January 16, 2018
Friday, May 12, 2017

A weekend of Clásicos

By Dan Edwards
For the Herald

Derby day arrives for all the teams in the Argentine league’s unique round of fixtures

While Sunday’s Superclásico is undoubtedly the pick of the weekend’s action, the entire Primera División will be opened up to local rivalries in that uniquely Argentine concept — a round made up of derbies (to even up the calendar due to the 30 teams that currently populate the top flight).

Artificial, contrived and nakedly motivated by commercial concerns it may be, but the glut of Clásicos will nevertheless make riveting viewing over the next 72 hours.

San Martín de San Juan and Godoy Cruz kick off the action tonight with the second running of the Cuyo region’s biggest match in as many weeks. The last game between the sides finished in a tense 0-0 draw, but Godoy Cruz needs a big result to keep alive its Sudamericana hopes while San Martín reconciles itself to a season rooted in mid-table comfort.

Córdoba also plays host to a derby that will be tinged with emotion, as Talleres and Belgrano meet in a replay of the match that was tainted by tragedy when young Pirata fan Emanuel Balbo was murdered in the stands. Estudiantes coach Nelson Vivas, meanwhile, will hopefully have calmed down a little after his bare-chested theatrics against Boca, though he will be confined to the stands for the visit of great La Plata rival Gimnasia tomorrow.

The Clásico del Sur between Banfield and Lanús and San Lorenzo’s visit to Parque Patricios to meet Huracán rounds off Saturday, but the following day fans have no less than four fierce derbies to enjoy.

The Superclásico aside, Racing’s visit to arch-rivals Independiente in Avellaneda is not to be missed. Both teams won last week to enter the match in high spirits, and the host will be praying that a 4-1 drubbing of Newell’s will give it enough impetus to finally end its dreadful run of 11 home games without a win right when it counts the most. Racing is just one of a host of teams fighting for Libertadores qualification; Colón and Newell’s are also in the same boat, but can see their chances hurt by Unión and Rosario Central who visit in two mouthwatering games in Santa Fe province.

While it is not a Clásico by any stretch of the imagination, Monday’s meeting between Arsenal and Temperley might just prove to be more important for each club than any of the local rivalries. Both teams are battling desperately against relegation and have little margin for error when they go head-to-head in Sarandí.

Pride is on the line throughout the weekend, but there are also plenty of Primera points up for grabs in a round where soccer is more personal than ever.


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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia