Gimnasia travel to Claudio Fabian Tapia Stadium in Buenos Aires on Thursday in search of their first road victory since the middle of August when they battle Barracas Central.
Los Camioneros are unbeaten in six consecutive matches in the second phase of the Argentine Primera Division campaign, while the club from La Plata are a point behind River Plate for an automatic berth in the group stage of the Copa Libertadores next season.
It was a difficult start to the second phase of this league campaign for Barracas, who failed to win their opening five encounters.
Since that tough start, manager Rodolfo de Paoli, who was the architect of their rise into the top-flight last year, has found ways to get the most out of his players, as this side have turned things around and are currently 14th in the aggregate table.
Their 1-0 defeat at Velez Sarsfield ended a three-match unbeaten streak, the joint longest run for them in the second phase of this season’s competition in what is their first appearance in the Primera Division in over 80 years.
Six of their seven victories in this round have come at Claudio Tapia Stadium, where this group have conceded a goal or fewer in six consecutive home fixtures.
With only six league matches remaining, there is still a chance for them to earn a spot in the Copa Sudamericana group stage next season, currently trailing Newell’s Old Boys by six points for that final position.
We saw another tight defensive battle with chances at a premium this weekend, as Gimnasia were defeated for a second successive encounter by a 1-0 score.
That loss against Tigre was their first defeat at home in this phase of the competition, and it prevented them from leapfrogging River Plate for third in the aggregate table as La Banda were beaten on Saturday, 1-0 by Talleres Cordoba.
Throughout this round of the Primera Division, manager Nestor Gorosito has put together a traditional 4-4-2 setup more often than not, with his players doing an excellent job at cutting off the time and space that their opponents have when in possession.
They are tied with Atletico Tucuman for the fewest goals conceded in this phase (12), posting 11 clean sheets but failing to score on eight occasions themselves.
Thursday will be the first time that they will face Barracas in the Argentine top flight after both teams played each other twice last year in the Primera Nacional.
Gimnasia drew 1-1 at the home of Guapo in the last meeting between these sides in 2021, while they won the opening match in La Plata last season, 2-1.
Barracas Central Argentine Primera Division form:
Gimnasia Argentine Primera Division form:
We say: Barracas Central 0-0 Gimnasia
The defending of Gimnasia has been a nightmare for opposing teams to contend with, and we expect to see Los Triperos hang back with numerous players surrounding Barracas at every turn on Thursday in a match that could have few openings for either side.