The hosts suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss to Independiente in their last match, which saw them drop three places to 16th, while the visitors held on to a crucial 2-1 win over Godoy Cruz that bumped them up two spots into 23rd.
Sarmiento’s 2-0 loss to Independiente marked their fourth match without a win, following three consecutive 0-0 draws against Huracan, Gimnasia La Plata and Newell’s Old Boys.
It was also the fourth successive match where they failed to score a single goal and their 10th of the season in 20 matches; however, it is worth mentioning that while they have been far from prolific, that loss also brought an end to a six-match unbeaten streak, which included two wins and four draws.
After losing three of their first four home games this season, Sarmiento have improved notably since then and are currently unbeaten in their last five at Estadio Eva Peron de Junin, winning two and drawing three, while managing to maintain four clean sheets in that time.
The hosts have been one of the best defensive teams this season, with only four sides having conceded fewer goals so far.
The main aim for Israel Damonte now is how to turn more of their draws into wins, and a solid performance here could give them the boost they need with a few favourable fixtures against the likes of Velez Sarsfield, Banfield and Tigre on the horizon.
It is fair to say that Atletico Tucuman are a long way from the side that finished last season in fifth place and just six points behind the league winners Boca Juniors.
After only managing one win in their first 12 league matches, Atletico Tucuman’s 2-1 win over Godoy Cruz was just their fourth of the season but their second in their last three matches, and helped them move away from the bottom of the table into 23rd place.
However, of the four wins they have recorded, three came at home, meaning they have only managed one win in 10 away league matches this season, along with five draws and four losses.
They also have one of the worst scoring records in the league in away matches with a tally of six, bettering only Arsenal, Velez Sarsfield and Colon, who have managed five goals each.
While the first half of the season was a forgettable one, Lucas Pusineri can take some confidence from the fact that his side have taken a total of seven points from the last 12 on offer, which is the best return they have managed in a four-match spell this term, and he will hope that it serves as a platform to build on heading into the final stretch of the season.
Sarmiento Argentine Primera Division form:
Atletico Tucuman Argentine Primera Division form:
We say: Sarmiento 1-0 Atletico Tucuman
Given Sarmiento’s solid run of results at home and the visitors showing some semblance of the form they produced last season, this looks set to be a tight match. Neither side have been prolific this season, and it would come as no surprise if the first goal turns out to be the winner.