Torneo Inicial Betting: Previews of all weekend action

The atmosphere will be electric when Boca play Independiente
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Ed Malyon provides a bumper guide to the weekend's fixtures from Argentina, selecting bets for every match. Remember, you can watch the action on Betfair Live Video...

Odds of [3.5] for Lanus to win is a good price, and if Lanús can suppress the dangerous Cauteruccio for the hosts then this looks a good game for them to finally stretch their legs and show they’re potential title challengers.


18:10 - Tigre v Colón

Having been stripped of all the stars that kept them up in such miraculous fashion last season, Tigre were always going to be in for a tough time of it this season, and that has proven the case with a winless opening six games. There is obvious improvement, with three straight defeats followed by three consecutive draws but if it wasn't for the goals of young, unpronounceable forward Diego Ftacla then they'd be in even deeper trouble.

Dark horses Colón are fifth with three wins from their six games, but with none by more than a goal there is a feeling that Roberto Sensini is riding his luck at times. No defence has conceded more goals than Tigre's though, and with Lucas Mugni - the young enganche called up to the local Argentina squad - full of confidence and supporting a strong frontline, it is difficult to see Tigre getting anything from this. The away win is [3.15].

20:10 - All Boys v Argentinos Juniors

All Boys had gained a reputation for being tough to beat over the last couple of years but that seems to have vanished this season with the Albo leaking goals. They're not having trouble scoring at the other end - thanks to new signing Ivan Borghello - but with just one win in six, and that coming against rock-bottom Unión, the Floresta side could end up in trouble themselves.

Visiting Argentinos are a tough side to read, but their only two defeats of the season came early on and against very good sides. Since then they've avoided defeat against the defending champions and the current leaders, while winning their other two. It's tough to know which Argentinos will turn up, but they seem a side that is improving, so lay the hosts - who are too short for this one - at [2.5].

22:10 - Godoy Cruz v San Martín de San Juan

This derby from the west of Argentina is called the clásico cuyano, and should provide a great atmosphere on Saturday night. San Martín hail from the biggest city in San Juan province - also named San Juan - on the border with Chile, while Godoy Cruz hail from neighbouring Mendoza just to the south. Each club can claim to be the biggest from their respective provinces, and with the decentralisation of Argentine football they have now been afforded the opportunity to face-off in the national top flight after years of doing so in localised leagues.

The hosts will be very confident given their recent performances, and a lot of it comes down to bringing back ex-boss Omar Asad and his star performer David Ramirez. Some other smart signings have made the Tomba an outside bet for the title, but their away form could put paid to that dream if it continues like their last two trips to the capital.

Nevertheless, at home and in front of what should be a very raucous crowd, Godoy Cruz should put San Martín to the sword with ease and their hapless visitors will sink back to the bottom of the league.

Having only risen up the table due to last weekend's win - which came by virtue of a first-half red card for Arsenal's Lisandro Lopez - they have lost each of their other games this season and this should be no different. Godoy win, and [1.92] is a nice price.

00:20 - Racing Club v Estudiantes

Racing captain Sebastian Saja will play his first game of the season in goal and is an important addition to a team that is already playing well. Arguably Racing's strongest 11 will be playing the game against Estudiantes, and with youngster Luciano Vietto getting a start after his hat-trick against San Martín, they even have internationals like Gabriel Hauche on the bench.

Estudiantes are underperforming, and only have wins against lowly Tigre and San Lorenzo to show for their season. Diego Cagna's pragmatic outlook means that their games are usually low-scoring affairs, and the odds of [1.51] for under 2.5 goals reflect this. Racing are rightfully favourites, but Estu could hold them to draw in a battle of attrition as we saw last week against Velez, so laying the visitors will be a slightly safer option than backing the hosts.


20:10 - Boca Juniors v Independiente

Any meeting of two of Argentina's 'big five' is considered a clásico and this is no different. Clashes between this pair tend to be fiery, exciting and - if the last few are anything to go by - full of goals.

The last time they met at the Bombonera was only a few weeks ago in the Copa Sudamericana and the game spilt from end to end as Independiente grabbed a 3-3 draw at the death. The game before that, they won 5-4 in incredible circumstances but at present they are fighting for their life.

Seriously threatened by relegation, Independiente have brought in Americo Gallego to try and save the club, but he has only won a point from his first two games in charge. The club has serious problems at boardroom level, with President Cantero attempting to remove the barra's vice-like hold over the club and the players being forced to live in uncertainty and fear.

Boca are hardly 'vintage Boca' at the moment, and most certainly haven't replaced Juan Román Riquelme, but the very fact that they are top speaks volumes about Julio César Falcioni's ability as a manager.

Even if Falcioni persists with the mediocre Pochi Chavez in at number '10' the hosts still have enough about them to win this, and while [1.72] isn't huge, you wouldn't want to back anything else for this one based on current form.

22:15 - Arsenal v Belgrano

The reigning champs are favourites for this one at [2.00] despite losing to hapless San Martín last time out. They can put that result as down to an early red card, but the upshot is that they're missing their best defender in Lisandro Lopez as he is now suspended.

Belgrano don't seem to have much in the armoury away from home and it is important to note down their opening-day win at the Monumental as a freak result.

It's a tough game to call because although you could only see yourself backing the home side, [2.0] is slightly shorter than what you'd be looking for, so maybe one to keep an eye on in-play.

22:15 - Newell's Old Boys v San Lorenzo

Read the full lowdown on this one in our big match preview

00:30 - Vélez Sarsfield v River Plate

What a game this is. Two big, successful clubs fighting it out in Liniers, with River opting to stick with their attacking 4-3-3 of last week. It means that there's no place for talented enganche Mauro Lanzini, but Uruguayan Rodrigo Mora was the revelation of last weekend even if he might not have meant the long-distance strike he scored.

Velez have gambled on youth this season, discarding a lot of the stability from previous years and really placing immense amounts of faith in the like of Gino Perruzzi and Lucas Romero. Facundo Ferreyra was a big-money buy up front for a 21-year-old striker with a lot still to prove but Velez have a great manager who will have made these decisions sensibly - unlike most other clubs in the league.

Vélez have lost the only game that pitched them up against real quality opposition this season, and for this reason one would be foolish to back the hosts at a mark as low as [2.22]. River may be two points worse off, but they have faced far tougher tests, and laying the hosts is the way to go ahead of what should be an intriguing game at the Amalfitani.


21:00 - Unión Santa Fe v Atlético Rafaela

If you could back both of these sides to lose then you would do well to consider it but until the rules change or triangular football becomes mainstream it simply isn't an option.

Rafaela have at least one win this season, compared to the Santafesinos who can only boast a single point from their six games. Rafaela's win came last time out against All Boys, but as we discussed earlier they are a team who look set to slide down the table. The visitors at least boast two players with a history of scoring goals in Argentina in the (rather portly) shape of Dario Gandín as well as César Carignano. Unión look to have very little and if you were desperate to bet on this one then it would have to be the away win at [2.98] but it's not a game that hugely excites.

23:10 - Quilmes v Lanús

The weekend finishes with two sides from the south of the capital battling it out in some Monday night football.

The Brewers have surprised a lot of people since returning to the top flight, although if we are to write off their opening day win against Boca as a freak (as with Belgrano at River) then their record doesn't stand up to too much scrutiny.

Draws with the pathetic trio of Independiente, Atletico Rafaela and All Boys suggest parity with these sides that will populate the lower half of the table, and a loss to Argentinos only confirms that theory.

Visiting Lanús are below Quilmes in the table, but they have had a tremendously difficult start to their campaign. To have managed two wins this season when their six games have all come against teams currently in the top seven is very positive, and when the fixtures are a bit kinder to them they look set to shoot up the table.

Odds of [3.5] for them to win is a good price, and if Lanús can suppress the dangerous Cauteruccio for the hosts then this looks a good game for them to finally stretch their legs and show they're potential title challengers.

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