Preview: Gimnasia vs. Boca Juniors

Preview: Gimnasia vs. Boca Juniors

Approaching the end of Argentine Primera Division’s first phase, mid-table Boca Juniors and lowly Gimnasia meet at El Bosque on Sunday.

The Buenos Aires giants have won three of their last four matches but have still fallen short of their usual high standards this season; meanwhile, their hosts have taken just three points from the last 12 available.

Before hosting fellow capital-city side Huracan on Monday evening, Boca Juniors sat 11th in the Primera Division standings, some 21 points adrift of arch-rivals River Plate, who top the table.

Boca have been left far off the pace this season, less than a year on from winning a 35th top-flight title, and a 1-0 victory at La Bombonera was only their 10th Primera Division success of 2023 so far.

A second-half strike from Luis Vasquez ultimately separated the sides, as Jorge Almiron’s men recorded a second league win from three since being humbled 4-0 by Godoy Cruz late last month; moving up to ninth place.

The Xeneize recently reached the last 32 of the Copa Argentina and also sealed top spot in Group F of the Copa Libertadores, in which they will meet Nacional in the first knockout round at the start of August.

With River set to be crowned Argentinian champions, Boca could be forgiven for switching their thoughts to claiming a seventh South American title – and their first since 2007 – but an intense Primera Division contest awaits this weekend.

When they visited El Bosque in October of last year, clashes between fans and police meant the match was abandoned after only nine minutes; rubber bullets and tear gas were used and one supporter died as a result of the trouble.

Once again, no Boca Juniors fans will be present for their latest trip to La Plata, where Gimnasia have picked up five of their seven league wins this term.

Following an embarrassing Copa Sudamericana exit – El Lobo finished rock-bottom of their group last month – they have drawn twice and then lost to Atletico Tucuman in domestic competition, leaving them 20th in the table.

Gimnasia’s healthy points average over the past three years will be sufficient to keep them out of danger, though, as such a system is used to decide relegation from Argentina’s top tier.

Nonetheless, Sebastian Romero’s side still want to end a tough campaign on a high – beating Boca would certainly help in that regard.

Gimnasia Argentine Primera Division form:

Gimnasia form (all competitions):

Boca Juniors Argentine Primera Division form:

Boca Juniors form (all competitions):

We say: Gimnasia 1-1 Boca Juniors
As Boca have not fared well on the road – winning just three away games in the league this year – Gimnasia can make their defensive solidity at El Bosque pay this weekend. The hosts have conceded just eight times in 11 home matches, so a share of the spoils could be on the cards for Sunday.

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