Verdict: Boca Juniors win
Best Odds: 1/1
Looking to extend on what has been a real domestic romp, Boca Juniors will welcome Newell’s Old Boys to La Bombonera in the early hours of Tuesday.
Starting with the hosts, extending on their Copa Argentina adventure thanks to an eye-catching 2-1 win away at Barracas Central last time out, the mood in Boca Juniors’ camp should be at a red-hot high. Only continuing to shine on either side of June’s international break, Jorge Almiron’s men have skyrocketed their way up the Primera Division standings and the Buenos Aires-based giants will be looking to make another statement here. Last seen in top-flight action cruising their way to a routine 3-1 victory against Gimnasia, the former Elche boss finds his squad enjoying a six-match unbeaten run across all competitions – a run that stems back to June 22nd. With their recent purple patch underlined by a 4-0 romp against Monagas last month, Boca have also found a real clinical edge in the final third. Notching 12 strikes on their six-match unbeaten flurry, Almiron’s side are rightfully seen as a standout contender here.
Once again finding the net on Copa Argentina duties away at Barracas Central and now bagging three strikes in his previous five appearances across all competitions, Miguel Merentiel should partner attacking talisman Dario Benedetto in the final third.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero will start between the sticks at La Bombonera. Handed a Copa Argentina rest last time out, 22-year-old Alan Varela should make a full return at the heart of Almiron’s midfield.
Newell’s Old Boys
As for the visitors, while Newell’s Old Boys might have claimed a much-welcomed 2-0 victory away at Independiente earlier in the month, the Lepers have continued to struggle with their consistency. Last seen putting in a toothless performance as they eventually had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate at home against Atletico Tucuman, Gabriel Heinze’s side have recorded just a single win from any of their last seven appearances across all competitions. With that extended wobble stemming all the way back to June 6th, La Lepra are now seeking a minor miracle in their bid to claim a top-nine finish. However, despite facing what is a real challenge in the early hours of Tuesday, the one-time Manchester United defender will be excited by his most recent meeting against a high-flying Boca. Landing a 2-0 victory when they welcomed the Juniors to Sante Fe last season, Heinze will be desperate for a repeat performance here.
Dealing with what has become a mounting injury list, Newell’s Old Boys will once again be without the likes of Marco Campagnaro, Justo Giani, Ivan Gomez, Francisco Gonzalez and Ramiro Sordo.
Although 31-year-old Jorge Recalde might have failed to find the net in any of his last four straight domestic appearances, the former Libertad man should spearhead Heinze’s attack in the early hours of Tuesday. Gustavo Velazquez will be hoping to once again partner ex-Colon defender Guillermo Ortiz at the back.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last met back in October, Newell’s Old Boys picked up a 2-0 victory at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.
- However, Tuesday’s guests have picked up just a single win from any of their last seven appearances across all competitions.
- Boca Juniors are unbeaten in each of their previous six outings – a run that has seen them muster 12 strikes.
- Likewise, the midweek hosts have mustered 25 points from their last nine showdowns at La Bombonera.
- Each of the last seven meetings between Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys have finished with under 2.5 goals.
Although Newell’s Old Boys might have snatched a 2-0 victory when they welcomed Boca to the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa nine months ago, Heinze’s inconsistent squad will know that they face a real challenge here. Mustering just a single win from their previous seven appearances across all formats, a high-flying Boca will be looking to make another domestic statement in the early hours of Tuesday. Extending on their Copa Argentina adventure a few days ago after landing a 2-1 win away at Barracas Central, the Juniors are riding what has been a major wave of momentum since returning from June’s international break.
Verdict: Boca Juniors win
Best Odds: 1/1
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