Monday, June 24, 2019

Prediction: River Plate vs Boca Juniors

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

One of the biggest game of the 2018 calendar year – and one that has been under heavy scrutiny – will take place this Sunday on foreign soil. Due to the problems in Argentina and the shameful incident everyone already knows about, the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores final will be played in Spain. Especifically, in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu. One might like it or not, but the decision has been made already. As a result, two of the world’s most popular sides will decide who will become King of South America on Spain. The first leg ended with a 2-2 draw, so we expect a very intense game in a new chapter of this fierce rivalry.

River Plate

Marcelo Gallardo’s men enter this game following a 3-1 win over Gimnasia La Plata in their previous league match, but there’s no question the players’ heads have been in this game for quite a while now. The 2-2 draw in the first leg gives them some kind of edge entering this one, but they shouldn’t hold anything back given the context of this game and especially what’s at stake. For what is worth, River have only lost once in their 13 Libertadores matches during the current term (W6, D6, L1) and that could be a good sign for them going forward. The fact that this game will be on a neutral venue should make the home or away form less important, but we must consider this. River Plate have gone undefeated in 12 of their 13 Copa matches in 2018, so there is no question that they can perform at both home and away. Can they repeat that on neutral soil?

Team News

River won’t have Nahuel Gallardo available for this contest due to a muscular injury. He wasn’t expected to be a starter, though.

Meanwhile, Ignacio Scocco is doubtful due to a lingering right leg injury. He will be a game-time decision.

Boca Juniors

Boca Juniors must be happy to see this game being played away from home since they’re yet to lose on the road during their 2018 Libertadores campaign (W1, D5). However, they need to be at their best since they can’t take anything for granted in this one. especially considering that they haven’t been able to defeat River in their previous four matches across all competitions (D1, L3). But on the other hand, El Xeneize (BOC) are unbeaten in their previous five games across all competitions (W3, D2). They enter this game in good form, though, winning their previous two Superliga matches by a 1-0 score. That result would be enough to give them the Libertadores title and a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup to be held next week. But it is not going to be easy for them considering all the things they have gone through. At the very least, they will be extra motivated given the attack they suffered on their path towards the Estadio Monunental days ago.

Team News

Boca Juniors do not have confirmed absences ahead of this match.

There’s one doubt, though. Cristian Pavon, who left the first leg with an injury, has had enough time to recover and could start. He will be a game-time decision.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Counting only the initial 90 minutes of both sides’ previous five matches across all competitions, Boca have the better form (W3, D2) as opposed to River’s one (W2, D2, L1).
  • River Plate, however, have had the better results against Boca Juniors in their last five meetings (W3, D1, L1).
  • River Plate have scored at least two goals in each of their previous three matches against Boca Juniors.
  • Boca Juniors have completed two consecutive shutouts in league play entering this match.
  • Looking at the all-time record, Boca have the edge over River. The record reads: 88 wins for Boca, 81 wins for River, 78 draws.

Conclusion

Neither side should hold anything back entering this game. Given what’s at stake and the rivalry between both, we could be in line for a very open encounter. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up witnessing over 2.5 goals scored.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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