Torneo Inicial Betting: Defeat for River Plate could spell the end for Almeyda

River Plate boss Matías Almeyda desperately needs a win this weekend
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Ed Malyon previews this weekend's premier fixtures in Argentina and is of the belief that should River Plate fail to beat Racing Club then their young manager will be in big trouble...

"Winless in four, there was talk that Matías Almeyda may lose his job before this game, but one thing that is for sure is that if they lose at the Monumental on Sunday then the natives will be very restless with their young manager."


Belgrano v Godoy Cruz - 23:10

Godoy Cruz' current form reads WLWLW and with 100% correlation to whether they are playing away or home, which immediately flags them up as a concern going into this game in Cordoba. The Mendocinos did win their opening away game, but that was against Unión Santa Fe who are currently rock-bottom and winless. Belgrano are just one point behind fourth-placed Godoy Cruz and have beaten two potential title contenders in their most recent Primera matches. There is no market for it, but interestingly Belgrano's last three goals have all come in stoppage time at the end of a half, which perhaps suggests their better fitness has been an advantage over other teams. [2.26] for a home win sounds about right, but this should be a very even game and if any bet should be advised on this one it is the draw, where there should also be plenty of room for trading.


Independiente v All Boys - 00:20

The hosts may be one of the biggest clubs in the country but they are now in a serious relegation battle. Americo Gallego has come in and taken the reins but he's not stopped the rot and the club is now winless since April, a run of sixteen games. The only player that's provided them any joy recently is Osmar Ferreyra, providing the assist for their last two goals and generally impressing on the left, but their finishing has been atrocious and despite a raft of chances against Boca, they conspired to lose the game 2-1. All Boys are only three points better off than Independiente, and mainly because they've had the chance to play wooden-spooners Unión. This is a meeting of two poor sides, but the hosts are more desperate, and crucially have slightly more quality. Borghello will be a threat for Albo but the home win [2.58] is the way to go here.

Atletico Rafaela v Tigre - 01:15

Tigre have stabilised the boat following a very poor start to the campaign and are now undefeated in five games in all competitions. After three defeats to begin their league campaign, they have drawn their last four Primera games albeit not against particularly strong opposition, and the loss of Diego Morales to the Middle East is particularly obvious in their lack of creativity. Rafaela are three points better off than their visitors having actually won a game, but both of these sides are poor and the draw once again offers the best value at [3.3].

Argentinos Juniors v Unión Santa Fe - 18:00

Defeats in weeks one and two feel a lifetime ago for Argentinos who have taken 11 points from a possible 15 since then, only being held to a draw by the reigning champions and the current leaders. Unión are horrendous, rock-bottom, winless and quite simply destined to lose this game. [1.9] is the sort of price that you should be smashing through the wall and into next door's dining room.

San Lorenzo v Vélez Sarsfield - 20:10

Visiting Velez start as [2.42] favourites and with reason. San Lorenzo narrowly avoided relegation last season in a playoff and they are less than 0.5 points outside the drop-zone on the current averages table. The away side on the other hand are two points off the top despite seemingly selling the bulk of their best talent in June and July. The promoted youth players and wise acquisitions from the brilliant management duo of Christian Bassedas and Ricardo Gareca have ensured that the Fortín have continued to be a force in Argentine football. San Lorenzo - despite their current predicament - have a strong squad and a rousing motivator of a manager, the sort of combination that could pull off an upset here, but with the prices as they are there seems little value in what could be a great game.


River Plate v Racing Club - 19:10

The first of Sunday's blockbuster games is a clásico between two of Argentina's biggest clubs. Winless in four, there was talk that Matías Almeyda may lose his job before this game, but one thing that is for sure is that if they lose at the Monumental on Sunday then the natives will be very restless with their young manager. Racing are far more at peace with their own youthful boss as Luis Zubeldía, although narrow defeats in their last two games have somewhat damaged their title bid. Nonetheless, they are just five points off the top, with games to come against all of the top four - leaving it still very much in their hands.

River's shape this weekend is a mystery, the key man in their recent 4-3-3, Rodrigo Mora, is injured and they are also without Ramiro Funes Mori at left-back. Given that the left side of defence was already a serious weak point, this is bad news for the Millionarios and Racing are a side with plenty of ability to take advantage of that. Luciano Vietto and Ricardo Centurión are two young bucks making the transition from the academy to the first team, and Vietto already has a Primera hat-trick behind him this season while Centuríon is in talks with Napoli over a move after only 12 games for Racing.

River, as always, are too short in their price due to being a big name, and there is little justification for them being [2.3] for this game. Lay the hosts, and if you're a winner than it's likely that Almeyda will be pushed closer to the cliff's edge.

Colón de Santa Fe v Newell's Old Boys - 21:10

This monster clash is our big match this weekend, and you can read the full preview here and we will live tweet the game with all the best betting opportunities on the @BetfairSports account.

San Martín de San Juan v Quilmes - 21:10

At the same time as this weekend's best fixture is a game between two small sides that will barely get watched. San Martín have lost six of their seven games this season, only winning their other when Arsenal defender Lisandro Lopez was dismissed after 27 minutes in San Juan, and then fellow defender Diego Braghieri after 75. Quilmes aren't great, and discounting the freak result on the opening day they have only managed to beat table-proppers Unión despite a relatively forgiving run of fixtures - in fact they've played two top-half teams and five in the bottom seven. Just one win from those games is pretty poor, and this game looks like a low-quality stalemate.

Lanús v Boca Juniors - 23:15

If Quilmes have had an easy ride so far from the fixture computer, it's Lanús who have been given the toughest start. They've played three of the top four, and four of the top six, and considering Boca are top it shows that their difficult beginning to the season isn't set to end quite yet. As stated, the Xeneize are top, and have won five from six since an opening-day defeat despite never really impressing. In their three away games they have been hammered by newly-promoted Quilmes, snuck past 20th-placed Unión by a single goal and drawn with mid-table Argentinos - not exactly convincing results on the road.

The other thing with Boca is that they always get blind-backed, and their current mark of [2.64] will most likely be much lower come kick-off. If that is the case and it gets to around the 2.2-2.3 mark then the strategy is to lay them, and then either take the trading opportunity when it comes or just ride out an interesting game.


Estudiantes v Arsenal de Sarandí - 21:10

The gameweek concludes with a mid-table clash between two recent champions. Arsenal raised the trophy in June, but are not considered to be real contenders this season, Estudiantes meanwhile have had a start nearly as difficult as Lanús' opening run and therefore find themselves leading the bottom half. A win at Racing last time out was a good result for the Pincha and in their last home game they held Vélez to a goalless draw. These bode very well for the visit of Arsenal, and [2.35] for the hosts to come out on top is probably the best way to go in La Plata.

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