Copa Sudamericana and two league goals. He wasn’t always fit last season, but his fitness improved towards the end. Because of the Copa Sudamericana Lanús only took a week off between seasons. They started training again on June 1st, which makes it difficult to say whether they are at their best level.
Lanús aren’t the best team in the league and manager Jorge Álmiron doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but I just can’t see what Rosario are doing. Without Ruben or a proper replacement, they seem to have even less to offer than last season, so I don’t see them get the victory here.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four and Five Star Selections as a Treble on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 9/2 Argentine Liga Profesional Best Bets Treble. Here are the two possible outcomes: