“For me, Boca have already won the title,” were the words of the legendary Juan Román Riquelme this week and it’s easy to see why with his former club sat nine points clear at the top with only ten games remaining.
 The current champions haven’t been playing particularly well in recent weeks but grinding out victories, thanks in part to not conceding many goals. On Sunday, San Martín managed to score twice in La Bombonera but were still on the end of a 4-2 defeat as the visitors simply couldn’t stop Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side.

With Carlos Tevez back in the goals, Cristian Pavón looking every inch the future star and important players still to come back injury, can anyone overturn such a deficit?

Boca begin their Copa Libertadores campaign this week which may provide some distraction but such is the squad strength, even with injuries, Los Xeneizes have dropped two points in seven games.


The challengers

If anyone can catch Boca, however unlikely, it is likely between two sides: one already punching above their weight and another dealt a heavy blow in this round of fixtures.

Talleres are Boca’s closest rivals after a 2-0 win over Argentinos Juniors on Monday and despite losing key players in January, La T continue to impress and defy the sceptics.

Only promoted back to the top flight in 2016, after 12 years outside, Talleres have now dropped only two points from their last six matches, conceded just once and as a result have the best defensive record in the league.

Meanwhile, San Lorenzo might have seen their faint hopes fade after a 1-0 defeat away to Gimnasia. Still with a game in hand, Los Cuervos are now twelve adrift and as soon as injuries or suspensions hit, Claudio Biaggio’s wafer-thin squad looks a tad exposed.

Gallardo under pressure at River

Handed a bumper new deal until 2021 and a transfer window of heavy investment, Marcelo Gallardo was supposed to have River Plate somewhere close to back to their best this year but a sixth consecutive away defeat left Los Millonarios languishing in 21st.

Relegation threatened Vélez Sarsfield were the latest side to take advantage and with River winning just twice in fourteen Superliga fixtures, supporters are growing increasingly impatient. A manager of less standing at the club and without credit in the bank from previous titles would likely be gone already but the pressure is now on.

River begin their Copa Libertadores campaign this week and if there aren’t improvements, the club will have to ponder what was previously unthinkable…Gallardo out?


Avellaneda’s clubs on the up

River might be struggling but the remaining two grandes make up the rest of the top five in the league. Racing Club have now won four on the trot, claiming a last minute win against Godoy Cruz (the first time El Tomba dropped points in Mendoza), and Independiente bounced back from the Recopa defeat to Grêmio in midweek to deservedly beat Banfield.


Both clubs begin in the Copa Libertadores this week and while they might not be favourites, both have the tools to be real threats in the continent’s biggest competition.

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