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Boca Juniors vs River Plate prediction, preview, team news and more | Copa Diego Armando Maradona 2020-21

Boca Juniors and River Plate welcome 2021 with a Superclasico
Boca Juniors and River Plate welcome 2021 with a Superclasico
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 31 Dec 2020, 11:53 IST
Preview
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Two of the fiercest rivals in the history of football, Boca Juniors and River Plate will face each other on Saturday at the famous La Bombonera stadium.

The derby rivals welcome the New Year with the biggest game in Argentinian football - the Superclasico.

The fixture will be played in the playoff stage of the 2020 Copa de la Liga Profesional, officially known as the Copa Diego Armando Maradona in honor of the late Argentine legend who passed away recently.

Boca and River are both on seven points in Group A, with the former ahead on goal difference. The winner of Saturday's game will go on to win the group and qualify for the final to be played on 17 January.

Boca Juniors scored three goals past Hurracan last Sunday as their marksman Ramón Ábila was on-point with a brace to give them the win.

Meanwhile, River Plate had a tougher time in their previous game as they fended off a late comeback by Arsenal Sarandi to win 2-1. Ignacio Fernandez and striker Matias Suarez were on target for Los Millonarios.


Boca Juniors vs River Plate Head-to-Head

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Boca Juniors and River Plate have faced each other as many as 250 times in domestic and continental competitions, with the Azul y Oro leading their historic rivals in the overall head-to-head.

The two clubs haven't met in over a year. Their last meeting came in the semi-finals of the 2019 Copa Libertadores when River dumped out their rivals 2-1 on aggregate. That match came just a year after beating them in the 2018 final to win the ultimate prize in South American football.

Boca Juniors form guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-D

River Plate form guide (all competitions): W-W-W-D-W


Boca Juniors vs River Plate Team News

Boca Juniors

Ramon Abila looks like a certain starter after his pair of goals last weekend. Edwin Cardona has also been in good form in the Copa Libertadores.

Boss Miguel Ángel Russo has no fresh injury concerns and has his entire squad available for selection ahead of this game against River.

Star forward Carlos Tevez was rested for the game against Hurracan, but should return for a fixture of this magnitude on Saturday and start on the bench.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

River Plate

Midfielder Enzo Perez returned from self-isolation after recovering from coronavirus and played the full 90 minutes in the win against Arsenal.

Left-back Fabrizio Angileri was subbed early in the game on Sunday and remains doubtful for the upcoming fixture. Other than that, Marcelo Gallardo has no other injury concerns of note for the trip to Boca and should have his strongest XI available on Saturday.

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Injured: None

Suspended: None

Doubtful: Fabrizio Angileri


Boca Juniors vs River Plate Predicted Line-up

Boca Juniors Predicted XI (4-2-2): Agustin Rossi (GK); Julio Buffarini, Carlos Zambrano, Gaston Ávila, Emmanuel Mas; Sebastian Villa, Nicolas Capaldo, Alan Gonzalo Varela, Edwin Cardona; Ramon Abila, Mauro Zarate

River Plate Predicted XI (4-1-3-2): Franco Armani (GK); Gonzalo Montiel, Robert Rojas, Javier Pinola, Milton Casco; Enzo Perez; Ignacio Fernandez, Nicolas De La Cruz, Jorge Carrascal; Matias Suárez, Rafael Santos Borré


Boca Juniors vs River Plate Prediction

With the game being played behind closed doors, it will lack the usual atmosphere which makes the fixtures between these two historic clubs so special.

Both teams play in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores next week. Their priority will be to make it to the final of South America's premier continental competition. However, that doesn't mean that this weekend's Superclasico will be any less intense.

River have edged Boca in the big games in recent years despite the latter dominating the domestic league. However, we predict Boca's added motivation to win the inaugural edition of the cup named after their former star will see them through on Saturday.

Predicition: Boca Juniors 2-1 River Plate

Published 31 Dec 2020, 11:52 IST
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