Ed Malyon previews this week' big game in the Torneo Inicial...
After a bright start, three defeats in four looked to have killed off a promising challenge from Roberto Sensini's Colón. Their thumping win at Vélez last week was crucial though, and they are now just two points off second and very much in the race.
Their transfer business this summer was excellent, bringing in a top strike partnership in Ruben Ramirez and Emmanuele Gigliotti that boasts proven goalscoring records at this level and some experience, as well as bolstering the defence. However, the key introduction to the team has been that of young midfielder Lucas Mugni, who is already catching the eye of many of Europe's elite talent-spotters.
Like most talented young Argentine attackers, his natural position would probably lie behind the strikers as an 'enganche', with the number 10 shirt on his back and relieved of all duties that weren't beautiful, poetic and creative. But this Colón side is not a typical outfit and he instead slots in on the left of a midfield four where he is given license to maraud, probe and make things happen but still expected to contribute defensively.
For Mugni though, this is no problem, as he is a far more rounded and capable midfielder than the stereotypical '10' that emerges in the local leagues here. With his ability to win the ball, drive at players, pass with both feet and shoot from distance he has already shown signs of being a potential midfield maestro for the national team and despite being only 20 he received his first call up for the domestic-based national team this month.
This weekend's visitors, Racing, have some young talent of their own though - and they know that a win would put them top overnight at the very least.
Luciano Vietto might have been expected to hog the headlines with amazing hat-trick against San Martín, but the 18-year-old striker has been outshone by the consistently impressive displays of Ricardo Centurión, a winger that is one year his senior.
Operating on the left flank, he has drawn accurate comparisons to Angel Di Maria for his style of play, and he has cemented himself as a key fixture in this Racing lineup under Luis Zubeldia.
The hosts are 2.56/4 to grab the three points and leap above second-placed Racing, a price mainly down to that impressive victory in Liniers last week. Regardless, they've still not won in their last three home games in the league and it is a cause for concern, and with such volatile results, that price looks more like something you'd be hoping to lay than back.
Only games featuring Argentinos Juniors have averaged more than those of Colón, with the Sabaleros seeing three goals per game. Racing are quite far down the league in that respect, and in fact, only two of their nine league games have gone over the 2.5 mark.
Even so, 2.486/4 on the overs seems generous when taking into account the hosts' record and that the Racing team is filled with goals.
A better market though, is Both teams to Score, where the statistics look to point towards a good value bet. Colón's last 10 games have seen both sides score, and they'll be confident of finding the net with their attacking 4-4-2 on Saturday. Visiting Racing have played twelve games in all competitions this season and only failed to score in two, but interestingly, those two games saw José Sand and Gabriel Hauche start for the club whereas this weekend it will be Javier Campora alongside the aforementioned Vietto. This greatly increases Racing's chances and backing both sides to score at 2.0421/20 seems to be a great bet.
Racing's Draw No Bet price of 2.07n/a is a nice mark, but it's worth remembering that these two sides have met twice this season already in the Copa Sudamericana. Colón won 5-2 on aggregate, and in the home fixture they overcame Racing by three goals to one, with odds of 25.024/1 for a repeat of that.