Soccer Down Here
Copa de La Liga Week 8 Preview
Patronato vs. Aldosivi, 4pm
This inter-zonal clash lacks the spice of many others, frankly down to Patronato's woeful results in the Copa de La Liga. They've lost all 7 matches so far and have only scored 4 goals this season. Their 29-year old Argentine defender Oliver Benítez has been their best player so far, he's had plenty do with 3.2 interceptions/match and 2.2 tackles won/match. Aldosivi is still trying to put it together under new manager Fernando Gago, they've been a very interesting team to watch. 27-year old Argentine attacker Federico Andrada has paced the attack with 6 goals in 7 matches.
San Lorenzo vs. Rosario Central, 6pm
Two teams separated by a point in Zone 1 meet up at the Estadio Pedro Bidegain in Buenos Aires. Veteran 32-year old midfielder Emiliano Vecchio has been one of the standouts for Rosario Central, notching a goal and an assist and creating nearly 3 chances per match. 31-year old Argentine Franco di Santo has led the line most often for San Lorenzo, scoring 3 goals and adding an assist this season after joining the club last summer from Atlético Mineiro.
Central Córdoba vs. Platense, 8:15pm
El Ferroviario is sitting in second place in Zone 1 surprisingly while one of the newly promoted squads Platense is expectedly struggling a little with 5 points on the season. A highlight for El Calamar has been 35-year old Mauro Bogado in the midfield. His steady presence centrally has been much needed. For Central Córdoba, Milton Giménez has been a highlight with 4 goals in 6 matches. The forward is on loan from second division side Club Atlético Atlanta.
Talleres vs. Independiente, 1pm
El Rojo goes on the road here as they try to continue their surprisingly strong start to the tournament. The young 22-year old Uruguayan center back Ayrton Costa replaced Alan Franco in the lineup and delivered a solid performance in Independiente's 1-1 draw with Boca last weekend. Talleres have only lost once in their last 6 matches, in large part because of their outstanding right winger Diego Valoyes. The 24-year old Colombian has 2 goals and an assist this season and has been devastating to defenses on the dribble.
Gimnasia vs. Lanús, 3:15pm
It's a tricky match on the road for Lanús as they head to El Bosque to face Gimnasia. Sitting in third place in Zone 2, El Granate comes into the match off of a 4-2 win vs. Patronato last week. Tomás Belmonte had a goal in the match, the 22-year old homegrown product has been a consistent contributor in the midfield this season. El Lobo has only lost once in their last 8 matches in all competitions and will be looking to their veteran midfielder Brahian Alemán to control the match. His 3 goals and 3 assists on the season have been critical for Gimnasia.
Sarmiento vs. Atlético Tucumán, 3:15pm
Two teams towards the bottom of Zone 2 could have an entertaining encounter in Junín Saturday afternoon. The visitors come in with one of the top goal scorers in the league in Augusto Lotti. El Verde have a top attacker as well in 24-year old Jonathan Torres, he has 3 goals and 2 assists in the current tournament.
Boca Juniors vs. Defensa y Justicia, 5:30pm
Defensa is holding onto the last playoff spot in Zone 2 at the moment, but Boca is only one point back in 6th place. Marcelo Benítez has been outstanding for the visitors this season, playing on the left side and scoring 3 goals. Boca needed a goal from defender Carlos Zambrano to rescue a point against Independiente last weekend.
Arsenal vs. River Plate, 8pm
River doesn't feel like a finished product yet, but they should get a comfortable match this weekend against last placed Arsenal. In a season without many bright spots, 30-year old midfielder Nicolás Castro has been Arsenal's best player. For River, Nicolás De la Cruz has been outstanding in the midfield this year and is creating nearly three chances per match.
Newell's Old Boys vs. Huracán, 1pm
Two poor offenses meet in Rosario as Newell's hosts Huracán. The visitors haven't lost in their last five, but four of them have been draws. Lucas Merolla's 39th minute goal couldn't hold up last week in a 1-1 draw vs. Gimnasia. La Lepra showed fight last week, Cristian Lema scored in the 86th minute to earn a 2-2 draw on the road at Tucumán.
Colón vs. Argentinos Juniors, 3:15pm
The unbeaten Sabalero hosts 7th placed Argentinos in Santa Fe Sunday afternoon. Pulga Rodriguez is expected to be back for Colón and has spoken of his dreams of bringing a championship home. The club only has one Primera B trophy to its name, along with a run to the final of the 2019 Copa Sudamericana. Argentinos have won 4 of their last 5, including a wild 3-2 victory last week. Gabriel Avalos and Gabriel Hauche both received red cards and will be suspended for this week.
Vélez Sarsfield vs. Unión, 5:30pm
This is a contender for Match of the Week status with Zone 2 leaders Vélez hosting unbeaten 5th placed Unión. Ezequiel Cañete, on loan from Boca, has provided 3 of Unión's 8 goals this season. Outside of the fracaso against Boca on March 7, Vélez has had one of the best defenses in the tournament. Lautaro Gianetti has been strong both before and after his proposed Atlanta United transfer fell apart. Vélez is coming off of a disappointing 3-2 loss to Banfield on Wednesday in the final match of the Copa Diego Armando Maradona, missing out on a 2022 Copa Sudamericana spot in the process.
Racing Club vs. Godoy Cruz, 8pm
Racing sits in the last playoff slot in Zone 1 currently, while Godoy Cruz has struggled this season defensively. 24-year old right winger Iván Tesuri has paced the Godoy Cruz attack with 3 goals and 2 assists. Racing has been stingy defensively, but is scoring less than a goal per match. Their goalkeeper Gabriel Arias has bounced back from the Supercopa thrashing against River with three straight clean sheets.
Banfield vs. Estudiantes, 8:15pm
2 of the better teams in the Copa de La Liga meet in the Estadio Florencio Sola Monday night. Estudiantes started the campaign hot but come in on a 3-match winless streak. Leonardo Godoy, a 25-year old right back, has been Estudiantes' best player this season. He's scored a goal and notched an assist while being part of 3 clean sheets defensively. Banfield's young midfielder Giuliano Galoppo is a star in the making. He has 4 goals this season and an assist in 7 matches.