• Analysis

Match Preview: River Plate vs Boca Juniors

River Plate v Boca Juniors - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018
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It is time for one of the most intense derby games in the world, as River Plate and Boca Juniors go head-to-head tonight at 22:00 (CET).

River Plate will welcome Boca Juniors to the historic Monumental Stadium in the first Superclasico of the new season.

The fixture is known for its intense nature due to the passionate and fierce rivalry between the two biggest football clubs in Argentina.

When these clubs meet each other the time stands still for 90 minutes in Buenos Aires and there is absolutely nothing more important than the outcome of the game.

River Plate will be looking to bounce back, as they suffered their first defeat of the season in last week’s encounter against Talleres Cordoba at the Monumental. Los Millonarios have seven points from four games on their account prior to tonight’s Superclasico.

Boca Juniors, on the other hand, are still unbeaten in the 2019-20 campaign. Los Xeneizes are yet to concede a goal this term, as they have registered three wins and a draw in their four games so far.

Team news

Javier Quintero and Leonardo Ponzio are out for the hosts due to injuries, while Javier Pinola will also miss out after seeing red in the 1-0 defeat to Talleres Cordoba last weekend.

Enzo Perez missed the midweek Copa Libertadores game through suspension, but is expected to return to the starting line up for the clash against Boca Juniors.

Los Xeneizes visit their cross-town rivals without any injury concerns. Daniele de Rossi will make his debut in the fixture, while Carlos Tevez will be Boca’s most dangerous striking weapon.

Agustin Ezequiel Almendra was sent off in the 1-0 win at Banfield last Sunday, meaning he is suspended for the big derby tonight.

What did the managers say

River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo said he is not sure about the side he will select for the game against their biggest rivals.

“We don’t have much time, we will see how they recover,”  Gallardo said after the Copa Libertadores game at Cerro Porteno.

“I do not want to anticipate because it is not convenient, I will see between tomorrow and Saturday how they recover and we will analyze according to that.

“We went through an awkward moment, but I want to highlight the mental and mental strength of this group of players, leaders and coaching staff. We are a working group, trying not to blur what we had ahead of us, which was to come and play a football game.”

Boca Juniors coach Gustavo Alfaro is happy with the fact that Boca Juniors reached the Copa Libertadores semi-finals again this season.

“We wanted to win, we didn’t, but we must not lose focus on where we stand,” Gustavo said via the Boca Juniors official website.

“It was possible to qualify and that was the most important thing, we are among the four best teams in [South] America and that is not a small achievement.

“For the semifinal, it is more than a month, now we will see how the boys are feeling for the next matches of the local tournament.”


This is going to be the 202nd Superclasico, with Boca Juniors leading in the head-to-head record with 74 wins, compared to River’s 65. Sixty-two games have finished without a winner.

Their most recent meeting came in the Copa Libertadores final last year. After a 2-2 draw in the first leg, the decisive match had to be moved to Madrid, due to security reasons. River Plate won 3-1 after the extra time, lifting their fourth South American championship.

Both clubs will face each other in the Copa Libertadores again this season. They play one against another in the semi-finals of the competition – scheduled for October 2019.

A truly interesting fact – the last time the home side registered a win in the league was back in May 2015, when Boca won 2-0 at La Bombonera.

Since then we’ve had seven Superclasicos in the Argentinian League, finishing in five wins for the visitors (including the last four) and two draws.

Boca Juniors has won the Superliga twice in the last three years, while River Plate’s last league triumph dates back to 2014.