Banfield vs Independiente del Valle
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 31 January 2018
Kick-off: 01:30 CET
Banfield are back to the Copa Libertadores after eight years. Their 5th finish in last season’s Argentina Superliga feels too… distant though, as they are just 12th in the current campaign. Good news for Banfield is that they finally won a game a few days ago, the first after the restart of the championship in Argentina. They had finished 2017 poorly, they didn’t do much better in their… half-official games in January, but last Friday they beat Tigres 2-1 away from home, the perfect morale boost they needed just before facing Independiente del Valle in the Copa Libertadores qualifiers. Back in 2010 they made it directly to the group stage, didn’t have to take part in qualifiers, and actually managed to qualify for the last 16, where they got eliminated by Internacional (Porto Alegre), winning 3-1 at home, and losing 2-0 in Brazil.
Unlike Banfield, Independiente haven’t played an official match since early December. They are in the Copa Libertadores qualifiers as third best team in Ecuador in 2017, despite finishing 4th in the first half of the season, and just 6th in the second one. Last year they faced Olimpia from Asunción in the qualifiers, beat them 1-0 at home, but lost 3-1 in Paraguay, and spent the season watching the competition on TV. Someone doesn’t need to search too hard to find cases in which Independiente del Valle shocked much stronger opponents from “bigger” football countries like Argentina. They are sort of… experts in making the best out of practically nothing, and must be hoping that Banfield are going to underestimate them. It remains to be seen if they have improved defensively. Last season, scoring wasn’t much of a problem, but keeping a clean sheet felt almost impossible, excluding the last two games in December.
Previous five matches:
Tigre vs Banfield 1-2
Banfield vs Newell’s Old Boys 1-1
Huracán vs Banfield 1-0
Banfield vs Argentinos Juniors 2-3
San Martín San Juan vs Banfield 2-1
Independiente vs Universidad Católica 2-0
Macará vs Independiente 0-0
Independiente vs Guayaquil City 4-1
Emelec vs Independiente 2-1
Independiente vs LDU Quito 1-3
Banfield’s next game is on Saturday, at home, against Atlético Tucumán (Argentina Superliga). Independiente don’t have another game before the return leg against Banfield at home next week.
Banfield vs Independiente del Valle: Head to head Stats
Banfield and Independiente del Valle have never played against each other before.
Banfield vs Independiente del Valle: Prediction
Banfield are considered big favourites to win the game, but I feel their 1.60 is not worth it, it’s too low for the risk involved. Independiente arrived early in Buenos Aires, by Sunday they had already trained three times on Argentinian soil, plus their last session on Monday, something their coach, Gabriel Schurrer (ex-Lanus) deemed necessary so that his players could get used to the climatic conditions. All things considered, I’m backing the visitors to avoid losing.
Banfield vs Independiente del Valle: Betting Tips
Independiente’s double chance is at 2.25 betting odds. Draw definitely feels more probable than their win, it pays 3.70, and suits my 0-0 hunch.
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