Union – Platense
Thanks to a brace from winger Gaston Gonzalez, Union Santa Fe made it two consecutive victories under interim boss Marcelo Mosset by beating Aldosivi 2-1 away last Friday. Therefore, the team continue hovering in a mid-table spot in the Liga Profesional, accumulating 18 points in 14 rounds. Union will oversee the debut of new coach Gustavo Munua on Friday after Juan Manuel Azconzabal’s departure.
Following their 0-0 home draw against Patronato last Saturday (with Claudio Sponton as interim coach), Platense extended their winless run to five league games (four stalemates and one defeat). As a result, El Calamar managed 13 points in 14 rounds so far. After this six-pointer against relegation contenders, the team dropped down to the 24th spot in the points average table. On away turf, Platense secured a single win in this tournament, across three draws and three defeats. Right winger Facundo Curuchet and left winger Gaston Gerzel will miss out due to different injuries.
Union has been a better team lately and the new coach should be another boost, while Platense is just surviving in the top flight but not doing much, and missing striker Curuchet should be too much for them.
BET: Union -0.25 @ 1.79
Estudiantes – Rosario Central
Thanks to Leonardo Godoy’s strike in the 80th minute, Estudiantes saved a valuable point on their visit to Racing Club last Sunday, when drawing 1-1. Therefore, Ricardo Zielinski’s men are on five league matches unbeaten, having won two and drawn three in that spell, which allows them to occupy fourth spot in the Liga Profesional’s table on 25 points. They also are fourth-placed in the 2021 aggregate rankings, which would probably give them a ticket for the Copa Libertadores in 2022 even though technically it’s not a qualifying place. At home, El Pincha are without defeat in the last five, with three victories and two draws since losing to Independiente in round two.
Rosario Central are going through a difficult moment. Following a poor performance, the team succumbed to their second consecutive defeat in the Liga Profesional last Sunday, when they lost to Argentinos Juniors 1-0 at home. El Canalla remain on 16 points in the league table and are far away from the continental spots in the 2021 aggregate rankings. Central managed seven of those points on away turf, having secured two victories, one draw and four losses in this tournament. Emiliano Vecchio, Gaston Avila, Diego Zabala and Lucas Gamba remain sidelined due to their respective muscle problems.
Rosario Central is falling apart, they will have several important missings and this should be a good opportunity for Estudiantes to win again and keep their championship chances alive.
BET: Estudiantes -0.75 @ 1.92
Newell’s – Velez
Newell’s Old Boys fans should have felt disappointed after the team’s 2-2 away draw at Godoy Cruz as they wasted a 2-0 lead taken in the first half. La Lepra won only one of their last nine league matches (drawing three and losing five) to make it 16 points in the league table, which is a poor campaign for Fernando Gamboa’s men. Furthermore, Newell’s managed a single point across their last four home matches (losing the last three to Atletico Tucuman, River Plate and Huracan).
Velez Sarsfield saved a valuable point at home against Independiente, securing a 3-3 home draw in spite of having trailed 3-1 until the 88th minute. That result allowed them to remain unbeaten in their last eight league games (five wins and three stalemates in that spell). El Fortin earned 21 points in the Liga Profesional and continue as leaders in the 2021 aggregate table. On a sorry note, they have been irregular on away turf in this tournament, having won only one of their six matches on the road (three draws and two defeats).
Newell’s has the 2nd worst defense in the league with 21 goals conceded in 14 games, Velez has a powerful attack with 11 goals scored in the last 5 games, so I expect an open match here.
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