Preview: Estudiantes vs. Central Cordoba

Preview: Estudiantes vs. Central Cordoba

Estudiantes welcome Central Cordoba to La Plata for a Primera Division clash at the Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi on Saturday.

The hosts are still well in the mix for a Copa Libertadores spot but must take advantage of some winnable home games for that to become a reality.

Sitting just two points behind San Lorenzo in the final Libertadores place, Estudiantes will be targeting this fixture and their next home game against Racing Club as two games where they must pick up maximum points.

Their other final four games of the season all come against sides currently in a continental position in the Primera Division, including a trip to champions-elect River Plate.

A 12-game unbeaten run at home provides reasons for optimism, as that was kept up thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Bolivian outfit Oriente Petrolero on Wednesday night in the Copa Sudamericana.

That win confirmed an unbeaten group stage where they were already ensured of a place in the knockouts, but they missed out on top spot behind Bragantino due to an inferior goal difference, so will have to go through the preliminary round.

However, that emphatic victory could prove to be a momentum booster after a run of just one win in five games which preceded it.

There are eight teams within just six points of San Lorenzo in third place, so the final six gameweeks should provide much entertainment as the continental positions are decided.

Central Cordoba will come into the fixture safe in the knowledge that relegation has been avoided once again.

Their cagey style of play has worked wonders for them so far this season, because even though only the bottom two have scored fewer goals than them, they are a comfortable distance away from trouble.

With six games to play, Cordoba are seven points clear of the drop, but the coefficient relegation system which is in play in the Primera Division incentivises clubs to continue to fight for points in the latter stage of the season.

Manager Leonardo Madelon has continued with his pragmatic approach in recent weeks and it has worked in picking up points, as two consecutive 0-0 draws have added to the board – the last of which came against Estudiantes’ rivals Gimnasia La Plata.

Estudiantes Argentine Primera Division form:

Estudiantes form (all competitions):

Central Cordoba Argentine Primera Division form:

We say: Estudiantes 1-0 Central Cordoba
Estudiantes will expect to keep their lengthy unbeaten home run going here against a bottom-half outfit to maintain a push for Copa Libertadores qualification.

However, Cordoba have often proved a tough nut to crack, especially with three clean sheets in their last three games, so a win is unlikely to come easy.

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