River Plate vs Boca Juniors
Competition: Copa Libertadores
Date: 9 December 2018
Kick-off: 20:30 CET
Marcelo Gallardo is said to have decided on 10 of the 11 who will start the final, and be left with one single doubt; Martínez Quarta, Nacho Fernández, or Julián Álvarez. There is space for only one of the three in the starting lineup. The other 10 should be Armani, Montiel, Maidana, Pinola, Casco, E. Palacios, E. Pérez, Ponzio, G. Martínez and Pratto. Colombian striker Rafael Santos Borré is suspended, a blow to River, and another striker, Nacho Scocco, is also out, or at least it appeared so, up until 30 hours before kick-off. He got injured in Quilmes, in a Superliga game against Estudiantes, weeks ago, and despite trying his best to return on time, it didn’t work out. On the other hand, both Rodrigo Mora and Juan Quintero shook off their latest injury troubles and look set to be on the bench, available.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto looked willing, these last days, to try a starting lineup with two strikers, Darío Benedetto and Ramón Ábila. At times, during some training sessions, he had even Carlos Tévez among the players who are considered certain to start. In other words, it’s hard to… guess what Boca’s coach will choose after all. Thirty hours before kick-off, Boca reporters were left with the impression that the team would have Andrada, Buffarini, Izquierdoz, Magallán, Olaza, Pavón, Nández, Barrios, P. Pérez, Benedetto and Ábila in the starting lineup. Cristian Pavón had to leave the pitch during the first leg of the final, at La Bombonera, injured, he wouldn’t have played in the return leg if the game had been held two weeks ago at Monumental, but he is fine now, available to start, if chosen.
Previous five matches:
River Plate vs Gimnasia La Plata 3-1
River Plate vs Gimnasia La Plata 2-2
Boca Juniors vs River Plate 2-2
Estudiantes vs River Plate 1-0
Gremio vs River Plate 1-2
Independiente vs Boca Juniors 0-1
Boca Juniors vs Patronato 1-0
Boca Juniors vs River Plate 2-2
Boca Juniors vs Tigre 4-1
Palmeiras vs Boca Juniors 2-2
Both teams’ next official scheduled game is late January. Obviously, the winner will take part in the FIFA Club World Cup later this month.
River Plate vs Boca Juniors: Head to head Stats
Five wins for River, two for Boca, and three draws, in the last 10 matches between these two either at the Monumental, La Bombonera, or a neutral venue.
River Plate vs Boca Juniors: Prediction
I guess you all know the game is held in Madrid, and not in Buenos Aires. River are without Borré and Scocco, while Boca have practically all their key players available. Also, River won’t have their head coach on the sidelines, as Gallardo is suspended. His assistant, Matías Biscay, will be in charge. Prediction? Honestly, I wouldn’t bet on this game. After everything that happened the last two weeks, playing in Spain, with heavy words having been thrown from both sides to each other, a final, a historic final, between two teams that look rather similar, strength-wise, I wouldn’t bet – a lot of money – on this game. Maybe something… symbolic, just to make it even more interesting to watch (as if it needs a bet on it to make it more… worth-watching). Remember, River’s two goals at La Bombonera (2-2) don’t really count as… “special” away goals. It would have been the same if the game had ended 0-0.
River Plate vs Boca Juniors: Betting Tips
I see penalties. Draw pays 3.00 (with Boca’s double chance at 1.57).