It’s Buonanotte and Good night for Doomed Quilmes

River to win at Quilmes – 2.1 (bet365.com) Sunday 3rd April

As the Clausura season fully gets into swing, teams are starting to find their way (or not, in some cases) and we’re getting a picture of who will be in the mixer as we draw towards the end of the season. Having qualified from their group in the Copa Libertadores this week, Estudiantes’ tough period of fixture congestion is over for now, and the fact that they’re top regardless is reason to worry for their title rivals.

At the other end, there are a host of teams fighting against the possibility of a drop to La B for next season. Independiente, All Boys, River, Gimnasia and Huracan are all in danger of immediate relegation or being in the playoffs against one of the second-tier’s leading sides. One side that looks condemned to certain relegation is Quilmes, who have been hapless in both halves of the this league campaign, and will return to the Primera B.

Technically then, it could be argued that this weekend’s clash between River and Quilmes at the home of the Brewers, is a relegation six-pointer but that’s not quite so. Whilst River are down there on a poor points average from the last few seasons (this is how relegation is worked out in Argentina), they are, in fact challenging for the Clausura title. They’ve started this season in excellent fashion, continuing their good start under boss JJ Lopez who took over after fixture 13 of the Apertura. Since he’s taken the reins, River have won 7 of their 13 games in the league, and are with only one loss this season, against fellow title candidates Velez.

Quilmes’ story is quite the contrary. They’ve not won a game this season, with 2 draws and 5 defeats from their 7 fixtures. Going back further, they’ve won just 4 games in 30 (including the back end of their promotion season), all of those coming in meaningless fixtures at the back end of the Apertura, whilst none of those beaten are in the same class as this River outfit. Quilmes have home advantage, but River are unbeaten in 6 on the road, with 3 wins and 3 draws.

Caruso will continue up front for River in the absence of Pavone, and has been in scoring form since coming in to the side as deputy to the injured Betis loan striker. The Millionarios will also be boosted by the return of Adalberto Roman, who comes in for Pereyra, with Juan Manuel Diaz shifting to make room for Roman, a vital cog in Lopez’s system. Diego Buonanotte, Europe-bound in July, replaces Lanzini in a like-for-like switch and the diminuitive playmaker will line up alongside Lamela in a mouthwatering attack. River’s defence has conceded just 4 in 7 games, whilst toothless Quilmes have scored just 4 in 7. Such a strong River attack should have enough to see off Quilmes.

In other games, there is a lot of value in backing Lanus on the road, playing well, having beaten title contenders Racing heavily last week and with more than enough class to take this win. 2.6 is far too generous. The game of the weekend is Estudiantes’ trip to Boca but we’ll be staying well away from this fixture that is far too tough to call.

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About Ed Malyon

Freelance sport and betting journalist. Specialises in Argieball, Eurostuff, and Quicket.
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