MX23RW : Sunday, September 26 07:16:19| >> :600:518193:518193:
Jul 15, 2021 at 1.30am UK at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti
River PlateRiver Plate
Argentinos JrsArgentinos Juniors
Suarez (10')
Perez (36'), Girotti (84')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Hauche (40')
Hauche (43'), Quintana (49'), Florentin (69'), Mac Allister (76'), Coronel (78')

Preview: River Plate vs. Argentinos Juniors - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa Libertadores clash between River Plate and Argentinos Juniors, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Argentinian sides River Plate and Argentinos Juniors lock horns on Thursday for the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Copa Libertadores.

The hosts have won CONMEBOL's elite prize twice in the last decade, while the visitors are competing in this competition for the first time since 2010-11.

Match preview

River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo pictured on May 6, 2021© Reuters

Since losing 3-1 at home to Fluminense in their final group-stage game in May, River Plate have not played a competitive match, and Marcelo Gallardo's men now face a busy fixture schedule with five fixtures in 14 days to prepare for.

Their first-leg tie with Argentinos Juniors is followed three days later by their opening Primeira Division Clausura clash against Apertura winners Colon, before they travel to Buenos Aires for the second leg next week.

River Plate finished second in Group D behind Fluminense, winning two and drawing three of their six group games.

Los Millonarios have struggled defensively in their recent matches, conceding in nine of their last 10 games across all competitions, including seven times during the group stages.

The four-time Copa Libertadores winners have reached the semi-final stage in each of the last four seasons and a victory on Thursday would help them move one step closer to the latter stages once again.

Like River Plate, Argentinos Juniors have also had a lengthy break away from competitive action, losing their last match 2-0 away at Nacional in the group stages in May.

El Bicho ended a disappointing Primeira Division Apertura campaign in seventh place, winning only five of their 13 league matches, and although Gabriel Milito is keen for their Clausura season to begin strongly, the 40-year-old and his team must first turn their attention to their knockout encounter with River Plate.

Argentinos – who topped Group F by winning four of their six matches – are competing in the Copa Libertadores for the first time in 11 years and for only the fourth time in their history.

The 1985 champions face a River Plate outfit that they know well from previous domestic meetings, beating them 1-0 away from home in their most recent encounter in March.

Milito's men have lost just two of their last 13 matches across all competitions, though both defeats were in their last three games. They will, however, fancy their chances of claiming a positive result on Thursday.

River Plate Copa Libertadores form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

River Plate form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Argentinos Juniors Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Argentinos Juniors form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

River Plate players celebrate scoring against Boca Juniors on January 3, 2021© Reuters

River Plate centre-back Jonatan Maidana was shown a straight red card against Fluminense and the 35-year-old will therefore miss the first leg on Thursday, with Paulo Diaz the most likely contender to replace him in the first XI.

Enzo Perez - who played in goal for their 2-1 victory over Santa Fe, due to several first-team absentees with coronavirus - could start in midfield alongside Agustin Palavecino, with Jorge Carrascal set to play in an advanced midfield role behind striker Rafael Santos Borre.

Agustin Fontana (knee injury), Nicolas De La Cruz (muscular problems) and Lucas Pratto (fractured foot) are all unavailable for selection due to injury.

As for Argentinos Juniors, Milito has a fully-fit squad to choose from and can also welcome striker Gabriel Hauche back from his one-match suspension.

Defender Miguel Torren may come into the starting lineup ahead of Marco Di Cesare to play in the back three alongside Carlos Quintana and Kevin Mac Allister.

Striker Gabriel Avalos could be another player who is brought into the first XI, at the expense of either Javier Cabrera or Emanuel Herrera, who both started the last match in attack.

River Plate possible starting lineup:
Armani; Lecanda, Diaz, Martinez, Casco; Palavecino, Perez; Simon, Carrascal, Alvarez; Borre

Argentinos Juniors possible starting lineup:
Chavez; Mac Allister, Torren, Quintana; Sandoval, Romero, Vera, Florentin, Villalba; Herrera, Avalos

SM words green background

We say: River Plate 1-1 Argentinos Juniors

River Plate will head into Thursday's fixture as the favourites and they are set to dominate possession and create several chances in the final third.

Argentinos Juniors, however, have looked strong defensively, keeping 10 clean sheets since the turn of the year and may be difficult to break down.

Three of the last four meetings between the two teams have ended as a draw, and we feel that another closely-fought encounter will finish level once again in Buenos Aires.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:455040:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11438:

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River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo pictured on May 6, 2021
Read Next:
Wednesday's Copa Libertadores predictions including Junior vs. River Plate
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