Preview: Banfield vs. River Plate

Preview: Banfield vs. River Plate

Banfield can win back-to-back home fixtures in the Argentine Primera Division for the first time all season when they host River Plate on Monday at Estadio Florencio Sola.

El Taladro began the month with a 2-0 away loss to Racing Club, while River had their match versus Defensa y Justicia suspended.

As they hit match 20 of the campaign, Banfield still find themselves near the back of the pack, third from the bottom with 18 points, just one above last place Arsenal Sarandi.

Julio Cesar Falcioni has a big job ahead of him, and in his three matches at the helm, it is clear they are a different team at home than away, losing three straight games as the visitors with his only win thus far coming at Estadio Florencio Sola.

While fewer than 40% possession in each of their last three matches will make scoring a challenge, they are also doing themselves no favours in the disciplinary department, committing a total of 45 fouls in those encounters, not to mention two red cards in the defeat to Estudiantes.

Heading into Monday, they have only conceded in one of their previous two matches played on home soil, defeating Rosario Central at the end of May 2-0.

Conceding the opening goal has often spelled trouble for them this season, having lost all nine of their league games this year when doing so, managing to score in only one of those instances.

Many have kept them down but rarely have we seen River Plate out this season, as Los Millonarios hold a four-point cushion atop the standings with one fewer match played than Talleres Cordoba.

Martin Demichelis has them on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions thanks to an undying commitment to remain patient and take their opportunities when they arrive, scoring their last three goals in the second half, including two on Wednesday in a 2-0 win over Fluminense at the Copa Libertadores.

In their previous league fixture, they missed an opportunity to pad their lead in the opening phase of this competition, taking a pair of one-goal leads away against Velez Sarsfield, drawing 2-2, only the second time this year that they had dropped points in the league when scoring first.

La Banda have picked up at least a point in eight of their 10 away matches domestically this year, including six victories.

They enter this match with a win in three of their previous four meetings versus Banfield and have not suffered a domestic defeat against them on their home field since the 2009-10 Apertura campaign (2-0).

Banfield Argentine Primera Division form:

River Plate Argentine Primera Division form:

River Plate form (all competitions):

We say: Banfield 0-1 River Plate
River seem to have a psychological edge on the road at Banfield, and we expect them to come together and do enough to earn three points in this one.

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